Page:Marcus Aurelius (Haines 1916).djvu/29

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


Stoicism was so called from the Colonnade[1] at Athens, where Zeno about 300 b.c. first taught its doctrines. More religious in character than any other Greek philosophy, it brought a new moral force into the world. It put intellectual speculation more into the background, and carried the moral attitude of the Cynics further into the domain of right conduct. Oriental fervour was in it grafted on Greek acumen, for Zeno was a Phoenician Greek of Cyprus, and Chrysippus, the St. Paul who defined and established[2] Stoicism, a Cilician like the Apostle. In spite of its origin Stoicism proved wonderfully adapted to the practical Roman character, and under the tyranny of the early Caesars it formed the only impregnable fortress[3] of liberty for the noblest Romans. It reached its culmination, and found its highest exponents as a living creed in the courtier Seneca, the Phrygian slave Epictetus, and the emperor Marcus Antoninus.

Stoic philosophy consisted of Logic, Physics, and Ethics.[4] Logic, which comprised Dialectics and

  1. Στοὰ ποικίλη.
  2. εἰ μὴ γὰρ ἦν Χρύσιππος, οὐκ ἂν ἦν Στοά, an anonymous verse quoted by Diog. Laert. Chrys. 5.
  3. viii. 41, 48.
  4. viii. 13.