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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10243
Seneca The Younger, Letters, 14


hinc clara gemini signa Tyndaridae micantI confess that we all have an inborn affection for our body; I confess that we are entrusted with its guardianship. I do not maintain that the body is not to be indulged at all; but I maintain that we must not be slaves to it. He will have many masters who makes his body his master, who is over-fearful in its behalf, who judges everything according to the body. ,We should conduct ourselves not as if we ought to live for the body, but as if we could not live without it. Our too great love for it makes us restless with fears, burdens us with cares, and exposes us to insults. Virtue is held too cheap by the man who counts his body too dear. We should cherish the body with the greatest care; but we should also be prepared, when reason, self-respect, and duty demand the sacrifice, to deliver it even to the flames. ,Let us, however, in so far as we can, avoid discomforts as well as dangers, and withdraw to safe ground, by thinking continually how we may repel all objects of fear. If I am not mistaken, there are three main classes of these: we fear want, we fear sickness, and we fear the troubles which result from the violence of the stronger. ,And of all these, that which shakes us most is the dread which hangs over us from our neighbour's ascendancy; for it is accompanied by great outcry and uproar. But the natural evils which I have mentioned, – want and sickness, – steal upon us silently with no shock of terror to the eye or to the ear. The other kind of evil comes, so to speak, in the form of a huge parade. Surrounding it is a retinue of swords and fire and chains and a mob of beasts to be let loose upon the disembowelled entrails of men. ,Picture to yourself under this head the prison, the cross, the rack, the hook, and the stake which they drive straight through a man until it protrudes from his throat. Think of human limbs torn apart by chariots driven in opposite directions, of the terrible shirt smeared and interwoven with inflammable materials, and of all the other contrivances devised by cruelty, in addition to those which I have mentioned![1],It is not surprising, then, if our greatest terror is of such a fate; for it comes in many shapes and its paraphernalia are terrifying. For just as the torturer accomplishes more in proportion to the number of instruments which he displays, – indeed, the spectacle overcomes those who would have patiently withstood the suffering, – similarly, of all the agencies which coerce and master our minds, the most effective are those which can make a display. Those other troubles are of course not less serious; I mean hunger, thirst, ulcers of the stomach, and fever that parches our very bowels. They are, however, secret; they have no bluster and no heralding; but these, like huge arrays of war, prevail by virtue of their display and their equipment. ,Let us, therefore, see to it that we abstain from giving offence. It is sometimes the people that we ought to fear; or sometimes a body of influential oligarchs in the Senate, if the method of governing the State is such that most of the business is done by that body; and sometimes individuals equipped with power by the people and against the people. It is burdensome to keep the friendship of all such persons; it is enough not to make enemies of them. So the wise man will never provoke the anger of those in power; nay, he will even turn his course, precisely as he would turn from a storm if he were steering a ship. ,When you travelled to Sicily, you crossed the Straits. The reckless pilot scorned the blustering South Wind, – the wind which roughens the Sicilian Sea and forces it into choppy currents; he sought not the shore on the left,[2] but the strand hard by the place where Charybdis throws the seas into confusion. Your more careful pilot, however, questions those who know the locality as to the tides and the meaning of the clouds; he holds his course far from that region notorious for its swirling waters. Our wise man does the same; he shuns a strong man who may be injurious to him, making a point of not seeming to avoid him, because an important part of one's safety lies in not seeking safety openly; for what one avoids, one condemns. ,We should therefore look about us, and see how we may protect ourselves from the mob. And first of all, we should have no cravings like theirs; for rivalry results in strife. Again, let us possess nothing that can be snatched from us to the great profit of a plotting foe. Let there be as little booty as possible on your person. No one sets out to shed the blood of his fellow-men for the sake of bloodshed, – at any rate very few. More murderers speculate on their profits than give vent to hatred. If you are empty-handed, the highwayman passes you by; even along an infested road, the poor may travel in peace.[3],Next, we must follow the old adage and avoid three things with special care: hatred, jealousy, and scorn. And wisdom alone can show you how this may be done. It is hard to observe a mean; we must be chary of letting the fear of jealousy lead us into becoming objects of scorn, lest, when we choose not to stamp others down, we let them think that they can stamp us down. The power to inspire fear has caused many men to be in fear.[4] Let us withdraw ourselves in every way; for it is as harmful to be scorned as to be admired. ,One must therefore take refuge in philosophy; this pursuit, not only in the eyes of good men, but also in the eyes of those who are even moderately bad, is a sort of protecting emblem.[5] For speechmaking at the bar, or any other pursuit that claims the people's attention, wins enemies for a man; but philosophy is peaceful and minds her own business. Men cannot scorn her; she is honoured by every profession, even the vilest among them. Evil can never grow so strong, and nobility of character can never be so plotted against, that the name of philosophy shall cease to be worshipful and sacred. Philosophy itself, however, should be practised with calmness and moderation. ,Very well, then, you retort, "do you regard the philosophy of Marcus Cato as moderate? Cato's voice strove to check a civil war. Cato parted the swords of maddened chieftains. When some fell foul of Pompey and others fell foul of Caesar, Cato defied both parties at once!" ,Nevertheless, one may well question whether, in those days, a wise man ought to have taken any part in public affairs, and ask: "What do you mean, Marcus Cato? It is not now a question of freedom; long since has freedom gone to rack and ruin. The question is, whether it is Caesar or Pompey who controls the State. Why, Cato, should you take sides in that dispute? It is no business of yours; a tyrant is being selected. What does it concern you who conquers? The better man may win; but the winner is bound to be the worse man."[6] I have referred to Cato's final rôle. But even in previous years the wise man was not permitted to intervene in such plundering of the state; for what could Cato do but raise his voice and utter unavailing words? At one time he was "hustled" by the mob and spat upon and forcibly removed from the forum and marked for exile; at another, he was taken straight to prison from the senate-chamber. ,However, we shall consider later[7] whether the wise man ought to give his attention to politics; meanwhile, I beg you to consider those Stoics who, shut out from public life, have withdrawn into privacy for the purpose of improving men's existence and framing laws for the human race without incurring the displeasure of those in power. The wise man will not upset the customs of the people, nor will he invite the attention of the populace by any novel ways of living. ,What then? Can one who follows out this plan be safe in any case? I cannot guarantee you this any more than I can guarantee good health in the case of a man who observes moderation; although, as a matter of fact, good health results from such moderation. Sometimes a vessel perishes in harbour; but what do you think happens on the open sea? And how much more beset with danger that man would be, who even in his leisure is not secure, if he were busily working at many things! Innocent persons sometimes perish; who would deny that? But the guilty perish more frequently. A soldier's skill is not at fault if he receives the death-blow through his armour. ,And finally, the wise man regards the reason for all his actions, but not the results. The beginning is in our own power; fortune decides the issue, but I do not allow her to pass sentence upon myself. You may say: "But she can inflict a measure of suffering and of trouble." The highwayman does not pass sentence when he slays. ,Now you are stretching forth your hand for the daily gift. Golden indeed will be the gift with which I shall load you; and, inasmuch as we have mentioned gold, let me tell you how its use and enjoyment may bring you greater pleasure. "He who needs riches least, enjoys riches most."[8] "Author's name, please!" you say. Now, to show you how generous I am, it is my intent to praise the dicta of other schools. The phrase belongs to Epicurus, or Metrodorus, or some one of that particular thinking-shop. ,But what difference does it make who spoke the words? They were uttered for the world. He who craves riches feels fear on their account. No man, however, enjoys a blessing that brings anxiety; he is always trying to add a little more. While he puzzles over increasing his wealth, he forgets how to use it. He collects his accounts, he wears out the pavement in the forum, he turns over his ledger,[9]– in short, he ceases to be master and becomes a steward. Farewell.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

