Lucius Annaeus Senecawas a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature...
One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.
True happiness is... to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.
If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.
A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.
It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.
The wish for healing has always been half of health.
We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.
Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.
Expecting is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses today.
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.
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.
He who does not prevent a crime when he can, encourages it.
The first step in a person's salvation is knowledge of their sin.
He who dreads hostility too much is unfit to rule.
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.
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.
Nothing is so wretched or foolish as to anticipate misfortunes. What madness is it to be expecting evil before it comes.
True praise comes often even to the lowly; false praise only to the strong.
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.
What nature requires is obtainable, and within easy reach. It is for the superfluous we sweat.
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.
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand.
As long as you live, keep learning how to live.
Life's like a play: it's not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters.
The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity.
It is quality rather than quantity that matters.
It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.
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.
A happy life is one which is in accordance with its own nature.
There is no person so severely punished, as those who subject themselves to the whip of their own remorse.
It is the sign of a great mind to dislike greatness, and to prefer things in measure to things in excess.
Anger: an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
The pressure of adversity does not affect the mind of the brave man... It is more powerful than external circumstances.
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.
If a man knows not what harbor he seeks, any wind is the right wind.
When I think over what I have said, I envy dumb people.
There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn, as in doing it.
Health is the soul that animates all the enjoyments of life, which fade and are tasteless without it.
The display of grief makes more demands than grief itself. How few men are sad in their own company.
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.
Consider, when you are enraged at any one, what you would probably think if he should die during the dispute.
It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.
A person's fears are lighter when the danger is at hand.
The things hardest to bear are sweetest to remember.
Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.
I shall never be ashamed of citing a bad author if the line is good.
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 gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.
Brave men rejoice in adversity, just as brave soldiers triumph in war.
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
It is true greatness to have in one the frailty of a man and the security of a god.
The bravest sight in the world is to see a great man struggling against adversity.
Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.
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.
It is more fitting for a man to laugh at life than to lament over it.
The good things of prosperity are to be wished; but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.
Anger is like those ruins which smash themselves on what they fall.
Night brings our troubles to the light, rather than banishes them.
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?
A quarrel is quickly settled when deserted by one party; there is no battle unless there be two.
The first and greatest punishment of the sinner is the conscience of sin.
Everywhere is nowhere. When a person spends all his time in foreign travel, he ends by having many acquaintances, but no friends.
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.
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.
For many men, the acquisition of wealth does not end their troubles, it only changes them.
We often want one thing and pray for another, not telling the truth even to the gods.
When an author is too meticulous about his style, you may presume that his mind is frivolous and his content flimsy.
Believe me, that was a happy age, before the days of architects, before the days of builders.
Constant exposure to dangers will breed contempt for them.
What difference does it make how much you have? What you do not have amounts to much more.
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.
May be is very well, but Must is the master. It is my duty to show justice without recompense.
When we are well, we all have good advice for those who are ill.
He who has made a fair compact with poverty is rich.
Slavery takes hold of few, but many take hold of slavery.
Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.
There are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality.
Success is not greedy, as people think, but insignificant. That is why it satisfies nobody.
No evil propensity of the human heart is so powerful that it may not be subdued by discipline.
The way is long if one follows precepts, but short... if one follows patterns.
He who has great power should use it lightly.
Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk.
It makes a great deal of difference whether one wills not to sin or has not the knowledge to sin.
Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.
You learn to know a pilot in a storm.
It's not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It's because we dare not venture that they are difficult.
No untroubled day has ever dawned for me.
Genius always gives its best at first; prudence, at last.
A well governed appetite is the greater part of liberty.
Death is the wish of some, the relief of many, and the end of all.
In war there is no prize for runner-up.
That is never too often repeated, which is never sufficiently learned.
Great grief does not of itself put an end to itself.
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.
No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness.
He that does good to another does good also to himself.
Nothing is void of God, his work is everywhere his full of himself.
Let us train our minds to desire what the situation demands.
Shame may restrain what law does not prohibit.
If thou art a man, admire those who attempt great things, even though they fail.