1. Zeno, the son of Mnaseas (or Demeas), was a native of Citium in Cyprus, a Greek city which had received Phoenician settlers. He had a wry neck, says Timotheus of Athens in his book On Lives. Moreover, Apollonius of Tyre says he was lean, fairly tall, and swarthy — hence some one called him an Egyptian vine-branch, according to Chrysippus in the first book of his Proverbs. He had thick legs; he was flabby and delicate. Hence Persaeus in his Convivial Reminiscences relates that he declined most invitations to dinner. They say he was fond of eating green figs and of basking in the sun.
2. He was a pupil of Crates, as stated above. Next they say he attended the lectures of Stilpo and Xenocrates for ten years — so Timocrates says in his Dion — and Polemo as well. It is stated by Hecato and by Apollonius of Tyre in his first book on Zeno that he consulted the oracle to know what he should do to attain the best life, and that the god’s response was that he should take on the complexion of the dead. Whereupon, perceiving what this meant, he studied ancient authors. Now the way he came across Crates was this. He was shipwrecked on a voyage from Phoenicia to Peiraeus with a cargo of purple. He went up into Athens and sat down in a bookseller’s shop, being then a man of thirty. 3. As he went on reading the second book of Xenophon’s Memorabilia, he was so pleased that he inquired where men like Socrates were to be found. Crates passed by in the nick of time, so the bookseller pointed to him and said, “Follow yonder man.” From that day he became Crates’s pupil, showing in other respects a strong bent for philosophy, though with too much native modesty to assimilate Cynic shamelessness. Hence Crates, desirous of curing this defect in him, gave him a potful of lentil-soup to carry through the Ceramicus; and when he saw that he was ashamed and tried to keep it out of sight, with a blow of his staff he broke the pot. As Zeno took to flight with the lentil-soup flowing down his legs, “Why run away, my little Phoenician?” quoth Crates, “nothing terrible has befallen you.”
4. For a certain space, then, he was instructed by Crates, and when at this time he had written his Republic, some said in jest that he had written it on Cynosura, i.e. on the dog’s tail. Besides the Republic he wrote the following works:
There are also by him:
This is a list of his writings. But at last he left Crates, and the men above mentioned were his masters for twenty years. Hence he is reported to have said, “I made a prosperous voyage when I suffered shipwreck.” But others attribute this saying of his to the time when he was under Crates. 5. A different version of the story is that he was staying at Athens when he heard his ship was wrecked and said, “It is well done of you, Fortune, thus to drive me to philosophy.” But some say that he disposed of his cargo in Athens, before he turned his attention to philosophy.
He used then to discourse, pacing up and down in the painted colonnade, which is also called the colonnade or Portico of Pisianax, but which received its name from the painting of Polygnotus; his object being to keep the spot clear of a concourse of idlers. It was the spot where in the time of the Thirty 1400 Athenian citizens had been put to death. Hither, then, people came henceforth to hear Zeno, and this is why they were known as men of the Stoa, or Stoics; and the same name was given to his followers, who had formerly been known as Zenonians. So it is stated by Epicurus in his letters. According to Eratosthenes in his eighth book On the Old Comedy, the name of Stoic had formerly been applied to the poets who passed their time there, and they had made the name of Stoic still more famous.
6. The people of Athens held Zeno in high honor, as is proved by their depositing with him the keys of the city walls, and their honoring him with a golden crown and a bronze statue. This last mark of respect was also shown to him by citizens of his native town, who deemed his statue an ornament to their city, and the men of Citium living in Sidon were also proud to claim him for their own. Antigonus (Gonatas) also favored him, and whenever he came to Athens would hear him lecture and often invited him to come to his court. This offer he declined but dispatched thither one of his friends, Persaeus, the son of Demetrius and a native of Citium, who flourished in the 130th Olympiad, at which time Zeno was already an old man. According to Apollonius of Tyre in his work upon Zeno, the letter of Antigonus was couched in the following terms:
7. “King Antigonus to Zeno the philosopher, greeting.
“While in fortune and fame I deem myself your superior, in reason and education I own myself inferior, as well as in the perfect happiness which you have attained. Wherefore I have decided to ask you to pay me a visit, being persuaded that you will not refuse the request. By all means, then, do your best to hold conference with me, understanding clearly that you will not be the instructor of myself alone but of all the Macedonians taken together. For it is obvious that whoever instructs the ruler of Macedonia and guides him in the paths of virtue will also be training his subjects to be good men. As is the ruler, such for the most part it may be expected that his subjects will become.”
