The De Officiis ("On Duties"), written hurriedly not long before Cicero's death, has always commanded attention. While it is based on the moral philosophy of the Greek Stoic Panaetius, Cicero adapted the material to his audience in such a way that the book stands as an invaluable witness to Roman attitudes and behavior.
This new edition is based on a more systematic examination of the vast manuscript tradition than has previously been attempted, and exploits fresh evidence for the poorly represented X branch. The book shows with new clarity the major contribution to the improvement of the text made by scribes and readers of the later manuscripts, both in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance.
`Professor Winterbottom has set a high standard for the rest of us to follow. It is to be expected as a matter of course that a new OCT should become the standard text; such expectations will certainly not be disappointed. The Press deserves credit too; at one time some of us may have been apprehensive about an apparent decline in the quality of production of OCTs, but this edition is cleanly and attractively produced. The slim lineaments of the volume
should not cause any reader to underestimate the labour that has gone into it. The number of known manuscripts is in the region if seven hundred; W. has indeed imposed 'some order on this vast army' ... and
has impressively co-ordinated an army of friendly classical scholars to gather information for him ... this volume can stand as a model of the more modest and underrated, but not by any means commoner editorial virtues'
J.G.F. Powell, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Classical Review, Vol. XLVI, No. 1 '96