26 results
1. Homer, Iliad, 3.173 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

3.173. /neither one so royal: he is like unto one that is a king. And Helen, fair among women, answered him, saying:Revered art thou in mine eyes, dear father of my husband, and dread. Would that evil death had been my pleasure when I followed thy son hither, and left my bridal chamber and my kinfolk
2. Homer, Odyssey, 10.49-10.52 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

3. Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 862-864, 861 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

861. τὸ μὲν γυναῖκα πρῶτον ἄρσενος δίχα 861. First: for a woman, from the male divided
4. Plato, Charmides, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

157a. from the head into the eyes. Wherefore that part was to be treated first and foremost, if all was to be well with the head and the rest of the body. And the treatment of the soul, so he said, my wonderful friend, is by means of certain charms, and these charms are words of the right sort: by the use of such words is temperance engendered in our souls, and as soon as it is engendered and present we may easily secure health to the head and to the rest of the body also.
5. Sophocles, Antigone, 1175 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

6. Cicero, On The Ends of Good And Evil, 3.75 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3.75. quam gravis vero, quam magnifica, quam constans conficitur persona sapientis! qui, cum ratio docuerit, quod honestum esset, id esse solum bonum, semper sit necesse est beatus vereque omnia ista nomina possideat, quae irrideri ab inperitis solent. rectius enim appellabitur rex quam Tarquinius, qui nec se nec suos regere potuit, rectius magister populi—is enim est dictator dictator est BE —quam Sulla, qui trium pestiferorum vitiorum, luxuriae, avaritiae, crudelitatis, magister fuit, rectius dives quam Crassus, qui nisi eguisset, numquam Euphraten nulla belli causa transire voluisset. recte eius omnia dicentur, qui scit uti solus omnibus, recte etiam pulcher appellabitur— animi enim liniamenta sunt pulchriora quam corporis quam corporis NV quam corporibus ABE corporibus ( om. quam) R —, recte solus liber nec dominationi cuiusquam parens nec oboediens cupiditati, recte invictus, cuius etiamsi corpus constringatur, animo tamen vincula inici nulla possint, nec expectet ullum tempus aetatis, uti tum uti tum Se. ut tum (ut in ras., sequente ras. 2 vel 3 litt. ) N virtutum ABE ututū R ubi tum V denique iudicetur beatusne fuerit, cum extremum vitae diem morte confecerit, quod ille unus e septem sapientibus non sapienter Croesum monuit; 3.75.  "Then, how dignified, how lofty, how consistent is the character of the Wise Man as they depict it! Since reason has proved that moral worth is the sole good, it follows that he must always be happy, and that all those titles which the ignorant are so fond of deriding do in very truth belong to him. For he will have a better claim to the title of King than Tarquin, who could not rule either himself or his subjects; a better right to the name of 'Master of the People' (for that is what a dictator is) than Sulla, who was a master of three pestilential vices, licentiousness, avarice and cruelty; a better right to be called rich than Crassus, who had he lacked nothing could never have been induced to cross the Euphrates with no pretext for war. Rightly will he be said to own all things, who alone knows how to use all things; rightly also will he be styled beautiful, for the features of the soul are fairer than those of the body; rightly the one and only free man, as subject to no man's authority, and slave of no appetite; rightly unconquerable, for though his body be thrown into fetters, no bondage can enchain his soul.
7. Cicero, On Laws, 1.42, 1.44 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

