Stoicism

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6 Life Lessons from Shakespeare & Marcus Aurelius

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William Shakespeare and Marcus Aurelius (the great stoic philosopher and emperor) have more in common than you might think. They share a recorded birth-date, with Shakespeare baptised on 26 April 1564, and Marcus Aurelius born on 26 April 161 (Shakespeare’s actual birth date remains unknown, although he was baptised on 26 April 1564. His birth is traditionally observed and celebrated on 23 April, Saint George’s Day).

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The Discourses of Epictetus

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The ancient philosophy of Stoicism was practiced by people at the very top of society in the Roman empire, from powerful advisors to the very wealthy and even the emperor himself. However, one of the most important Stoics came from the opposite end of the spectrum. Born into slavery, Epictetus was later granted his freedom. He then devoted his life to philosophy, lecturing in Rome before setting up his own school in Greece. His teachings were written down by one of his pupils and much of that work survives to this day, known as the Discourses of Epictetus.
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Seneca: Letters from a Stoic

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​​​​​​​Letters from a Stoic is a collection of 124 letters the philosopher Seneca wrote to his friend, Lucilius. They are packed full of wisdom and guidance. Written below is some of the advice that impacted me the most when I read the letters, with an explanation of how each quote is still relevant in today’s modern world.
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Marcus Aurelius: Meditations

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The philosophy of Stoicism was practised by people from all classes of Roman society. From slaves like Epictetus to high ranking advisors such as Seneca. Even an Emperor of the Roman Empire itself, Marcus Aurelius, became a Stoic and towards the end of his life, wrote one of the greatest works of philosophy - a series of private notes and ideas now commonly known as Meditations.

Adam Holownia

Adam Holownia

Adam Holownia loves reading and writing about successful people from history. He has spent the last five years sharing what he's learnt online. He is the creator of educational YouTube channels Eudaimonia and The Art of Improvement which together have over 400,000 subscribers.

His first book, Mastering Machiavelli, is a collection of essays, breaking down key concepts and themes from the highly influential work, The Prince, written by Niccolò Machiavelli. It is almost everything he knows about Machiavelli, packed into a short digital book.