Seneca Quotes


Type: Philosopher, statesman, dramatist

Born: c. 4 BC

Died: AD 65 (aged 68–69)

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, often known as Seneca the Younger or simply Seneca, was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature.

Seneca Quotes

Words need to be sown like seeds. No matter how tiny a seed may be, when in lands in the right sort of ground it unfolds its strength and from being minute expands and grows to a massive size.

It is quality rather than quantity that matters.

It takes the whole of life to learn how to live, and-what will perhaps make you wonder more-it takes the whole of life to learn how to die.

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

Timendi causa est nescire -
Ignorance is the cause of fear.

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.

Non est ad astra mollis e terris via" - "There is no easy way from the earth to the stars

No man was ever wise by chance

The best ideas are common property

Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for crisis.

Each day acquire something that will fortify you against poverty, against death, indeed against other
misfortunes as well; and after you have run over many thoughts, select one to be thoroughly digested that day

No man is crushed by misfortune unless he has first been deceived by prosperity

that you would not anticipate misery since the evils you dread as coming upon you may perhaps never reach you at least they are not yet come Thus some things torture us more than they ought, some before they ought and some which ought never to torture us at all. We heighten our pain either by presupposing a cause or anticipation

we deceive ourselves in thinking that death only follows life whereas it both goes before and will follow after it for where is the difference in not beginning or ceasing to exist the effect of both is not to be

Consider the whole world reconnoitre individuals j who is there whose life is not taken up with providing for to morrow Do you ask what harm there is in this An infinite deal for such men do not live but are about to live they defer every thing from day to day however circumspect we are life will still outrun us.

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

Believe me if you consult philosophy she will persuade you not to lit so long at your counting desk

you shall be told what pleased me to-day in the writings of
Hecato; it is these words: "What progress, you ask, have I made? I have begun to be a friend to myself." That was
indeed a great benefit; such a person can never be alone. You may be sure that such a man is a friend to all mankind.

errare humanum est, sed perseverare diabolicum: 'to err is human, but to persist (in the mistake) is diabolical.

I am not a ‘wise man,’ nor . . . shall I ever be. And so require not from me that I should be equal to the best, but that I should be better than the wicked. It is enough for me if every day I reduce the number of my vices, and blame my mistakes.

Huius (sapientis) opus unum est de divinis humanisque verum invenire; ab hac numquam recedit religio, pietas, iustitia ...

We are born under circumstances that would be favorable if we did not abandon them. It was nature's intention that there should be no need of great equipment for a good life: every individual can make himself happy.

What man
can you show me who places any value on his time, who reckons the worth of each day, who understands that he is
dying daily? For we are mistaken when we look forward to death; the major portion of death has already passed,
Whatever years be behind us are in death's hands.

If anyone says that the best life of all is to sail the sea, and then adds that I must not sail upon a sea where shipwrecks are a common occurrence and there are often sudden storms that sweep the helmsman in an adverse direction, I conclude that this man, although he lauds navigation, really forbids me to launch my ship.

Nature does not reveal her mysteries once and for all.

distringit librorum multitudo

(the abundance of books is distraction)

It's not that we have little time, but more that we waste a good deal of it.

It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. ... The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.

Es ist nicht wenig Zeit, die wir haben, sondern es ist viel Zeit, die wir nicht nutzen.

So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not Ill-supplied but wasteful of it.

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

How many men soever you slay, you will never kill your successor.

A woman is not beautiful when her ankle or arm wins compliments, but when her total appearance diverts admiration from the individual parts of her body.

Pain is slight if opinion has added nothing to it; ... in thinking it slight, you will make it slight. Everything depends on opinion. It is according to opinion that we suffer. A man is as wretched as he has convinced himself that he is.

Quam bene vivas refert, non quam diu

He who is brave is free

Qui mori didicit servire dedidicit.

There is but one chain holding us in fetters, and that is our love of life.

How silly then to imagine that the human mind, which is formed of the same elements as divine beings, objects to movement and change of abode, while the divine nature finds delight and even self-preservation in continual and very rapid change.

Envy of other people shows how they are unhappy. Their continual attention to others behavior shows how they are boring.

Because thou writest me often, I thank thee ... Never do I receive a letter from thee, but immediately we are together.

Love sometimes injures. Friendship always benefits, After friendship is formed you must trust, but before that you must judge.

Possession of a friend should be with the spirit: the spirit's never absent: it sees daily whoever it likes.

Most powerful is he who has himself in his power.

The final hour when we cease to exist does not itself bring death; it merely of itself completes the death-process. We reach death at that moment, but
we have been a long time on the way.

Fidelity purchased with money, money can destroy.

It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.

As Lucretius says: 'Thus ever from himself doth each man flee.' But what does he gain if he does not escape from himself? He ever follows himself and weighs upon himself as his own most burdensome companion. And so we ought to understand that what we struggle with is the fault, not of the places, but of ourselves

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