8. Cicero, On The Nature of The Gods, 1.23 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.23. Or were these beauties designed for the sake of men, as your school usually maintains? For the sake of wise men? If so, all this vast effort of construction took place on account of a handful of people. For the sake of fools then? But in the first place there was no reason for god to do a service to the wicked and secondly, what good did he do? inasmuch as all fools are beyond question extremely miserable, precisely because they are fools (for what can be mentioned more miserable than folly?), and in the second place because there are so many troubles in life that, though wise men can assuage them by balancing against them life's advantages, fools can neither avoid their approach nor endure their presence. Those on the other hand who said that the world is itself endowed with life and with wisdom, failed entirely to discern what shape the nature of an intelligent living being could conceivably possess. I will touch on this a little later;
9. Cicero, On Duties, 1.1, 1.148, 3.69 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.1. Quamquam te, Marce fili, annum iam audientem Cratippum, idque Athenis, abundare oportet praeceptis institutisque philosophiae propter summam et doctoris auctoritatem et urbis, quorum alter te scientia augere potest, altera exemplis, tamen, ut ipse ad meam utilitatem semper cum Graecis Latina coniunxi neque id in philosophia solum, sed etiam in dicendi exercitatione feci, idem tibi censeo faciendum, ut par sis in utriusque orationis facultate. Quam quidem ad rem nos, ut videmur, magnum attulimus adiumentum hominibus nostris, ut non modo Graecarum litterarum rudes, sed etiam docti aliquantum se arbitrentur adeptos et ad dicendum et ad iudicandum. 1.148. Quae vero more agentur institutisque civilibus, de iis nihil est praecipiendum; illa enim ipsa praecepta sunt, nec quemquam hoc errore duci oportet, ut, si quid Socrates aut Aristippus contra rnorem consuetudinemque civilem fecerint locutive sint, idem sibi arbitretur licere; magnis illi et divinis bonis hane licentiam assequebantur. Cynicorum vero ratio tota est eicienda; est enim inimica verecundiae, sine qua nihil rectum esse potest, nihil honestum. 3.69. Hoc quamquam video propter depravationem consuetudinis neque more turpe haberi neque aut lege sanciri aut iure civili, tamen naturae lege sanctum est. Societas est enim (quod etsi saepe dictum est, dicendum est tamen saepius), latissime quidem quae pateat, omnium inter omnes, interior eorum, qui eiusdem gentis sint, propior eorum, qui eiusdem civitatis. Itaque maiores aliud ius gentium, aliud ius civile esse voluerunt; quod civile, non idem continuo gentium, quod autem gentium, idem civile esse debet. Sed nos veri iuris germanaeque iustitiae solidam et expressam effigiem nullam tenemus, umbra et imaginibus utimur. Eas ipsas utinam sequeremur! feruntur enim ex optimis naturae et veritatis exemplis. 1.148.  But no rules need to be given about what is done in accordance with the established customs and conventions of a community; for these are in themselves rules; and no one ought to make the mistake of supposing that, because Socrates or Aristippus did or said something contrary to the manners and established customs of their city, he has a right to do the same; it was only by reason of their great and superhuman virtues that those famous men acquired this special privilege. But the Cynics' whole system of philosophy must be rejected, for it is inimical to moral sensibility, and without moral sensibility nothing can be upright, nothing morally good. 3.69.  Owing to the low ebb of public sentiment, such a method of procedure, I find, is neither by custom accounted morally wrong nor forbidden either by statute or by civil law; nevertheless it is forbidden by the moral law. For there is a bond of fellowship — although I have often made this statement, I must still repeat it again and again — which has the very widest application, uniting all men together and each to each. This bond of union is closer between those who belong to the same nation, and more intimate still between those who are citizens of the same city-state. It is for this reason that our forefathers chose to understand one thing by the universal law and another by the civil law. The civil law is not necessarily also the universal law; but the universal law ought to be also the civil law. But we possess no substantial, life-like image of true Law and genuine Justice; a mere outline sketch is all that we enjoy. I only wish that we were true even to this; for, even as it is, it is drawn from the excellent models which Nature and Truth afford.
