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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10243
Seneca The Younger, Letters, 52.3-52.4


nanEpicurus remarks that certain men have worked their way to the truth without any one's assistance, carving out their own passage. And he gives special praise to these, for their impulse has come from within, and they have forged to the front by themselves. Again, he says, there are others who need outside help, who will not proceed unless someone leads the way, but who will follow faithfully. Of these, he says, Metrodorus was one; this type of man is also excellent, but belongs to the second grade. We ourselves are not of that first class, either; we shall be well treated if we are admitted into the second. Nor need you despise a man who can gain salvation only with the assistance of another; the will to be saved means a great deal, too.


nanEpicurus[1] remarks that certain men have worked their way to the truth without any one's assistance, carving out their own passage. And he gives special praise to these, for their impulse has come from within, and they have forged to the front by themselves. Again, he says, there are others who need outside help, who will not proceed unless someone leads the way, but who will follow faithfully. Of these, he says, Metrodorus was one; this type of man is also excellent, but belongs to the second grade. We ourselves are not of that first class, either; we shall be well treated if we are admitted into the second. Nor need you despise a man who can gain salvation only with the assistance of another; the will to be saved means a great deal, too.


nanYou will find still another class of man, – and a class not to be despised, – who can be forced and driven into righteousness, who do not need a guide as much as they require someone to encourage and, as it were, to force them along. This is the third variety. If you ask me for a man of this pattern also, Epicurus tells us that Hermarchus was such. And of the two last-named classes, he is more ready to congratulate the one, but he feels more respect for the other; for although both reached the same goal, it is a greater credit to have brought about the same result with the more difficult material upon which to work.


nanYou will find still another class of man, – and a class not to be despised, – who can be forced and driven into righteousness, who do not need a guide as much as they require someone to encourage and, as it were, to force them along. This is the third variety. If you ask me for a man of this pattern also, Epicurus tells us that Hermarchus was such. And of the two last-named classes, he is more ready to congratulate the one,[2] but he feels more respect for the other; for although both reached the same goal, it is a greater credit to have brought about the same result with the more difficult material upon which to work.


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

7 results
1. Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, 4.27, 4.32 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

4.27. offensionum autem definitiones sunt eius modi, eiusdem modi G 1 ut inhospitalitas inhospitalis K 1 RH sit opinio vehemens valde fugiendum esse hospitem, eaque inhaerens et penitus insita; similiterque definitur et mulierum odium, ut Hippolyti, hippoliti GH hyppoliti V et, ut Timonis, generis humani. Atque ut ad valetudinis similitudinem veniamus veniamus s ( cf. utamur) veniam X eaque conlatione consolatione V utamur aliquando, sed parcius quam solent Stoici: ut sunt alii ad alios morbos procliviores St. fr. 3, 423 —itaque dicimus gravidinosos gravidinosos W Non. ( 115, 16 etiam in lemmate ) ut Plin. 18, 139 codd. praeter d cf. Catull. 44, 13 Lucil. 820 (gravedo Marx ) gravedinosos edd. alt. quosdam om. W Non. add. Beroaldus quosdam, quosdam torminosos, itaque ... 9 torminosos Non. 32, 13 et 115, 16 terminosos KRH ( Non. L 1 priore loco ) non quia iam sint, sed quia saepe sint—, sic saepe sint, sic Gr. Lb. saepe sint X saepe, sic Man. ( de iterato sint cf. Sey. ad Lael. 43 ) alii ad metum, alii ad aliam perturbationem; ex quo non quia ia in r. V 2 sed... 11 quo om. K 1 add. c in aliis anxietas, unde anxii, in aliis iracundia dicitur. quae ab ira differt, estque aliud aliud ex illud V rec iracundum esse, aliud iratum, ut differt anxietas ab angore (neque enim omnes anxii, qui anguntur aliquando, nec, nec s haec X qui anxii, semper anguntur), ut nec ... 15 ut om. Non. inter ebrietatem et ebriositatem et ebriositatem om. W Non. L 1 hab. Nonii codd. rell. interest, aliudque que om. G 1 Non. est amatorem esse, aliud amantem. aliud... 17 amantem Non. 444, 1 atque haec aliorum ad alios morbos proclivitas late patet; nam pertinet ad omnes perturbationes; 4.32. inter acutos autem et inter hebetes hebetes non item est K 1 ( corr. 1 etc ) interest, quod ingeniosi, ut aes Corinthium in aeruginem, aerugine GRV sic illi in morbum et incidunt tardius et recreantur ocius, hebetes non item. nec vero in omnem morbum ac perturbationem animus ingeniosi cadit; †non enim non enim in ulla Bentl. sunt enim multa Mdv. non enim ad omnia vitia aeque propensa est natura humana: sunt enim multa fere desiderat Po. ( cf. p. 402, 8 ) multa ecferata eff. KV c? et immania; quaedam autem humanitatis quoque habent primam speciem, ut misericordia aegritudo metus. Aegrotationes autem morbique animorum St. fr. 3, 430 difficilius evelli posse putantur quam summa illa vitia, quae virtutibus sunt contraria. morbis enim manentibus vitia sublata esse non possunt, quia del. Lb. quia] qui Dav. non tam celeriter satur quam illa tolluntur. sed ut. .. 377, 12 tolluntur ( sine 377, 1 inter 377, 6 immania) H
2. Lucretius Carus, On The Nature of Things, 1.136-1.145 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3. Epictetus, Discourses, 1.22.18 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

