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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10243
Seneca The Younger, Letters, 71.27-71.28


nanI do not withdraw the wise man from the category of man, nor do I deny to him the sense of pain as though he were a rock that has no feelings at all. I remember that he is made up of two parts: the one part is irrational, – it is this that may be bitten, burned, or hurt; the other part is rational, – it is this which holds resolutely to opinions, is courageous, and unconquerable. In the latter is situated man's Supreme Good. Before this is completely attained, the mind wavers in uncertainty; only when it is fully achieved is the mind fixed and steady.


nanI do not withdraw the wise man from the category of man, nor do I deny to him the sense of pain as though he were a rock that has no feelings at all. I remember that he is made up of two parts: the one part is irrational, – it is this that may be bitten, burned, or hurt; the other part is rational, – it is this which holds resolutely to opinions, is courageous, and unconquerable.[16] In the latter is situated man's Supreme Good. Before this is completely attained, the mind wavers in uncertainty; only when it is fully achieved is the mind fixed and steady.


nanAnd so when one has just begun, or is on one's way to the heights and is cultivating virtue, or even if one is drawing near the perfect good but has not yet put the finishing touch upon it, one will retrograde at times and there will be a certain slackening of mental effort. For such a man has not yet traversed the doubtful ground; he is still standing in slippery places. But the happy man, whose virtue is complete, loves himself most of all when his bravery has been submitted to the severest test, and when he not only, endures but welcomes that which all other men regard with fear, if it is the price which he must pay for the performance of a duty which honour imposes, and he greatly prefers to have men say of him: "how much more noble!" rather than "how much more lucky!


nanAnd so when one has just begun, or is on one's way to the heights and is cultivating virtue, or even if one is drawing near the perfect good but has not yet put the finishing touch upon it, one will retrograde at times and there will be a certain slackening of mental effort. For such a man has not yet traversed the doubtful ground; he is still standing in slippery places. But the happy man, whose virtue is complete, loves himself most of all when his bravery has been submitted to the severest test, and when he not only, endures but welcomes that which all other men regard with fear, if it is the price which he must pay for the performance of a duty which honour imposes, and he greatly prefers to have men say of him: "how much more noble!" rather than "how much more lucky!"[17]


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

7 results
1. Cicero, On The Ends of Good And Evil, 3.71, 3.75 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3.71. Ius autem, quod ita dici appellarique possit, id esse natura, natura P. Man., Lamb. naturam alienumque alienumque V et ( corr. priore u ab alt. m. ) N alienamque esse a sapiente non modo iniuriam cui facere, verum etiam nocere. nec vero rectum est cum amicis aut bene meritis consociare sociare BE aut coniungere iniuriam, gravissimeque et gravissime et BE verissime defenditur numquam aequitatem ab utilitate posse seiungi, et quicquid aequum iustumque esset, id etiam honestum vicissimque, quicquid esset honestum, id iustum etiam atque aequum fore. 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; 3.71.  Right moreover, properly so styled and entitled, exists (they aver) by nature; and it is foreign to the nature of the Wise Man not only to wrong but even to hurt anyone. Nor again is it righteous to enter into a partnership in wrongdoing with one's friends or benefactors; and it is most truly and cogently maintained that honesty is always the best policy, and that whatever is fair and just is also honourable, and conversely whatever is honourable will also be just and fair. 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.
2. Cicero, On Duties, 3.15 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3.15. Cum autem aliquid actum est, in quo media officia compareant, id cumulate videtur esse perfectum, propterea quod volgus quid absit a perfecto, non fere intellegit; quatenus autem intellegit, nihil putat praetermissum; quod idem in poematis, in picturis usu venit in aliisque compluribus, ut delectentur imperiti laudentque ea, quae laudanda non sint, ob eam, credo, causam, quod insit in iis aliquid probi, quod capiat ignaros, qui quidem, quid in una quaque re vitii sit, nequeant iudicare; itaque, cum sunt docti a peritis, desistunt facile sententia. Haec igitur officia, de quibus his libris disserimus, quasi secunda quaedam honesta esse dicunt, non sapientium modo propria, sed cum omni hominum genere communia. 3.15.  On the other hand, when some act is performed in which we see "mean" duties manifested, that is generally regarded as fully perfect, for the reason that the common crowd does not, as a rule, comprehend how far it falls short of real perfection; but, as far as their comprehension does go, they think there is no deficiency. This same thing ordinarily occurs in the estimation of poems, paintings, and a great many other works of art: ordinary people enjoy and praise things that do not deserve praise. The reason for this, I suppose, is that those productions have some point of excellence which catches the fancy of the uneducated, because these have not the ability to discover the points of weakness in any particular piece of work before them. And so, when they are instructed by experts, they readily abandon their former opinion. The performance of the duties, then, which I am discussing in these books, is called by the Stoics a sort of second-grade moral goodness, not the peculiar property of their wise men, but shared by them with all mankind.
3. Epictetus, Discourses, 4.1 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