10. Cicero, Republic, 2.43, 3.7 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2.43. Nam in qua re publica est unus aliquis perpetua potestate, praesertim regia, quamvis in ea sit et senatus, ut tum fuit Romae, cum erant reges, ut Spartae Lycurgi legibus, et ut sit aliquod etiam populi ius, ut fuit apud nostros reges, tamen illud excellit regium nomen, neque potest eius modi res publica non regnum et esse et vocari. Ea autem forma civitatis mutabilis maxime est hanc ob causam, quod unius vitio praecipitata in perniciosissimam partem facillime decidit. Nam ipsum regale genus civitatis non modo non est reprehendendum, sed haud scio an reliquis simplicibus longe anteponendum, si ullum probarem simplex rei publicae genus, sed ita, quoad statum suum retinet. Is est autem status, ut unius perpetua potestate et iustitia omnique sapientia regatur salus et aequabilitas et otium civium. Desunt omnino ei populo multa, qui sub rege est, in primisque libertas, quae non in eo est, ut iusto utamur domino, sed ut nul lo 3.7. fuisse sapientiam, tamen hoc in ratione utriusque generis interfuit, quod illi verbis et artibus aluerunt naturae principia, hi autem institutis et legibus. Pluris vero haec tulit una civitas, si minus sapientis, quoniam id nomen illi tam restricte tenent, at certe summa laude dignos, quoniam sapientium praecepta et inventa coluerunt. Atque etiam, quot et sunt laudandae civitates et fuerunt, quoniam id est in rerum natura longe maximi consilii, constituere eam rem publicam, quae possit esse diuturna, si singulos numeremus in singulas, quanta iam reperiatur virorum excellentium multitudo! Quodsi aut Italiae Latium aut eiusdem Sabinam aut Volscam gentem, si Samnium, si Etruriam, si magnam illam Graeciam conlustrare animo voluerimus, si deinde Assyrios, si Persas, si Poenos, si haec
11. Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, 1.74, 3.1, 3.79, 3.81 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.74. nostra vehitur oratio ratio Camerar. ). sed haec haec add. V 2 et vetera sunt post vetera add. K 2 et a Graecis; Cato autem sic abiit e vita, ut causam moriendi moriundi K 2 nactum se esse gauderet. vetat enim domis ille in in om. V nobis deus iniussu hinc nos suo demigrare; cum vero causam iustam deus ipse dederit, ut tunc tum GV Socrati, nunc Catoni, saepe multis, ne ille me Dius Fidius vir sapiens laetus ex his tenebris in lucem illam excesserit, nec tamen ille ille Lb. ilia rup erit V vincla carceris ruperit—leges enim vetant—, sed tamquam a magistratu aut ab aliqua potestate legitima, sic a deo evocatus atque emissus exierit. Tota Plato Phaedon 80e enim philosophorum vita, ut ait idem, commentatio mortis est. 3.1. Quidnam esse, Brute, Quidnam-Brute om. RK cf. praef. cur om. K causae putem, cur, cum constemus ex animo et corpore, corporis curandi tuendique causa quaesita sit ars atque eius ars eius atque X (areius atque K 1, cf. praef. ) corr. Man. utilitas deorum inmortalium de eorum inm. R 1 V 1 inventioni consecrata, animi autem medicina nec tam desiderata desidera GRV ( add. V 1? ) sit, ante quam inventa, nec tam culta, posteaquam cognita est, nec tam multis grata et probata, pluribus etiam suspecta et invisa? an quod corporis gravitatem et dolorem animo iudicamus, animi morbum corpore non sentimus? ita fit ut animus de se ipse tum tum ex cum corr. K 2 iudicet, cum id ipsum, quo iudicatur, aegrotet. 3.79. ne ne n onne K ( ss. 2 ) illa quidem firmissima consolatio est, quamquam quamquam quidquam K 1 et usitata est et saepe prodest: non tibi hoc soli. prodest haec quidem, ut dixi, dixi p. 345, 13 sed nec semper nec omnibus; sunt enim qui respuant; sed refert, quo modo adhibeatur. ut enim enim om. G 1 tulerit quisque eorum qui sapienter tulerunt, non quo quisque incommodo adfectus sit, praedicandum est. Chrysippi crys. KR chris. G ad veritatem firmissima est, ad tempus aegritudinis difficilis. magnum opus opus s onus X est probare maerenti illum suo iudicio et, quod se se exp. V 2 ita putet oportere facere, maerere. Nimirum igitur, ut in causis non semper utimur eodem statu—sic enim appellamus controversiarum genera—, sed ad tempus, ad controversiae naturam, ad personam accommodamus, sic in aegritudine lenienda, quam lenienda. nam quam X nam del. s quisque curationem recipere possit, videndum est. nimirum ... 26 est H 3.81. Tractatum tractum GV 1 est autem a nobis id genus aegritudinis, quod unum est omnium maxumum, ut eo sublato reliquorum remedia ne magnopere quaerenda arbitraremur. sunt enim certa, quae de paupertate certa, quae de vita inhonorata et ingloria dici soleant; separatim certae scholae sunt de exilio, de interitu patriae, de servitute, de debilitate, dibilitate R 1 V 1 de caecitate, de omni casu, in quo nomen poni solet calamitatis. calamitatis tatis V c in r. haec Graeci in singulas scholas et in singulos libros dispertiunt; opus enim quaerunt (quamquam plenae disputationes planae disputationis W corr. Turn. delectationis summae. Tamen V (mae T atque ultima hasta litterae m antecedentis in r. 2 ) delectationis sunt);
12. Vergil, Aeneis, 6.434-6.437 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

