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 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.

What is death? or as the end or transition.

What really ruins our character is the fact that none of us looks back over his life.

What is harder than rock? What is softer than water? Yet hard rocks are hollowed out by soft water?

What reason could not avoid, has often been cured by delay.

What is more insane than to vent on senseless things the anger that is felt towards men?

What should a wise person do when given a blow? Same as Cato when he was attacked; not fire up or revenge the insult., or even return the blow, but simply ignore it.

What is the most difficult to get rid of self-anger after paying him.

What then is good? The knowledge of things. What is evil? The lack of knowledge of things. Your wise man, who is also a craftsman, will reject or choose in each case as it suits the occasion; but he does not fear that which he rejects, nor does he admire that which he chooses, if only he has a stout and unconquerable soul.

What is true belongs to me!

What then? If such a spirit is possessed by abandoned and dangerous men, shall it not be possessed also by those who have trained themselves to meet such contingencies by long meditation, and by reason, the mistress of all things? It is reason which teaches us that fate has various ways of approach, but the same end, and that it makes no difference at what point the inevitable event begins. Reason, too, advises us to die, if we may, according to our taste; if this cannot be, she advises us to die according to our ability, and to seize upon whatever means shall offer itself for doing violence to ourselves. It is criminal to ?live by robbery?; but, on the other hand, it is most noble to ?die by robbery.? Farewell.

What is wisdom? Always desiring the same things, and always refusing the same things.

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 difference does it make how much is laid away in a man's safe or in his barns, how many head of stock he grazes or how much capital he puts out at interest, if he is always after what is another's and only counts what he has yet to get, never what he has already? You ask what is the proper limit to a person's wealth? First, having what is essential, and second, having what is enough.

What difference does it make, after all, what your position in life is if you dislike it yourself?

What does reason demand of a man? A very easy thing--to live in accord with his nature.

What fools these mortals be!

What fortune has made yours is not your own.

What if a man save my life with a draught that was prepared to poison me? The providence of the issue does not at all discharge the obliquity of the intent. And the same reason holds good even in religion itself. It is not the incense, or the offering that is acceptable to God, but the purity and devotion of the worshipper.

What is death but a ceasing to be what we were before? We are kindled, and put out, we die daily; nature that begot us expels us, and a better and safer place is provided for us.

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