Stoic History

Mainly based on info from “A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy” – William B. Irvine

The First Stoics

  • Zeno – (333-261 BC) = the first Stoic

  • started as a Cynic
    • “same” as today’s homeless
    • Antisthenes
      • pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes
    • the Cynics were renowned for their wit and wisdom
    • Diogenes (pupil of Antithenes) – the most famous Cynic
      • Bad man obey their lusts as servants obey their masters.
      • because they cannot control their desires, they can never find contentment
    • lived on the streets of Athens.. same as Sokrates
    • constantly pushing their philosophy on other people
  • found to be more interested in theory than the cynics.. hence .. a combination & lifestyle & theory
    • as Socrates had done
  • Continue reading “Stoic History”

Seneca (ca. 4 BC – 65 AD)

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (often known simply as Seneca; ca. 4 BC – 65 AD) was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He was tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero. While he was later forced to commit suicide for alleged complicity in the Pisonian conspiracy to assassinate Nero, the last of the Julio-Claudian emperors, he may have been innocent. His father was Seneca the Elder and his elder brother was Gallio.

 

Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life

Life’s like a play; it’s not the length but the excellence of the acting that matters

He who is brave is free.

A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.

It’s not hard to find the truth. What is hard is not to run away from it once you have found it.

A great fortune is a great slavery.

It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult.

A great mind becomes a great fortune.

True happiness is to understand our duties toward God and man; to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence on the future; not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears, but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is abundantly sufficient

A happy life is one which is in accordance with its own nature.

To wish to be well is a part of becoming well.

A man who suffers before it is necessary, suffers more than is necessary.

A man’s as miserable as he thinks he is.

There is no great genius without some touch of madness.

A quarrel is quickly settled when deserted by one party; there is no battle unless there be two.

All cruelty springs from weakness.

Anger: an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.