6.434. Both hapless and unhonored after death 6.435. Whom, while from Troy they crossed the wind-swept seas 6.437. There, too, the helmsman Palinurus strayed :
13. Epictetus, Discourses, 1.4.27 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

14. Lucan, Pharsalia, 4.474-4.520 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

15. Plutarch, On Isis And Osiris, None (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

369b. or anything good where God is the Author of nothing; for the concord of the universe, like that of a lyre or bow, according to Heracleitus, is resilient if disturbed; and according to Euripides, The good and bad cannot be kept apart, But there is some commingling, which is well. Wherefore this very ancient opinion comes down from writers on religion and from lawgivers to poets and philosophers; it can be traced to no source, but it carried a strong and almost indelible conviction, and is in circulation in many places among barbarians and Greeks alike, not only in story and tradition but also in rites and sacrifices, to the effect that the Universe is not of itself suspended aloft
16. Plutarch, On Stoic Self-Contradictions, None (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

17. Seneca The Younger, De Clementia, 1.1.2-1.1.3, 1.7, 1.19.8 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

18. Seneca The Younger, De Providentia (Dialogorum Liber I), 2.9-2.12 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

19. Seneca The Younger, Letters, 13.4, 24.3, 24.5-24.6, 51.12, 64.10, 70.4, 71.15-71.16, 87.9-87.10, 95.71-95.72, 96.8, 104.21, 120.19 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