4. Seneca The Younger, On Anger, 2.1.1 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

5. Seneca The Younger, Letters, 4.1-4.2, 5.1, 6.1, 9.8-9.9, 9.12-9.14, 9.16-9.17, 59.14-59.17, 70.4-70.6, 71.26, 71.28, 73.13-73.15, 83.27, 113.18 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6. Galen, On The Doctrines of Hippocrates And Plato, 5.5.22-5.5.24, 5.5.30-5.5.35, 5.6.19-5.6.20 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

7. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 7.119, 7.121-7.122, 7.125, 7.127 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

7.119. They are also, it is declared, godlike; for they have a something divine within them; whereas the bad man is godless. And yet of this word – godless or ungodly – there are two senses, one in which it is the opposite of the term godly, the other denoting the man who ignores the divine altogether: in this latter sense, as they note, the term does not apply to every bad man. The good, it is added, are also worshippers of God; for they have acquaintance with the rites of the gods, and piety is the knowledge of how to serve the gods. Further, they will sacrifice to the gods and they keep themselves pure; for they avoid all acts that are offences against the gods, and the gods think highly of them: for they are holy and just in what concerns the gods. The wise too are the only priests; for they have made sacrifices their study, as also establishing holy places, purifications, and all the other matters appertaining to the gods. 7.121. But Heraclides of Tarsus, who was the disciple of Antipater of Tarsus, and Athenodorus both assert that sins are not equal.Again, the Stoics say that the wise man will take part in politics, if nothing hinders him – so, for instance, Chrysippus in the first book of his work On Various Types of Life – since thus he will restrain vice and promote virtue. Also (they maintain) he will marry, as Zeno says in his Republic, and beget children. Moreover, they say that the wise man will never form mere opinions, that is to say, he will never give assent to anything that is false; that he will also play the Cynic, Cynicism being a short cut to virtue, as Apollodorus calls it in his Ethics; that he will even turn cannibal under stress of circumstances. They declare that he alone is free and bad men are slaves, freedom being power of independent action, whereas slavery is privation of the same; 7.122. though indeed there is also a second form of slavery consisting in subordination, and a third which implies possession of the slave as well as his subordination; the correlative of such servitude being lordship; and this too is evil. Moreover, according to them not only are the wise free, they are also kings; kingship being irresponsible rule, which none but the wise can maintain: so Chrysippus in his treatise vindicating Zeno's use of terminology. For he holds that knowledge of good and evil is a necessary attribute of the ruler, and that no bad man is acquainted with this science. Similarly the wise and good alone are fit to be magistrates, judges, or orators, whereas among the bad there is not one so qualified. 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. 7.127. It is a tenet of theirs that between virtue and vice there is nothing intermediate, whereas according to the Peripatetics there is, namely, the state of moral improvement. For, say the Stoics, just as a stick must be either straight or crooked, so a man must be either just or unjust. Nor again are there degrees of justice and injustice; and the same rule applies to the other virtues. Further, while Chrysippus holds that virtue can be lost, Cleanthes maintains that it cannot. According to the former it may be lost in consequence of drunkenness or melancholy; the latter takes it to be inalienable owing to the certainty of our mental apprehension. And virtue in itself they hold to be worthy of choice for its own sake. At all events we are ashamed of bad conduct as if we knew that nothing is really good but the morally beautiful. Moreover, they hold that it is in itself sufficient to ensure well-being: thus Zeno, and Chrysippus in the first book of his treatise On Virtues, and Hecato in the second book of his treatise On Goods:


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
bites, sharp, little contractions caused by appearance of evil Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 119
body, contribution of body to emotion and its therapy Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 119
cicero, and law of nature Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 24
cicero Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 372
cooper, john Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 119
death Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 372
emotions, per contra, aristotle, galen, emotions cannot be understood without physical basis Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 119
emotions, plato, posidonius, galen, without irrational forces in the soul Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 119
epictetus Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 372
ethics, of stoicism Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 372
galen, platonizing ecletic doctor, praises plato and posidonius Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 119
honourableness Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 372
identity Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 372
law of nature, and wise man Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 24
mosaic law, for ordinary people Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 24
normative self or identity Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 372
officium, oikeiosis Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 372
plutarch, on wise man Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 24
posidonius, stoic, emotional movements unlike seneca's first movements" Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation (2000) 119
progress, moral Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 372
reason Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 372
self-concern Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 372
seneca Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 372
stoics/stoicism, and law of nature Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 24
stoics/stoicism, and the sage Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 24
telos, temporality Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 372
wise man, and law of nature Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 24
wise man, and stoics Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 24
wise man Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 372
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) 119