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

What then? Shall I not follow in the footsteps of my predecessors? I shall indeed use the old road, but if I find one that makes a shorter cut and is smoother to travel, I shall open the new road. Men who have made these discoveries before us are not our masters, but our guides. Truth lies open for all; it has not yet been monopolized. And there is plenty of it left even for posterity to discover.

What madness is it for a man to starve himself to enrich his heir, and so turn a friend into an enemy! For his joy at your death will be proportioned to what you leave him.

What was hard to suffer is sweet to remember.

What man can you show me who places any value on his time, who reckons the worth of each day, who understand that he is dying daily? For we are mistaken when we look forward to death; the major portion of death has already passed. Whatever years lie behind us are in death?s hands.

What were once vices are the fashion of the day.

What must be shall be; and that which is a necessity to him that struggles, is little more than choice to him that is willing.

What were vices have become the fashion of the day.

What narrow innocence it is for one to be good only according to the law.

What you do for an ungrateful man is thrown away.

What nature requires is obtainable, and within easy reach. It is for the superfluous we sweat.

What, then, is it which makes us lazy and sluggish? None of us reflects that someday he must depart from this house of life; just so old tenants are kept from moving by fondness for a particular place and by custom, even in spite of ill-treatment. Would you be free from the restraint of your body? Live in it as if you were about to leave it. Keep thinking of the fact that some day you will be deprived of this tenure; then you will be more brave against the necessity of departing. But how will a man take thought of his own end, if he craves all things without end? And yet there is nothing so essential for us to consider. For our training in other things is perhaps superfluous. Our souls have been made ready to meet poverty; but our riches have held out. We have armed ourselves to scorn pain; but we have had the good fortune to possess sound and healthy bodies, and so have never been forced to put this virtue to the test. We have taught ourselves to endure bravely the loss of those we love; but Fortune has preserved to us all whom we loved. It is in this one matter only that the day will come which will require us to test our training.

What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.

Whatever begins, also ends.

What new thing then is it for a man to die, whose whole life is nothing else but a journey to death?

Whatever can happen at any time can happen today.

What once were vices are manners now.

What once were vices, are now the manners of the day.

What others think of us would be of little moment did it not, when known, so deeply tinge what we think of ourselves.

We sought therefore to amend our will, and not to suffer it through despite to languish long time in error.

We Stoics are not subjects of a despot: each of us lays claim to his own freedom.

We suffer more in imagination than in reality.

Wealth is the slave of the wise man and master of the fool.

Well then, shall we act like other men? Shall there be no distinction between ourselves and the world? Yes, a very great one; let men find that we are unlike the common herd, if they look closely.

What a great blessing is a friend with a heart so trusty you may safely bury all your secrets in it.

What a vile and abject thing is man if he do not raise himself above humanity.

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

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