20. Seneca The Younger, Thyestes, 886-892, 885 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

21. Suetonius, Domitianus, 10 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

22. Tacitus, Annals, 14.57, 15.62-15.64, 16.22, 16.34-16.35 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

14.57.  With Seneca brought low, it was a simple matter to undermine Faenius Rufus, the charge in his case being friendship with Agrippina. Tigellinus, too, growing stronger with every day, and convinced that the mischievous arts, which were his one source of power, would be all the more acceptable, could he bind the emperor to himself by a partnership in crime, probed his fears, and, discovering the main objects of his alarm to be Plautus and Sulla — both lately removed, the former to Asia, the latter to Narbonese Gaul — began to draw attention to their distinguished lineage and their nearness, respectively, to the armies of the East and of Germany. "Unlike Burrus," he said, "he had not in view two irreconcilable hopes, but purely the safety of Nero. In the capital, where he could work on the spot, the imperial security was more or less provided for; but how were outbreaks at a distance to be stifled? Gaul was alert at the sound of the Dictator's name; and equally the peoples of Asia were unbalanced by the glory of such a grandsire as Drusus. Sulla was indigent, therefore greatly daring, and wore the mask of lethargy only till he could find an occasion for temerity. Plautus, with his great fortune, did not even affect a desire for peace, but, not content to parade his mimicries of the ancient Romans, had taken upon himself the Stoic arrogance and the mantle of a sect which inculcated sedition and an appetite for politics." There was no further delay. On the sixth day following, the slayers had made the crossing to Massilia, and Sulla, who had taken his place at the dinner-table, was despatched before a whisper of alarm had reached him. The head was carried back to Rome, where the premature grey hairs disfiguring it provoked the merriment of Nero. 15.62.  Seneca, nothing daunted, asked for the tablets containing his will. The centurion refusing, he turned to his friends, and called them to witness that "as he was prevented from showing his gratitude for their services, he left them his sole but fairest possession — the image of his life. If they bore it in mind, they would reap the reward of their loyal friendship in the credit accorded to virtuous accomplishments." At the same time, he recalled them from tears to fortitude, sometimes conversationally, sometimes in sterner, almost coercive tones. "Where," he asked, "were the maxims of your philosophy? Where that reasoned attitude towards impending evils which they had studied through so many years? For to whom had Nero's cruelty been unknown? Nor was anything left him, after the killing of his mother and his brother, but to add the murder of his guardian and preceptor. 15.63.  After these and some similar remarks, which might have been meant for a wider audience, he embraced his wife, and, softening momentarily in view of the terrors at present threatening her, begged her, conjured her, to moderate her grief — not to take it upon her for ever, but in contemplating the life he had spent in virtue to find legitimate solace for the loss of her husband. Paulina replied by assuring him that she too had made death her choice, and she demanded her part in the executioner's stroke. Seneca, not wishing to stand in the way of her glory, and influenced also by his affection, that he might not leave the woman who enjoyed his whole-hearted love exposed to outrage, now said: "I had shown you the mitigations of life, you prefer the distinction of death: I shall not grudge your setting that example. May the courage of this brave ending be divided equally between us both, but may more of fame attend your own departure!" Aforesaid, they made the incision in their arms with a single cut. Seneca, since his aged body, emaciated further by frugal living, gave slow escape to the blood, severed as well the arteries in the leg and behind the knee. Exhausted by the racking pains, and anxious lest his sufferings might break down the spirit of his wife, and he himself lapse into weakness at the sight of her agony, he persuaded her to withdraw into another bedroom. And since, even at the last moment his eloquence remained at command, he called his secretaries, and dictated a long discourse, which has been given to the public in his own words, and which I therefore refrain from modifying. 15.64.  