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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10243
Seneca The Younger, Letters, 92.11-92.13


nanWhat, then," comes the retort, "if good health, rest, and freedom from pain are not likely to hinder virtue, shall you not seek all these?" Of course I shall seek them, but not because they are goods, – I shall seek them because they are according to nature and because they will be acquired through the exercise of good judgment on my part. What, then, will be good in them? This alone, – that it is a good thing to choose them. For when I don suitable attire, or walk as I should, or dine as I ought to dine, it is not my dinner, or my walk, or my dress that are goods, but the deliberate choice which I show in regard to them, as I observe, in each thing I do, a mean that conforms with reason.


nanLet me also add that the choice of neat clothing is a fitting object of a man's efforts; for man is by nature a neat and well-groomed animal. Hence the choice of neat attire, and not neat attire in itself, is a good; since the good is not in the thing selected, but in the quality of the selection. Our actions are honourable, but not the actual things which we do.


nanAnd you may assume that what I have said about dress applies also to the body. For nature has surrounded our soul with the body as with a sort of garment; the body is its cloak. But who has ever reckoned the value of clothes by the wardrobe which contained them? The scabbard does not make the sword good or bad. Therefore, with regard to the body I shall return the same answer to you, – that, if I have the choice, I shall choose health and strength, but that the good involved will be my judgment regarding these things, and not the things themselves.


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

8 results
1. Cicero, On The Ends of Good And Evil, 3.23-3.25 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3.23. Cum autem omnia officia a principiis naturae proficiscantur, ab isdem necesse est proficisci ipsam sapientiam. sed quem ad modum saepe fit, ut is, qui commendatus alicui pluris eum faciat cui commendatus sit om. BEN 1 sit alicui, pluris eum faciat, cui commendatus sit, quam illum, a quo, sic sic sit BR minime mirum est primo nos sapientiae commendari ab initiis naturae, post autem ipsam ipsam autem BE sapientiam nobis cariorem fieri, quam illa sint, a quibus ad hanc venerimus. atque ut membra nobis ita data sunt, ut ad quandam rationem vivendi data esse appareant, sic appetitio animi, quae o(rmh/ Graece vocatur, non ad quodvis genus vitae, sed ad quandam formam vivendi videtur data, itemque et ratio et perfecta ratio. 3.24. ut enim histrioni actio, saltatori motus non quivis, sed certus quidam est datus, sic vita agenda est certo genere quodam, non quolibet; quod genus conveniens consentaneumque dicimus. nec enim gubernationi aut medicinae similem sapientiam esse arbitramur, sed actioni illi potius, quam modo dixi, et saltationi, ut ut arte N arte ut V in ipsa insit, insit ut sit N 1 ut insit N 2 non foris petatur extremum, id est artis effectio. et tamen est etiam aliqua aliqua Brem. alia (est alia etiam N) cum his ipsis artibus sapientiae dissimilitudo, propterea quod in illis quae recte facta sunt non continent tamen omnes partes, e quibus constant; quae autem nos aut recta aut recte facta dicamus, si placet, illi autem appellant katorqw/mata, omnes numeros virtutis continent. sola enim sapientia in se tota conversa est, quod idem in ceteris artibus non fit. 3.25. Inscite autem medicinae et gubernationis ultimum cum ultimo sapientiae comparatur. sapientia enim et animi magnitudinem complectitur et iustitiam, et ut omnia, quae homini accidant, accidunt BE infra se esse iudicet, quod idem ceteris artibus non contingit. contigit A tenere autem virtutes eas ipsas, quarum modo feci mentionem, nemo poterit, nisi statuerit nihil esse, quod intersit aut differat aliud ab alio, praeter praeter nisi BE honesta et turpia. 3.23.  "Again, as all 'appropriate acts' are based on the primary impulses of nature, it follows that Wisdom itself is based on them also. But as it often happens that a man who is introduced to another values this new friend more highly than he does the person who gave him the introduction, so in like manner it is by no means surprising that though we are first commended to Wisdom by the primary natural instincts, afterwards Wisdom itself becomes dearer to us than are the instincts from which we came to her. And just as our limbs are so fashioned that it is clear that they were bestowed upon us with a view to a certain mode of life, so our faculty of appetition, in Greek hormē, was obviously designed not for any kind of life one may choose, but for a particular mode of living; and the same is true of Reason and of perfected Reason. 3.24.  For just as an actor or dancer has assigned to him not any but a certain particular part or dance, so life has to be conducted in a certain fixed way, and not in any way we like. This fixed way we speak of as 'conformable' and suitable. In fact we do not consider Wisdom to be like seamanship or medicine, but rather like the arts of acting and of dancing just mentioned; its End, being the actual exercise of the art, is contained within the art itself, and is not something extraneous to it. At the same time there is also another point which marks a dissimilarity between Wisdom and these arts as well. In the latter a movement perfectly executed nevertheless does not involve all the various motions which together constitute the subject matter of the art; whereas in the sphere of conduct, what we may call, if you approve, 'right actions,' or 'rightly performed actions,' in Stoic phraseology katorthōmata, contain all the factors of virtue. For Wisdom alone is entirely self-contained, which is not the case with the other arts. 3.25.  It is erroneous, however, to place the End of medicine or of navigation exactly on a par with the End of Wisdom. For Wisdom includes also magimity and justice and a sense of superiority to all the accidents of man's estate, but this is not the case with the other arts. Again, even the very virtues I have just mentioned cannot be attained by anyone unless he has realized that all things are indifferent and indistinguishable except moral worth and baseness.
2. Cicero, On Duties, 1.59 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.59. Sed in his omnibus officiis tribuendis videndum erit, quid cuique maxime necesse sit, et quid quisque vel sine nobis aut possit consequi aut non possit. Ita non iidem erunt necessitudinum gradus, qui temporum; suntque officia, quae aliis magis quam aliis debeantur; ut vicinum citius adiuveris in fructibus percipiendis quam aut fratrem aut familiarem, at, si lis in iudicio sit, propinquum potius et amicum quam vicinum defenderis. Haec igitur et talia circumspicienda sunt in omni officio et consuetudo exercitatioque capienda, ut boni ratiocinatores officiorum esse possimus et addendo deducendoque videre, quae reliqui summa fiat, ex quo, quantum cuique debeatur, intellegas. 1.59.  But in the performance of all these duties we shall have to consider what is most needful in each individual case and what each individual person can or cannot procure without our help. In this way we shall find that the claims of social relationship, in its various degrees, are not identical with the dictates of circumstances; for there are obligations that are due to one individual rather than to another: for example, one would sooner assist a neighbour in gathering his harvest than either a brother or a friend; but should it be a case in court, one would defend a kinsman and a friend rather than a neighbour. Such questions as these must, therefore, be taken into consideration in every act of moral duty [and we must acquire the habit and keep it up], in order to become good calculators of duty, able by adding and subtracting to strike a balance correctly and find out just how much is due to each individual.
3. Lucretius Carus, On The Nature of Things, 2.16-2.19 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

