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Lucius Annaeus Seneca
0004 - 0065

Roman philosopher, tutor of Nero and his principle advisor during the first five golden years of his reign. Seneca's works on Stoic philosophy and science, and his nine tragic plays, influenced learning and literature for hundreds of years after his death.


Of war men ask the outcome, not the cause.

62 A.D. - from Hercules Furens
Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men.

59 A.D. - from On Providence
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.

It is easy enough to arouse in a listener a desire for what is honorable; for in every one of us nature has laid the foundations or sown the seeds of the virtues. We are born to them all, all of us, and when a person comes along with the necessary stimulus, then those qualities of the personality are awakened, so to speak, from their slumber.

As the soil, however rich it may be, cannot be productive without cultivation, so the mind without culture can never produce good fruit.

Every reign must submit to a greater reign.

from Thyestes
People do not care how nobly they live, only how long, despite the fact that it is within everyone's reach to live nobly, but within no one's reach to live long.

c. 65 A.D. - from his Epistles
Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.

The good things which belong to prosperity are to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.

Freedom can not be bought for nothing. If you hold her precious, you must hold all else of little value.