Zeno of Citium

Zeno of Citium
336 B.C.
264 B.C.

Greek Philosopher, Founder of Stoicism

Author Quotes

Follow where reason leads.

We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.

Fortune bids me to follow philosophy with fewer encumbrances.

We have two ears and one mouth, therefore we should listen twice as much as we speak.

God is not separate from the world; He is the soul of the world, and each of us contains a part of the Divine Fire. All things are parts of one single system, which is called Nature; the individual life is good when it is in harmony with Nature. In one sense, every life is in harmony with Nature, since it is such as Nature?s laws have caused it to be; but in another sense a human life is only in harmony with Nature when the individual will is directed to ends which are among those of Nature. Virtue consists in a will which is in agreement with Nature. The wicked, though perforce they obey God?s law, do so involuntarily; in the simile of Cleanthes, they are like a dog tied to a cart, and compelled to go wherever it goes. In the life of an individual man, virtue is the sole good; such things as health, happiness, possessions, are of no account. Since virtue resides in the will, everything really good or bad in a man?s life depends only upon himself. He may be poor, but what of it? He can still be virtuous. He may be sentenced to death, but he can die nobly, like Socrates. Other men have power only over externals; virtue, which alone is truly good, rests entirely with the individual. Therefore every man has perfect freedom, provided he emancipates himself from mundane desires.

Well-being is attained by little and little, and nevertheless is no little thing itself.

Happiness is a good flow of life.

If being is many, it must be both like and unlike, and this is impossible, for neither can the like be unlike, nor the unlike like

If melodiously piping flutes sprang from the olive, would you doubt that a knowledge of flute-playing resided in the olive? And what if plane trees bore harps which gave forth rhythmical sounds? Clearly you would think in the same way that theart of music was possessed by plane trees. Why, then, seeing that the universe gives birth to beings that are animate and wise, should it not be considered animate and wise itself?

It is in virtue that happiness consists, for virtue is the state of mind which tends to make the whole of life harmonious.

Love is a God, who cooperates in securing the safety of the city.

Man conquers the world by conquering himself.

Steel your sensibilities, so that life shall hurt you as little as possible.

That which exercises reason is more excellent than that which does not exercise reason; there is nothing more excellent than the universe, therefore the universe exercises reason.

A bad feeling is a commotion of the mind repugnant to reason, and against nature.

The avaricious man is like the barren sandy ground of the desert which sucks in all the rain and dew with greediness, but yields no fruitful herbs or plants for the benefit of others.

All the good are friends of one another.

The end may be defined as life in accordance with nature or, in other words, in accordance with our own human nature as well as that of the universe.

All things are parts of one single system, which is called Nature; the individual life is good when it is in harmony with Nature.

The goal of life is living in agreement with nature.

By silence, I hear other men's imperfections and conceal my own.

The reason we have two ears and only one mouth, is that we may hear more and speak less.

Fate is the endless chain of causation, whereby things are; the reason or formula by which the world goes on.

The voice is the flower of beauty.

Better to trip with the feet than with the tongue.

Author Picture
First Name
Zeno of Citium
Birth Date
336 B.C.
Death Date
264 B.C.

Greek Philosopher, Founder of Stoicism