by Mike Fontaine
There’s an amazing list all over the internet, and it’s been around a long time. Called “Cicero’s Six Mistakes of Man,” it’s huge with bodybuilders and business types, it’s in books and videos, and it’s incredible. It’s not authentic – more on that in a minute – but when I came across it in a martial-arts book (!) the other day, my jaw dropped.
My jaw dropped because Cicero doesn’t give a list like this anywhere in his works – that I knew – but it seems authentic. Cicero does say these things, if not in these exact words.
The six points look like a perfect summation of his practical wisdom.
So I bought it – hook, line, and sinker.
Who on earth (I wondered) had put it together? It had to be someone with a deep knowledge of Cicero’s philosophical writings. And I mean really deep – much deeper than the average Classics or Latin professor has. The list looked like the product of many years spent reading and reflecting on his various works.
No, I decided, it had to be someone “out there.” An independent. A mystery man or woman.
I know such people are out there because I’ve met a few.
I was wrong.
In reality, the list was compiled in 1914 by an American businessman named Bernard Meador. I’ll come back to him below, but first, let me explain here why the list seems so Ciceronian. … (continue at Classical Wisdom)