4. Nicocles, Fragments, 41, 40 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5. Epictetus, Discourses, 1.10.7-1.10.8, 1.10.10, 1.12.12-1.12.16, 1.16.15-1.16.21, 1.17.13-1.17.18, 1.21.2, 1.27.7, 1.27.9-1.27.10, 1.27.19, 1.28.28-1.28.33, 1.29.7-1.29.8, 1.29.29, 3.22.1-3.22.10, 3.22.13-3.22.20, 3.22.23, 3.22.25, 3.22.27-3.22.44, 3.22.47-3.22.51, 3.22.53-3.22.64, 3.22.67-3.22.85, 3.22.91, 3.22.93-3.22.97, 3.22.99-3.22.107 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

6. New Testament, 1 Corinthians, 13 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

7. Seneca The Younger, Letters, 92.12-92.13 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

8. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 7.123 (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.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
agamemnon, negative example Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 298
aponia Clarke, King, Baltussen, Pain Narratives in Greco-Roman Writings: Studies in the Representation of Physical and Mental Suffering (2023) 101
chrysippus Clarke, King, Baltussen, Pain Narratives in Greco-Roman Writings: Studies in the Representation of Physical and Mental Suffering (2023) 101; Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 45
cleanthes, as author of the hymn Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 66
cosmopolitanism Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 66
cynic preacher, messenger of god Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 298
cynic preacher Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 298
dolor Clarke, King, Baltussen, Pain Narratives in Greco-Roman Writings: Studies in the Representation of Physical and Mental Suffering (2023) 101, 104
epictetus, ethical paradigm Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 298
epictetus, self as example Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 298
exempla, teacher as model Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 298
freedom (eleutheria) Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 66
good, right actions (kathorthōmata) Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 45
good (agathos) Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 45, 51
instinctive Clarke, King, Baltussen, Pain Narratives in Greco-Roman Writings: Studies in the Representation of Physical and Mental Suffering (2023) 104
law of nature/natural law, stoic politics Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 66
law of nature/natural law Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 45
marcus aurelius generally Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 51
menemachus Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 298
moralists Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 298
myron, negative example Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 298
necessity/require (anagkē, anagkazō) Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 66
ophellius, negative example Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 298
personae (in ciceros de officiis) Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 51
personal example, plutarch Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 298
philosophy Clarke, King, Baltussen, Pain Narratives in Greco-Roman Writings: Studies in the Representation of Physical and Mental Suffering (2023) 104
physiology Clarke, King, Baltussen, Pain Narratives in Greco-Roman Writings: Studies in the Representation of Physical and Mental Suffering (2023) 101
plutarch, self as example Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 298
preferreds (proēgmena) Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 51
seneca, self as example Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 298
seneca generally Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 51
slavery Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 66
socrates Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 66
thought, imitative model Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 298
value (axia) Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 51, 66
virtue' Clarke, King, Baltussen, Pain Narratives in Greco-Roman Writings: Studies in the Representation of Physical and Mental Suffering (2023) 104
zeno Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 51
zeus Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 66