Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – AD 65), fully Lucius Annaeus Seneca and also known simply as Seneca, was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and—in one work—humorist of the Silver Age of Latin literature. As a tragedian, he is best-known for his Medea and Thyestes.

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The greatest loss of time is delay and expectation, which depend upon the future. We let go the present, which we have in our power, and look forward to that which depends upon chance, and so relinquish a certainty for an uncertainty.

Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.

The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity.

The pressure of adversity does not affect the mind of the brave man... It is more powerful than external circumstances.

The approach of liberty makes even an old man brave.

Every man prefers belief to the exercise of judgment.

That which is given with pride and ostentation is rather an ambition than a bounty.

A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.

Health is the soul that animates all the enjoyments of life which fade and are tasteless without it.

Everywhere is nowhere. When a person spends all his time in foreign travel he ends by having many acquaintances but no friends.

It is another's fault if he be ungrateful, but it is mine if I do not give. To find one thankful man I will oblige a great many that are not so.

A punishment to some, to some a gift, and to many a favor.

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.

I don't trust liberals, I trust conservatives.

A person's fears are lighter when the danger is at hand.

Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.

The first and greatest punishment of the sinner is the conscience of sin.

Constant exposure to dangers will breed contempt for them.

The bravest sight in the world is to see a great man struggling against adversity.

Successful and fortunate crime is called virtue.

The bad fortune of the good turns their faces up to heaven, the good fortune of the bad bows their heads down to the earth.

Light troubles speak, the weighty are struck dumb.

What difference does it make how much you have? What you do not have amounts to much more.

One must steer not talk.

It is more fitting for a man to laugh at life than to lament over it.

A happy life is one which is in accordance with its own nature.

A well governed appetite is the greater part of liberty.

God is the universal substance in existing things. He comprises all things. He is the fountain of all being. In Him exists everything that is.

Life if well lived is long enough.

The heart is great which shows moderation in the midst of prosperity.

No one is laughable who laughs at himself.

Whenever the speech is corrupted so is the mind.

Every sin is the result of a collaboration.

Wherever there is a human being there is an opportunity for a kindness.

Anger is like those ruins which smash themselves on what they fall.

Shall I tell you what the real evil is? To cringe to the things that are called evils to surrender to them our freedom in defiance of which we ought to face any suffering.

When an author is too meticulous about his style you may presume that his mind is frivolous and his content flimsy.

Anger: an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.

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.

Success is not greedy as people think but insignificant. That is why it satisfies nobody.

The things hardest to bear are sweetest to remember.

A great fortune is a great slavery.

As is a tale so is life: not how long it is but how good it is is what matters.

The less we deserve good fortune the more we hope for it.

A man's as miserable as he thinks he is.

Let us train our minds to desire what the situation demands.

I don't consider myself bald I'm just taller than my hair.

Genius always gives its best at first, prudence at last.

Nothing is so wretched or foolish as to anticipate misfortunes. What madness is it to be expecting evil before it comes.

A sword never kills anybody, it is a tool in the killer's hand.

Behold a worthy sight to which the God turning his attention to his own work may direct his gaze. Behold an equal thing worthy of a God a brave man matched in conflict with evil fortune.

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.

Wisdom allows nothing to be good that will not be so forever, no man to be happy but he that needs no other happiness than what he has within himself, no man to be great or powerful that is not master of himself.

See how many are better off than you are but consider how many are worse.

The mind unlearns with difficulty what it has long learned.

Modesty forbids what the law does not.

Great grief does not of itself put an end to itself.

It is true greatness to have in one the frailty of a man and the security of a god.

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.

There are more things to alarm us than to harm us and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality.

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.

What is true belongs to me!

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

If one does not know to which port one is sailing no wind is favorable.

Success consecrates the most offensive crimes.

There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn as in doing it.

No man enjoys the true taste of life but he who is ready and willing to quit it.

True happiness is... to enjoy the present without anxious dependence upon the future.

To be able to endure odium is the first art to be learned by those who aspire to power.

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.

You must live for another if you wish to live for yourself.

We should give as we would receive cheerfully quickly and without hesitation, for there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers.

Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.

You learn to know a pilot in a storm.

So live with men as if God saw you and speak to God as if men heard you.

Consider when you are enraged at any one what you would probably think if he should die during the dispute.

Life's like a play: it's not the length but the excellence of the acting that matters.

One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.

There is no person so severely punished as those who subject themselves to the whip of their own remorse.

Shame may restrain what law does not prohibit.

There is a noble manner of being poor and who does not know it will never be rich.

There is no delight in owning anything unshared.

Even after a bad harvest there must be sowing.

It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.

Do not ask for what you will wish you had not got.

Wisdom does not show itself so much in precept as in life - in firmness of mind and a mastery of appetite. It teaches us to do as well as to talk, and to make our words and actions all of a color.

Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk.

