Seneca the Younger, aka Seneca or Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Seneca the Younger, aka Seneca or Lucius Annaeus Seneca
c. 5 B.C.
65 A.D.

Roman Stoic Philosopher, Statesman, Dramatist, Humorist, Tutor and Advisor to Emperor Nero

Author Quotes

You learn to know a pilot in a storm.

You are right when you urge that we increase our mutual traffic in letters. But the greatest benefit is to be derived from conversation, because it creeps by degrees into the soul. Lectures prepared beforehand and spouted in the presence of a throng have in them more noise but less intimacy. Philosophy is good advice; and no one can give advice at the top of his lungs.

You are your choices.

You ask what is the proper limit to a person's wealth? First, having what is essential, and second, having what is enough.

You can end love more easily than you can moderate it.

You can find men who have gone so far as to profess wisdom and yet maintain that one should not offer violence to one?s own life, and hold it accursed for a man to be the means of his own destruction; we should wait, say they, for the end decreed by nature. But one who says this does not see that he is shutting off the path to freedom. The best thing which eternal law ever ordained was that it allowed to us one entrance into life, but many exits. Must I await the cruelty either of disease or of man, when I can depart through the midst of torture, and shake off my troubles? This is the one reason why we cannot complain of life; it keeps no one against his will. Humanity is well situated, because no man is unhappy except by his own fault. Live, if you so desire; if not, you may return to the place whence you came. You have often been cupped in order to relieve headaches. You have had veins cut for the purpose of reducing your weight. If you would pierce your heart, a gaping wound is not necessary ? a lancet will open the way to that great freedom, and tranquility can be purchased at the cost of a pin-prick.

Wouldst thou subject all things to thyself? Subject thyself to reason.

You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire.

Worse than war is the very fear of war.

Would you rather be poor and sated, or rich and hungry? Prosperity is not only greedy, but it also lies exposed to the greed of others. And as long as nothing satisfies you, you yourself cannot satisfy others.

Wild animals run from the dangers they actually see, and once they have escaped them worry no more. We however are tormented alike by what is past and what is to come. A number of our blessings do us harm, for memory brings back the agony of fear while foresight brings it on prematurely. No one confines his unhappiness to the present.

Wine kindles wrath.

Wisdom allows nothing to be good that will not be so forever; no man to be happy but he that needs no other happiness than what he has within himself; no man to be great or powerful that is not master of himself.

Wisdom comes to no one by chance.

Wisdom does not show itself so much in precept as in life - in firmness of mind and a mastery of appetite. It teaches us to do as well as to talk; and to make our words and actions all of a color.

Wisdom, above all else, is liberty.

With parsimony a little is sufficient; and without it nothing is sufficient; whereas frugality makes a poor man rich.

Withdraw into yourself, as far as you can. Associate with those who will make a better man of you. Welcome those whom you yourself can improve. The process is mutual; for men learn while they teach.

Without an adversary prowess shrivels. We see how great and efficient it really is only when it shows by endurance what it is capable of.

Words need to be sown like seeds. No matter how tiny a seed may be, when in lands in the right sort of ground it unfolds its strength and from being minute expands and grows to a massive size.

Why does no man confess his vices? Because he is yet in them; it is for a waking man to tell his dream.

Why is there no man who confesses his vices? It is because he has not yet laid them aside. It is a waking man only who can tell his dreams.

Why 'liberal studies' are so called is obvious: it is because they are the ones considered worthy of free men. But there is really only one liberal study that deserves the name - because it makes a person free - and that is the pursuit of wisdom.

Why not stop trying to prevent posterity being silent about you? You were born to die, and a silent funeral is less bothersome.

Why should I fear any of my mistakes, when I can say: ?See that you no longer act in this way. Now I forgive you.?

Author Picture
First Name
Seneca the Younger, aka Seneca or Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Birth Date
c. 5 B.C.
Death Date
65 A.D.
Bio

Roman Stoic Philosopher, Statesman, Dramatist, Humorist, Tutor and Advisor to Emperor Nero