4. Seneca The Younger, De Beneficiis, 5.25.5 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

5. Seneca The Younger, Letters, 25.1-25.3, 52.2, 52.4, 71.30, 71.34-71.37, 94.50-94.52, 95.36-95.37 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6. Lactantius, Divine Institutes, 5.2 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

5.2. Therefore, because there have been wanting among us suitable and skilful teachers, who might vigorously and sharply refute public errors, and who might defend the whole cause of truth with elegance and copiousness, this very want incited some to venture to write against the truth, which was unknown to them. I pass by those who in former times in vain assailed it. When I was teaching rhetorical learning in Bithynia, having been called there, and it had happened that at the same time the temple of God was overthrown, there were living at the same place two men who insulted the truth as it lay prostrate and overthrown, I know not whether with greater arrogance or harshness: the one of whom professed himself the high priest of philosophy; but he was so addicted to vice, that, though a teacher of abstinence, he was not less inflamed with avarice than with lusts; so extravagant in his manner of living, that though in his school he was the maintainer of virtue, the praiser of parsimony and poverty, he dined less sumptuously in a palace than at his own house. Nevertheless he sheltered his vices by his hair and his cloak, and (that which is the greatest screen ) by his riches; and that he might increase these, he used to penetrate with wonderful effort to the friendships of the judges; and he suddenly attached them to himself by the authority of a fictitious name, not only that he might make a traffic of their decisions, but also that he might by this influence hinder his neighbours, whom he was driving from their homes and lands, from the recovery of their property. This man, in truth, who overthrew his own arguments by his character, or censured his own character by his arguments, a weighty censor and most keen accuser against himself, at the very same time in which a righteous people were impiously assailed, vomited forth three books against the Christian religion and name; professing, above all things, that it was the office of a philosopher to remedy the errors of men, and to recall them to the true way, that is, to the worship of the gods, by whose power and majesty, as he said, the world is governed; and not to permit that inexperienced men should be enticed by the frauds of any, lest their simplicity should be a prey and sustece to crafty men. Therefore he said that he had undertaken this office, worthy of philosophy, that he might hold out to those who do not see the light of wisdom, not only that they may return to a healthy state of mind, having undertaken the worship of the gods, but also that, having laid aside their pertinacious obstinacy, they may avoid tortures of the body, nor wish in vain to endure cruel lacerations of their limbs. But that it might be evident on what account he had laboriously worked out that task, he broke out profusely into praises of the princes, whose piety and foresight, as he himself indeed said, had been distinguished both in other matters, and especially in defending the religious rites of the gods; that he had, in short, consulted the interests of men, in order that, impious and foolish superstition having been restrained, all men might have leisure for lawful sacred rites, and might experience the gods propitious to them. But when he wished to weaken the grounds of that religion against which he was pleading, he appeared senseless, vain, and ridiculous; because that weighty adviser of the advantage of others was ignorant not only what to oppose, but even what to speak. For if any of our religion were present, although they were silent on account of the time, nevertheless in their mind they derided him; since they saw a man professing that he would enlighten others, when he himself was blind; that he would recall others from error, when he himself was ignorant where to plant his feet; that he would instruct others to the truth, of which he himself had never seen even a spark at any time; inasmuch as he who was a professor of wisdom, endeavoured to overthrow wisdom. All, however, censured this, that he undertook this work at that time in particular, in which odious cruelty raged. O philosopher, a flatterer, and a time-server! But this man was despised, as his vanity deserved; for he did not gain the popularity which he hoped for, and the glory which he eagerly sought for was changed into censure and blame. Another wrote the same subject with more bitterness, who was then of the number of the judges, and who was especially the adviser of enacting persecution; and not contented with this crime, he also pursued with writings those whom he had persecuted. For he composed two books, not against the Christians, lest he might appear to assail them in a hostile manner but to the Christians, that he might be thought to consult for them with humanity and kindness. And in these writings he endeavoured so to prove the falsehood of sacred Scripture, as though it were altogether contradictory to itself; for he expounded some chapters which seemed to be at variance with themselves, enumerating so many and such secret things, that he sometimes appears to have been one of the same sect. But if this was so, what Demosthenes will be able to defend from the charge of impiety him who became the betrayer of the religion to which he had given his assent, and of the faith the name of which he had assumed, and of the mystery which he had received, unless it happened by chance that the sacred writings fell into his hands? What rashness was it, therefore, to dare to destroy that which no one explained to him! It was well that he either learned nothing or understood nothing. For contradiction is as far removed from the sacred writings as he was removed from faith and truth. He chiefly, however, assailed Paul and Peter, and the other disciples, as disseminators of deceit, whom at the same time he testified to have been unskilled and unlearned. For he says that some of them made gain by the craft of fishermen, as though he took it ill that some Aristophanes or Aristarchus did not devise that subject.
7. Olympiodorus The Younger of Alexandria, In Platonis Gorgiam Commentaria, 41.3 (6th cent. CE - 6th cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