Nero, however, who had no private animosity against Paulina, and did not wish to increase the odium of his cruelty, ordered her suicide to be arrested. Under instructions from the military, her slaves and freedmen bandaged her arms and checked the bleeding — whether without her knowledge is uncertain. For, with the usual readiness of the multitude to think the worst, there were those who believed that, so long as she feared an implacable Nero, she had sought the credit of sharing her husband's fate, and then, when a milder prospect offered itself, had succumbed to the blandishments of life. To that life she added a few more years — laudably faithful to her husband's memory and blanched in face and limb to a pallor which showed how great had been the drain upon her vital powers. Seneca, in the meantime, as death continued to be protracted and slow, asked Statius Annaeus, who had long held his confidence as a loyal friend and a skilful doctor, to produce the poison — it had been provided much earlier — which was used for despatching prisoners condemned by the public tribunal of Athens. It was brought, and he swallowed it, but to no purpose; his limbs were already cold, and his system closed to the action of the drug. In the last resort, he entered a vessel of heated water, sprinkling some on the slaves nearest, with the remark that he offered the liquid as a drink-offering to Jove the Liberator. He was then lifted into a bath, suffocated by the vapour, and cremated without ceremony. It was the order he had given in his will, at a time when, still at the zenith of his wealth and power, he was already taking thought for his latter end. 16.22.  He preferred other charges as well:— "At the beginning of the year, Thrasea evaded the customary oath; though the holder of a quindecimviral priesthood, he took no part in the national vows; he had never offered a sacrifice for the welfare of the emperor or for his celestial voice. Once a constant and indefatigable member, who showed himself the advocate or the adversary of the most commonplace resolutions of the Fathers, for three years he had not set foot within the curia; and but yesterday, when his colleagues were gathering with emulous haste to crush Silanus and Vetus, he had preferred to devote his leisure to the private cases of his clients. Matters were come already to a schism and to factions: if many made the same venture, it was war! 'As once,' he said, 'this discord-loving state prated of Caesar and Cato, so now, Nero, it prates of yourself and Thrasea. And he has his followers — his satellites, rather — who affect, not as yet the contumacity of his opinions, but his bearing and his looks, and whose stiffness and austerity are designed for an impeachment of your wantonness. To him alone your safety is a thing uncared for, your talents a thing unhonoured. The imperial happiness he cannot brook: can he not even be satisfied with the imperial bereavements and sorrows? Not to believe Poppaea deity bespeaks the same temper that will not swear to the acts of the deified Augustus and the deified Julius. He contemns religion, he abrogates law. The journal of the Roman people is scanned throughout the provinces and armies with double care for news of what Thrasea has not done! Either let us pass over to his creed, if it is the better, or let these seekers after a new world lose their chief and their instigator. It is the sect that produced the Tuberones and the Favonii — names unloved even in the old republic. In order to subvert the empire, they make a parade of liberty: the empire overthrown, they will lay hands on liberty itself. You have removed Cassius to little purpose, if you intend to allow these rivals of the Bruti to multiply and flourish! A word in conclusion: write nothing yourself about Thrasea — leave the senate to decide between us!' " Nero fanned still more the eager fury of Cossutianus, and reinforced him with the mordant eloquence of Eprius Marcellus. 16.34.  The consul's quaestor was then sent to Thrasea: he was spending the time in his gardens, and the day was already closing in for evening. He had brought together a large party of distinguished men and women, his chief attention been given to Demetrius, a master of the Cynic creed; with whom — to judge from his serious looks and the few words which caught the ear, when they chanced to raise their voices — he was debating the nature of the soul and the divorce of spirit and body. At last, Domitius Caecilianus, an intimate friend, arrived, and informed him of the decision reached by the senate. Accordingly, among the tears and expostulations of the company, Thrasea urged them to leave quickly, without linking their own hazardous lot to the fate of a condemned man. Arria, who aspired to follow her husband's ending and the precedent set by her mother and namesake, he advised to keep her life and not deprive the child of their union of her one support. 16.35.  He now walked on to the colonnade; where the quaestor found him nearer to joy than to sorrow, because he had ascertained that Helvidius, his son-in‑law, was merely debarred from Italy. Then, taking the decree of the senate, he led Helvidius and Demetrius into his bedroom, offered the arteries of both arms to the knife, and, when the blood had begun to flow, sprinkled it upon the ground, and called the quaestor nearer: "We are making a libation," he said, "to Jove the Liberator. Look, young man, and — may Heaven, indeed, avert the omen, but you have been born into times now it is expedient to steel the mind with instances of firmness." Soon, as the slowness of his end brought excruciating pain, turning his gaze upon Demetrius . . .
23. Valerius Flaccus Gaius, Argonautica, 1.752-1.826 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

