Stoics - Ancient Greek Philosophy
Welcome to Quatr.us Study Guides!

Stoic Philosophy

Cicero
Cicero

April 2017 - The Stoics were a group of philosophers who first began teaching their ideas in the Hellenistic period. Stoicism was founded by a man named Zeno, who lived from 335-263 BC. He was friendly with the successors of Alexander who ruled Greece. Zeno lived in Athens, which was a great center of learning. He used to lecture not in a classroom but outside (in Greece's sunny weather), on the porch of a public building. The word for porch in Greek is STOA, and so people called his students Stoics, "people who hang out on the porch."

Zeno thought people should try to reach inner peacefulness. The best way to be peaceful was to be moderate in everything. So people should not eat too much, even of good food, and they should not party too much. But they should not work all the time either, or diet all the time. Men (Zeno didn't mention women much, but there were Greek women who were Stoics) should give to charity and help out in the government, but they should not go to the extreme of rebellion. People should try not to want anything too much, but be happy with what they had. This would lead to a happy life.

You might compare Stoicism to the slightly earlier philosophy of Buddhism in India, which was also about inner peace, or to Confucianism and Taoism in China, which had some similar ideas about balance and moderation.

Stoicism was very popular among the Romans, who generally liked moderate behavior anyway. Two famous Roman Stoics were Cicero and Seneca.

More about Cicero
More about Lucretius
More about Roman Neo-Platonism

Bibliography and further reading about Stoic philosophy:

Cicero
Seneca
Skeptics
Epicureans
Greek philosophy
Roman philosophy
Quatr.us home


Please help other teachers and students find us: link to this page from your class page.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in Quatr.us' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Check out our new ebook: Short and Simple: Ancient Greek Myths! - just out! Twenty-five easy to read, illustrated stories, from Pandora to Medea, Icarus, and the Trojan Horse (you can read these online as samples). Get it this week for just $14.99, five dollars off the regular price of $19.99.
Cite this page
  • Author: K.E. Carr
  • Title:
  • Site Name: Quatr.us Study Guides
  • Publisher: Quatr.us
  • Date Published:
Did you find what you needed? Ask your teacher to link to this page so other people can use it too! Send it in and win a Quatr.us "Great Page!" award!
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in Quatr.us' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Comment on This Article
Quatr.us is loading comments...
(Comments will appear after moderation, if they are kind and helpful. Feel free to ask questions, and we'll try to answer them.)
Cite this page
  • Carr, K.E. . Quatr.us Study Guides, . Web. 23 August, 2017
ADVERTISEMENT