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    INTRODUCTION When Julius Caesar was murdered in 44BC, the Roman Republic bled out with him. What emerged was the Roman Empire, a new political order led by a single man. Given that Stoicism began in a democratic Athens and came of age in Rome’s great Republic, one might have speculated that the Stoics would struggle […]

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    If you have ever looked at much ancient or medieval art, you’ll notice something: Death is everywhere. The French painter Philippe de Champaigne’s famous “Still Life with a Skull,” which shows the three essentials of existence—the tulip (life), the skull (death), and the hourglass (time).  The beautiful anonymous German engraving from 1635 that features a […]

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    INTRODUCTION Of the Ancient Stoics, we know the least about Diotimus. He lived sometime around the early-first-century BC, and he might have known the brilliant polymath Posidonius. That’s about it—that’s about all we learn from the sources that are typically rich with details and stories on the lives of the Stoics. When or where Diotimus […]

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    Introduction Publius Rutilius Rufus was one of the preeminent Stoic of the late Republic. He studied philosophy under Panaetius, another great Stoic who once wrote, “The life of men who pass their time in the midst of affairs, and who wish to be helpful to themselves and to others, is exposed to constant and almost […]

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    In his letters, Seneca writes that he started every year by taking a cold swim. He described himself as the “cold-water enthusiast.” And “just as naturally as I would set out to do some reading or writing, or to compose a speech,” he said he loved to take “a plunge into the Virgo aqueduct [present […]

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