24. Cassius Dio, Roman History, 65.13, 65.13.2 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

25. Sextus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism, 2.38-2.42 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

26. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 7.123, 7.125 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

7.123. Furthermore, the wise are infallible, not being liable to error. They are also without offence; for they do no hurt to others or to themselves. At the same time they are not pitiful and make no allowance for anyone; they never relax the penalties fixed by the laws, since indulgence and pity and even equitable consideration are marks of a weak mind, which affects kindness in place of chastizing. Nor do they deem punishments too severe. Again, they say that the wise man never wonders at any of the things which appear extraordinary, such as Charon's mephitic caverns, ebbings of the tide, hot springs or fiery eruptions. Nor yet, they go on to say, will the wise man live in solitude; for he is naturally made for society and action. 7.125. Furthermore, the wise man does all things well, just as we say that Ismenias plays all airs on the flute well. Also everything belongs to the wise. For the law, they say, has conferred upon them a perfect right to all things. It is true that certain things are said to belong to the bad, just as what has been dishonestly acquired may be said, in one sense, to belong to the state, in another sense to those who are enjoying it.They hold that the virtues involve one another, and that the possessor of one is the possessor of all, inasmuch as they have common principles, as Chrysippus says in the first book of his work On Virtues, Apollodorus in his Physics according to the Early School, and Hecato in the third book of his treatise On Virtues.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aeson Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 30
annas, julia Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 223
antinomianism Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 29
antiochus of ascalon Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 29
avarice Brenk and Lanzillotta, Plutarch on Literature, Graeco-Roman Religion, Jews and Christians (2023) 155
caesar, c. julius Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 29, 30
cato, the younger Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 29, 30
cato the younger Konstan and Garani, The Philosophizing Muse: The Influence of Greek Philosophy on Roman Poetry (2014) 202
chakrabarty, arindam Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 223
children, training of Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 211
chrysippus, stoic (already in antiquity, views seen as orthodox for stoics tended to be ascribed to chrysippus), not suited to children Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 211
chrysippus, stoic (already in antiquity, views seen as orthodox for stoics tended to be ascribed to chrysippus), not to moods Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 211
chrysippus, stoic (already in antiquity, views seen as orthodox for stoics tended to be ascribed to chrysippus), therapy directed to situations Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 211
chrysippus, stoic (already in antiquity, views seen as orthodox for stoics tended to be ascribed to chrysippus) Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 19
cicero, and law of nature Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 26, 29
cicero, platonizing roman statesman, orator, medicine of the mind Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 19
consolatio, consolatory tradition Konstan and Garani, The Philosophizing Muse: The Influence of Greek Philosophy on Roman Poetry (2014) 202
consolation writings, lot of others Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 223
consolation writings, others have coped Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 223
consolation writings, should comfort others Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 223
democritus, presocratic, appeal to the lot of others Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 223
depression, akēdia Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 211
domitian Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 29
epictetus, stoic, falsehoods permitted Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 223
epictetus Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 29
euripides Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 223
falsehood, stoics permit Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 223
gorgias, presocratic Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 19
griffin, miriam Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 19
heaven Brenk and Lanzillotta, Plutarch on Literature, Graeco-Roman Religion, Jews and Christians (2023) 155
helvidius priscus Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 29
inwood, brad Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 223
isis Brenk and Lanzillotta, Plutarch on Literature, Graeco-Roman Religion, Jews and Christians (2023) 155
law of nature, and wise man Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 26
law of nature, transcended written law Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 26
long, a. a. Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 223
luxury Brenk and Lanzillotta, Plutarch on Literature, Graeco-Roman Religion, Jews and Christians (2023) 155
magnanimitas (of the stoic sage) Konstan and Garani, The Philosophizing Muse: The Influence of Greek Philosophy on Roman Poetry (2014) 202
moods Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 211
mosaic law, for ordinary people Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 26, 29
musonius rufus Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 29
mystery cults Brenk and Lanzillotta, Plutarch on Literature, Graeco-Roman Religion, Jews and Christians (2023) 155
nero Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 29, 30
osiris Brenk and Lanzillotta, Plutarch on Literature, Graeco-Roman Religion, Jews and Christians (2023) 155
philosophy Brenk and Lanzillotta, Plutarch on Literature, Graeco-Roman Religion, Jews and Christians (2023) 155
plato Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 19
providence Brenk and Lanzillotta, Plutarch on Literature, Graeco-Roman Religion, Jews and Christians (2023) 155
rites Brenk and Lanzillotta, Plutarch on Literature, Graeco-Roman Religion, Jews and Christians (2023) 155
seneca, the younger, stoic, falsehoods permitted Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 223
seneca, the younger, stoic Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 19
seneca Brenk and Lanzillotta, Plutarch on Literature, Graeco-Roman Religion, Jews and Christians (2023) 155
stoic martyrdom Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 29
stoics/stoicism, and law of nature Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 26
stoics/stoicism, and the sage Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 26
suetonius Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 29
suicide Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 29, 30
superstition Brenk and Lanzillotta, Plutarch on Literature, Graeco-Roman Religion, Jews and Christians (2023) 155
tacitus, senecas death Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 30
tacitus Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 29, 30
therapy, metabolism from physical medicine Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 19
therapy, techniques see esp. Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 211, 223
therapy, therapy can use falsehoods Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 223
therapy Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 211, 223
thrasea paetus, suicide Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 29, 30
thrasea paetus Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 29
tiberius Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 30
truth Brenk and Lanzillotta, Plutarch on Literature, Graeco-Roman Religion, Jews and Christians (2023) 155
vespasian Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 29
vice Brenk and Lanzillotta, Plutarch on Literature, Graeco-Roman Religion, Jews and Christians (2023) 155
virgil and the aeneid, suicide Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 30
virtue Brenk and Lanzillotta, Plutarch on Literature, Graeco-Roman Religion, Jews and Christians (2023) 155
wisdom Brenk and Lanzillotta, Plutarch on Literature, Graeco-Roman Religion, Jews and Christians (2023) 155
wise man, and law of nature Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 26
wise man, and stoics Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 26
written law, vis a vis law of nature Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 26
zeno, of citium Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 29
zeno of citium, stoic, hence different conception of freedom from emotion(apatheia)' Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 223
zeno of citium, stoic, hence different conception of freedom from emotion(apatheia) Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 211