It is not the man who has too little but the man who craves more that is poor.

It's not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It's because we dare not venture that they are difficult.

I will govern my life and thoughts as if the whole world were to see the one and read the other for what does it signify to make anything a secret to my neighbor when to God who is the searcher of our hearts all our privacies are open?

When we are well we all have good advice for those who are ill.

Time discovers truth.

If a man knows not what harbor he seeks any wind is the right wind.

The first step in a person's salvation is knowledge of their sin.

A great mind becomes a great fortune.

Brave men rejoice in adversity just as brave soldiers triumph in war.

Whatever is well said by another is mine.

If you wished to be loved love.

Anger if not restrained is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.

Death is the wish of some the relief of many and the end of all.

The deferring of anger is the best antidote to anger.

Every guilty person is his own hangman.

May be is very well but Must is the master. It is my duty to show justice without recompense.

In war there is no prize for runner-up.

A man who suffers before it is necessary suffers more than is necessary.

True praise comes often even to the lowly, false praise only to the strong.

He has committed the crime who profits by it.

If you would judge understand.

Not how long but how well you have lived is the main thing.

He that does good to another does good also to himself.

The display of grief makes more demands than grief itself. How few men are sad in their own company.

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.

When I think over what I have said I envy dumb people.

Poverty wants some luxury many and avarice all things.

The wish for healing has always been half of health.

For greed all nature is too little.

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.

The mind that is anxious about the future is miserable.

There is no great genius without some touch of madness.

We often want one thing and pray for another not telling the truth even to the gods.

All art is but imitation of nature.

All cruelty springs from weakness.

In war when a commander becomes so bereft of reason and perspective that he fails to understand the dependence of arms on Divine guidance he no longer deserves victory.

One crime has to be concealed by another.

Whatever fortune has raised to a height she has raised only to cast it down.

Believe me that was a happy age before the days of architects before the days of builders.

It is better of course to know useless things than to know nothing.

There is nothing in the world so much admired as a man who knows how to bear unhappiness with courage.

Our care should not be to have lived long as to have lived enough.

Why do I not seek some real good, one which I could feel not one which I could display?

No evil propensity of the human heart is so powerful that it may not be subdued by discipline.

That is never too often repeated which is never sufficiently learned.

Precepts or maxims are of great weight, and a few useful ones on hand do more to produce a happy life than the volumes we can't find.

For many men the acquisition of wealth does not end their troubles it only changes them.

It makes a great deal of difference whether one wills not to sin or has not the knowledge to sin.

We are more often frightened than hurt, and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.

The greatest remedy for anger is delay.

While we are postponing life speeds by.

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.

The way is long if one follows precepts but short... if one follows patterns.

Expecting is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow it loses today.

Difficulties strengthen the mind as labor does the body.

He who dreads hostility too much is unfit to rule.

Crime when it succeeds is called virtue.

Night brings our troubles to the light rather than banishes them.

I shall never be ashamed of citing a bad author if the line is good.

No one can be happy who has been thrust outside the pale of truth. And there are two ways that one can be removed from this realm: by lying or by being lied to.

Slavery takes hold of few but many take hold of slavery.

Do everything as in the eye of another.

It is quality rather than quantity that matters.

A kingdom founded on injustice never lasts.

No untroubled day has ever dawned for me.

He who has made a fair compact with poverty is rich.

If thou art a man admire those who attempt great things even though they fail.

No man was ever wise by chance.

As long as you live keep learning how to live.

Every reign must submit to a greater reign.

Nothing is void of God his work is everywhere his full of himself.

Shun no toil to make yourself remarkable by some talent or other, yet do not devote yourself to one branch exclusively. Strive to get clear notions about all. Give up no science entirely, for science is but one.

He who has great power should use it lightly.

A gem cannot be polished without friction nor a man perfected without trials.

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.

It is the failing of youth not to be able to restrain its own violence.

We become wiser by adversity, prosperity destroys our appreciation of the right.

He who is brave is free.

It is the sign of a great mind to dislike greatness and to prefer things in measure to things in excess.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true by the wise as false and by the rulers as useful.

Love in its essence is spiritual fire.

Life is the fire that burns and the sun that gives light. Life is the wind and the rain and the thunder in the sky. Life is matter and is earth what is and what is not and what beyond is in Eternity.

What nature requires is obtainable and within easy reach. It is for the superfluous we sweat.

He who does not prevent a crime when he can encourages it.

Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.

Where fear is happiness is not.

Life is warfare.

A quarrel is quickly settled when deserted by one party, there is no battle unless there be two.

Those who boast of their descent brag on what they owe to others.

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.

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.

To keep oneself safe does not mean to bury oneself.

A large part of mankind is angry not with the sins but with the sinners.

Call it Nature Fate Fortune, all these are names of the one and selfsame God.

Whatever one of us blames in another each one will find in his own heart.