More specifically concerning: stoicism
23 March 2009, around 19.47.
The journey from the capital to the southern cities has an allegorical feel, especially when leaving through the equinoctial twilight. We speed along the straightaways through the floodplains beneath the summits of unattainability, then slow to twist and turn through the vale of woe, night and snow falling hard through the trees. We rise through […]
15 December 2014, around 9.25.
Although he never lose his heart exclusively to one philosophical sect and was also an eclectic, Horace’s sharply critical mind, with a subtle sense of humor on the surface and a tempered pessimism deeper down, was far more inclined towards the doctrines of Aristippus, Epicurus and Lucretius than towards the Stoa which he often mentions […]
23 January 2015, around 19.30.
Roman fresco after Timanthes A passion which may be relished and digested is but a poor thing. Montaigne on sadness appears to be about excess of emotion rather than sadness as such – are the effects of emotion cumulative, is the inexpressible emotion stronger than that which may be vented with tears or sighs? It […]
20 February 2015, around 9.40.
The dangers of conferring with the ‘enemy’ – both if one goes on one’s own or with one’s cohorts: dangers on all sides.1 Circumstances create their own consequence, and lead naturally to a certain course of action; the refrain from that action becomes difficult (specifically to do with the difficulty in restraining a conquering army […]
17 April 2015, around 21.29.
I live from day to day, and am content with having sufficient for present and ordinary needs; for the extraordinary all the provision in the world will not suffice. And it is madness to expect that Fortune could ever sufficiently arm us against herself. With our own arms must we fight her. —Montaigne (Essays, ‘That […]
7 August 2015, around 6.34.
vos conturbemini. For to him whom fasting would make more healthful and more sprightly, and to him to whose palate fish were more acceptable than flesh, the prescription of these would have no curative effect; no more than in the other sort of physic, where drugs have no effect upon him who swallows them with […]
28 August 2015, around 20.15.
I had never seen it either enjoined or practised, until that passage of Seneca fell into my hands, where, counselling Lucilius, a powerful personage and of great authority with the Emperor, to give up his life of pleasure and ostentation, and retire from worldly ambitions to a life of solitude and philosophic repose, to which […]
9 October 2015, around 5.33.
anachronism ‘Thales Milesius’ by Jacques de Gheyn (1616) A man must give to thriving husbandrie, to laborious study, to toilesome hunting, and to every other exercise, the utmost bounds of pleasure; and beware he engage himselfe no further, if once paine begin to intermeddle it selfe with her; we should reserve businesse and negotiations only […]
13 January 2017, around 17.22.
Montaigne, on gathering moss.
5 February 2021, around 15.06.
The other morning I happened to finish reading a relatively recent translation of The Encheiridion by Epictetus (well, via Arrian), which is a text I almost always find to be a tonic (if not taken in excess). In addition to soothing my temper, though, the present reading also left me somewhat unsettled, not with the […]
14 March 2022, around 7.24.
Τὰ μὲν σπεύδει γίνεσθαι, τὰ δὲ σπεύδει γεγονέναι, καὶ τοῦ γινομένου δὲ ἤδη τι ἀπέσβη: ῥύσεις καὶ ἀλλοιώσεις ἀνανεοῦσι τὸν κόσμον διηνεκῶς, ὥσπερ τὸν ἄπειρον αἰῶνα ἡ τοῦ χρόνου ἀδιάλειπτος φορὰ νέον ἀεὶ παρέχεται. ἐν δὴ τούτῳ τῷ ποταμῷ τί ἄν τις τούτων τῶν παραθεόντων ἐκτιμήσειεν, ἐφ’ οὗ στῆναι οὐκ ἔξεστιν; ὥσπερ εἴ τίς τι […]
18 November 2022, around 7.10.
returning to the arcade.
26 December 2022, around 14.55.
Id quoque, quod tenetur, per manus exit et ipsam, quam premimus, horam casus incidit, volvitur tempus rata quidem lege, sed per obscurum; quid autem ad me, an naturae certum sit quod mihi incertum est? —Seneca (Epistulae Morales, 101.5)1 In the past, I haven’t been particularly strong on reading rules and systems for my yearly reading; […]
15 January 2023, around 4.56.
αὕτη οὖν ἀρχὴ τοῦ φιλοσοφεῖν, αἴσθησις τοῦ ἰδίου ἡγεμονικοῦ πῶς ἔχει: μετὰ γὰρ τὸ γνῶναι ὅτι ἀσθενῶς οὐκ ἔτι θελήσει χρῆσθαι αὐτῷ πρὸς τὰ μεγάλα. νῦν δὲ μὴ δυνάμενοί τινες τὸν ψωμὸν καταπίνειν σύνταξιν ἀγοράσαντες ἐπιβάλλονται ἐσθίειν. διὰ τοῦτο ἐμοῦσιν ἢ ἀπεπτοῦσιν: εἶτα στρόφοι καὶ κατάρροιαι καὶ πυρετοί. ἔδει δ᾽ ἐφιστάνειν, εἰ δύνανται. ἀλλ᾽ ἐν […]