Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Lucius Annaeus Seneca. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – AD 65), usually known as Seneca, was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work, satirist, from the post-Augustan age of Latin literature.
Seneca was born in Cordoba in Hispania, and raised in Rome, where he was trained in rhetoric and philosophy. His father was Seneca the Elder, his elder brother was Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus, and his nephew was the poet Lucan. In AD 41, Seneca was exiled to the island of Corsica under emperor Claudius, but was allowed to return in 49 to become a tutor to Nero. When Nero became emperor in 54, Seneca became his advisor and, together with the praetorian prefect Sextus Afranius Burrus, provided competent government for the first five years of Nero's reign. Seneca's influence over Nero declined with time, and in 65 Seneca was forced to take his own life for alleged complicity in the Pisonian conspiracy to assassinate Nero, in which he was likely to have been innocent. His stoic and calm suicide has become the subject of numerous paintings.
As a writer Seneca is known for his philosophical works, and for his plays, which are all tragedies. His prose works include a dozen essays and one hundred twenty-four letters dealing with moral issues. These writings constitute one of the most important bodies of primary material for ancient Stoicism. As a tragedian, he is best known for plays such as his Medea, Thyestes, and Phaedra. Seneca's influence on later generations is immense—during the Renaissance he was "a sage admired and venerated as an oracle of moral, even of Christian edification; a master of literary style and a model [for] dramatic art."
Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.
Treat your inferiors as you would be treated by your betters.
True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence about the future.
A great fortune is a great slavery.
Of this one thing make sure against your dying day -- that your faults die before you do.
Life is warfare.
The part of life we really live is small.' For all the rest of existence is not life, but merely time.
Huius (sapientis) opus unum est de divinis humanisque verum invenire; ab hac numquam recedit religio, pietas, iustitia .
What is harder than rock? What is softer than water? Yet hard rocks are hollowed out by soft water?
Nothing is burdensome if taken lightly, and nothing need arouse one's irritation so long as one doesn't make it bigger than it is by getting irritated.
You should … live in such a way that there is nothing which you could not as easily tell your enemy as keep to yourself.
I have learned to be a friend to myself Great improvement this indeed Such a one can never be said to be alone for know that he who is a friend to himself is a friend to all mankind.
Fidelity purchased with money, money can destroy.
If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable.
You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire.
He who is brave is free.
To wish to be well is a part of becoming well.
There is none made so great, but he may both need the help and service, and stand in fear of the power and unkindness, even of the meanest of mortals.
It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.
Ignorance is the cause of fear.
We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.
While we wait for life, life passes.
I don't consider myself bald, I'm just taller than my hair.
He has committed the crime who profits by it.
Light troubles speak; the weighty are struck dumb.
It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters.
A man who suffers before it is necessary, suffers more than is necessary.
A large part of mankind is angry not with the sins, but with the sinners.
Every sin is the result of a collaboration.
Do not ask for what you will wish you had not got.
There is no delight in owning anything unshared.
Why do I not seek some real good; one which I could feel, not one which I could display?
Whenever the speech is corrupted so is the mind.
Whatever is well said by another, is mine.
Poverty wants some, luxury many, and avarice all things.
Our care should not be to have lived long as to have lived enough.
See how many are better off than you are, but consider how many are worse.
A kingdom founded on injustice never lasts.
A man's as miserable as he thinks he is.
There is nothing in the world so much admired as a man who knows how to bear unhappiness with courage.
You must live for another if you wish to live for yourself.
If thou art a man, admire those who attempt great things, even though they fail.
To be able to endure odium is the first art to be learned by those who aspire to power.
We become wiser by adversity; prosperity destroys our appreciation of the right.
You learn to know a pilot in a storm.
What is true belongs to me!
No evil propensity of the human heart is so powerful that it may not be subdued by discipline.
Slavery takes hold of few, but many take hold of slavery.
The first step in a person's salvation is knowledge of their sin.
I never come back home with the same moral character I went out with; something or other becomes unsettled where I had achieved internal peace; some one or other of the things I had put to flight reappears on the scene.
That is never too often repeated, which is never sufficiently learned.
Those who boast of their descent, brag on what they owe to others.
We can be thankful to a friend for a few acres, or a little money; and yet for the freedom and command of the whole earth, and for the great benefits of our being, our life, health, and reason, we look upon ourselves as under no obligation.
Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.
There are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality.
Whatever one of us blames in another, each one will find in his own heart.
Everything is the product of one universal creative effort. There is nothing dead in Nature. Everything is organic and living, and therefore the whole world appears to be a living organism.
Great grief does not of itself put an end to itself.
He who has made a fair compact with poverty is rich.
Success is not greedy, as people think, but insignificant. That is why it satisfies nobody.
A physician is not angry at the intemperance of a mad patient, nor does he take it ill to be railed at by a man in fever. Just so should a wise man treat all mankind, as a physician does his patient, and look upon them only as sick and extravagant.
He who has great power should use it lightly.
Consult your friend on all things, especially on those which respect yourself. His counsel may then be useful where your own self-love might impair your judgment.
I don't trust liberals, I trust conservatives.
I shall never be ashamed of citing a bad author if the line is good.
May be is very well, but Must is the master. It is my duty to show justice without recompense.
A punishment to some, to some a gift, and to many a favor.
The things hardest to bear are sweetest to remember.
True praise comes often even to the lowly; false praise only to the strong.
Night brings our troubles to the light, rather than banishes them.
It is the superfluous things for which men sweat, -- superfluous things that wear our togas theadbare, that force us to grow old in camp, that dash us upon foreign shores.
What nature requires is obtainable, and within easy reach. It is for the superfluous we sweat.
Crime when it succeeds is called virtue.
It is the sign of a great mind to dislike greatness, and to prefer things in measure to things in excess.
He who does not prevent a crime when he can, encourages it.
Everywhere is nowhere. When a person spends all his time in foreign travel, he ends by having many acquaintances, but no friends.
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
A great mind becomes a great fortune.
We should every night call ourselves to an account: what infirmity have I mastered today? what passions opposed? what temptation resisted? what virtue acquired? Our vices will abate of themselves if they be brought every day to the shrift.
A happy life is one which is in accordance with its own nature.
Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.
It is the failing of youth not to be able to restrain its own violence.
If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.
Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk.
Nothing is void of God, his work is everywhere his full of himself.
The mind that is anxious about the future is miserable.
Brave men rejoice in adversity, just as brave soldiers triumph in war.
As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.
Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.
A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.
It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.
Ignorant people see life as either existence or non-existence, but wise men see it beyond both existence and non-existence to something that transcends them both; this is an observation of the Middle Way.
Health is the soul that animates all the enjoyments of life, which fade and are tasteless without it.
Nothing becomes so offensive so quickly as grief. When fresh it finds someone to console it, but when it becomes chronic, it is ridiculed, and rightly.
It is more fitting for a man to laugh at life than to lament over it.
Nothing is so wretched or foolish as to anticipate misfortunes. What madness is it to be expecting evil before it comes.
It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.
Quotes by Seneca the Younger are featured in:
Short Love Quotes
Inner Peace Quotes