anger, as weakness Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232
anger Liatsi, Ethics in Ancient Greek Literature: Aspects of Ethical Reasoning from Homer to Aristotle and Beyond (2021) 195
anger / irascibility, empty Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 76
arrogance Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 12
atomism Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 12
augustine Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 271
chance (τύχη) Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 12
coercion Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 271
conversion Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 271; Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 714
diogenes of oenoanda Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 14
disease, of soul Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232
disposition (διάθεσις) Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 12, 14
emotion Liatsi, Ethics in Ancient Greek Literature: Aspects of Ethical Reasoning from Homer to Aristotle and Beyond (2021) 195
epictetus Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 714
epicureanism, classification Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232
epicureanism, community Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232, 714
epicureanism, education Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232
epicureanism, pastoral care Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 714
epicureanism, students, classes of Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232
epicureans Liatsi, Ethics in Ancient Greek Literature: Aspects of Ethical Reasoning from Homer to Aristotle and Beyond (2021) 195
epicurus, pastoral care Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 714
epicurus Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232, 714
frankness Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232
friends/friendship, instrumentality of Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 76
friends/friendship Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 76
friendship Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232
gentleness Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232
golden age Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 14
gratitude Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 14
hadot, pierre Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 271
human condition Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232
irascibility Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 12
kindness Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232
leisure Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 12
literacy Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 14
lucretius Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 76
marriage Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 12
memmius Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 76
metaphor Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232
moral progress Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 76
nausiphanes Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 14
neokles Liatsi, Ethics in Ancient Greek Literature: Aspects of Ethical Reasoning from Homer to Aristotle and Beyond (2021) 195
odysseus Liatsi, Ethics in Ancient Greek Literature: Aspects of Ethical Reasoning from Homer to Aristotle and Beyond (2021) 195
olympiodorus Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 271
pain Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 76
paraenesis, among stoics Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232
paraenesis Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232
pastoral care Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 714
persuasion Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 271
philodemus Liatsi, Ethics in Ancient Greek Literature: Aspects of Ethical Reasoning from Homer to Aristotle and Beyond (2021) 195; Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232, 714
philosopher Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 714
philosophy, classical' Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 271
philosophy Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 714
pleasure Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232
politics Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 12
progress Liatsi, Ethics in Ancient Greek Literature: Aspects of Ethical Reasoning from Homer to Aristotle and Beyond (2021) 195
prokopton Liatsi, Ethics in Ancient Greek Literature: Aspects of Ethical Reasoning from Homer to Aristotle and Beyond (2021) 195
psychotherapy Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 714
rational calculus Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 76
sagehood Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 12, 14
seelenheilung Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 76
seneca Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 271; Liatsi, Ethics in Ancient Greek Literature: Aspects of Ethical Reasoning from Homer to Aristotle and Beyond (2021) 195; Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232, 714
sextus empiricus Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 14
sober reasoning Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 12
stoicism Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232, 714
students Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 76
sympathy (συμπάθεια) Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 76
teachers/teaching Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 14, 76
telemachus Liatsi, Ethics in Ancient Greek Literature: Aspects of Ethical Reasoning from Homer to Aristotle and Beyond (2021) 195
telemachy Liatsi, Ethics in Ancient Greek Literature: Aspects of Ethical Reasoning from Homer to Aristotle and Beyond (2021) 195
therapy Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232
tranquility (ἀταραξία) Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 12
unnoticed life Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 12
vice Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232; Nijs, The Epicurean Sage in the Ethics of Philodemus (2023) 12
virtue Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232
weakness Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232
weapon Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 232
zeno of sidon Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 714