Quotes by Seneca

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Lucius Annaeus Seneca (often known simply as Seneca, or Seneca the Younger) (ca. 4 BC-AD 65) was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. more

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Other men's sins are before our eyes; our own are behind our backs.

If sensuality were happiness, beasts were happier than men; but human felicity is lodged in the soul, not in the flesh.
What madness it is for a man to starve himself to enrich his heir, and so turn a friend into an enemy! For his joy at your death will be proportioned to what you leave him.
A large part of mankind is angry not with the sins, but with the sinners.
Slavery takes hold of few, but many take hold of slavery.
When I think over what I have said, I envy dumb people.
Success consecrates the most offensive crimes.
Success is not greedy, as people think, but insignificant. That is why it satisfies nobody.
A man who suffers before it is necessary, suffers more than is necessary.
The approach of liberty makes even an old man brave.
A well governed appetite is the greater part of liberty.
That is never too often repeated, which is never sufficiently learned.
He who dreads hostility too much is unfit to rule.
No one is laughable who laughs at himself.
It is more fitting for a man to laugh at life than to lament over it.
He is a king who fears nothing, he is a king who desires nothing!
The foremost art of kings is the ability to endure hatred.
May be is very well, but Must is the master. It is my duty to show justice without recompense.
In my own time there have been inventions of this sort, transparent windows tubes for diffusing warmth equally through all parts of a building short-hand, which has been carried to such a perfection that a writer can keep pace with the most rapid speaker. But the inventing of such things is drudgery for the lowest slaves; philosophy lies deeper. It is not her office to teach men how to use their hands. The object of her lessons is to form the soul.
Most men ebb and flow in wretchedness between the fear of death and the hardship of life; they are unwilling to live, and yet they do not know how to die.
Whatever is well said by another, is mine.
True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The great blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.
The display of grief makes more demands than grief itself. How few men are sad in their own company.
For greed all nature is too little.
It is true greatness to have in one the frailty of a man and the security of a god.
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.
Nothing is void of God, his work is everywhere his full of himself.
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.
The pleasures of the palate deal with us like the Egyptian thieves, who strangle those whom they embrace.
It is the superfluous things for which men sweat.
Freedom is not being a slave to any circumstance, to any constraint, to any chance; it means compelling Fortune to enter the lists on equal terms.
A foolishness is inflicted with a hatred of itself.
Where the fear is, happiness is not.
Fate rules the affairs of men, with no recognizable order.
The road to learning by precept is long, but by example short and effective.
Sovereignty over any foreign land is insecure.
Disease is not of the body but of the place.
No evil propensity of the human heart is so powerful that it may mot be subdued by discipline.
Constant exposure to dangers will breed contempt for them.
One crime has to be concealed by another.
Crime when it succeeds is called virtue.
The pressure of adversity does not affect the mind of the brave man. It is more powerful than external circumstances.
Courage leads to heaven; fear leads to death.
Let us train our minds to desire what the situation demands.
Conversation has a kind of charm about it, an insinuating and insidious something that elicits secrets just like love or liquor.
Calamity is virtue's opportunity.
It's the admirer and the watcher who provoke us to all the inanities we commit.
We never reflect how pleasant it is to ask for nothing.
All art is an imitation of nature.
Believe me, that was a happy age, before the days of architects, before the days of builders.
There are no greater wretches in the world than many of those whom people in general take to be happy.
Anger is like those ruins which smash themselves on what they fall.
The deferring of anger is the best antidote to anger.
Anger: an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
No one is better born than another, unless they are born with better abilities and a more amiable disposition.
He who boasts of his descent, praises the deed of another.
Those who boast of their descent, brag on what they owe to others.
It is the constant fault and inseparable evil quality of ambition, that it never looks behind it.
No untroubled day has ever dawned for me.
No action will be considered blameless, unless the will was so, for by the will the act was dictated.