And Zeno’s reply is as follows:
8. “Zeno to King Antigonus, greeting.
“I welcome your love of learning in so far as you cleave to that true education which tends to advantage and not to that popular counterfeit of it which serves only to corrupt morals. But if anyone has yearned for philosophy, turning away from much-vaunted pleasure which renders effeminate the souls of some of the young, it is evident that not by nature only, but also by the bent of his will he is inclined to nobility of character. But if a noble nature be aided by moderate exercise and further receive ungrudging instruction, it easily comes to acquire virtue in perfection. 9. But I am constrained by bodily weakness, due to old age, for I am eighty years old; and for that reason I am unable to join you. But I send you certain companions of my studies whose mental powers are not inferior to mine, while their bodily strength is far greater, and if you associate with these you will in no way fall short of the conditions necessary to perfect happiness.”
So he sent Persaeus and Philonides the Theban; and Epicurus in his letter to his brother Aristobulus mentions them both as living with Antigonus. I have thought it well to append the decree also which the Athenians passed concerning him. It reads as follows:
10. “In the archonship of Arrhenides, in the fifth prytany of the tribe Acamantis on the twenty-first day of Maemacterion, at the twenty-third plenary assembly of the prytany, one of the presidents, Hippo, the son of Cratistoteles, of the deme Xypetaeon, and his co-presidents put the question to the vote; Thraso, the son of Thraso of the deme Anacaea, moved:
“Whereas Zeno of Citium, son of Mnaseas, has for many years been devoted to philosophy in the city and has continued to be a man of worth in all other respects, exhorting to virtue and temperance those of the youth who come to him to be taught, directing them to what is best, affording to all in his own conduct a pattern for imitation in perfect consistency with his teaching, it has seemed good to the people — 11. and may it turn out well — to bestow praise upon Zeno of Citium, the son of Mnaseas, and to crown him with a golden crown according to the law, for his goodness and temperance, and to build him a tomb in the Ceramicus at the public cost. And that for the making of the crown and the building of the tomb, the people shall now elect five commissioners from all Athenians, and the Secretary of State shall inscribe this decree on two stone pillars and it shall be lawful for him to set up one in the Academy and the other in the Lyceum. And that the magistrate presiding over the administration shall apportion the expense incurred upon the pillars, that all may know that the Athenian people honor the good both in their life and after their death. 12. Thraso of the deme Anacaea, Philocles of Peiraeus, Phaedrus of Anaphlystus, Medon of Acharnae, Micythus of Sypalettus, and Dion of Paeania have been elected commissioners for the making of the crown and the building.”
These are the terms of the decree.
Antigonus of Carystus tells us that he never denied that he was a citizen of Citium. For when he was one of those who contributed to the restoration of the baths and his name was inscribed upon the pillar as “Zeno the philosopher,” he requested that the words “of Citium” should be added. He made a hollow lid for a flask and used to carry about money in it, in order that there might be provision at hand for the necessities of his master Crates. 13. It is said that he had more than a thousand talents when he came to Greece, and that he lent this money on bottomry. He used to eat little loaves and honey and to drink a little wine of good bouquet. He rarely employed men-servants; once or twice indeed he might have a young girl to wait on him in order not to seem a misogynist. He shared the same house with Persaeus, and when the latter brought in a little flute-player he lost no time in leading her straight to Persaeus. They tell us he readily adapted himself to circumstances, so much so that King Antigonus often broke in on him with a noisy party, and once took him along with other revellers to Aristocles the musician; Zeno, however, in a little while gave them the slip. 14. He disliked, they say, to be brought too near to people, so that he would take the end seat of a couch, thus saving himself at any rate from one half of such inconvenience. Nor indeed would he walk about with more than two or three. He would occasionally ask the bystanders for coppers, in order that, for fear of being asked to give, people might desist from mobbing him, as Cleanthes says in his work On Bronze. When several persons stood about him in the Colonnade he pointed to the wooden railing at the top round the altar and said, “This was once open to all, but because it was found to be a hindrance it was railed off. If you then will take yourselves off out of the way you will be the less annoyance to us.”
When Demochares, the son of Laches, greeted him and told him he had only to speak or write for anything he wanted to Antigonus, who would be sure to grant all his requests, Zeno after hearing this would have nothing more to do with him. 15. After Zeno’s death Antigonus is reported to have said, “What an audience I have lost.” Hence too he employed Thraso as his agent to request the Athenians to bury Zeno in the Ceramicus. And when asked why he admired him, “Because,” said he, “the many ample gifts I offered him never made him conceited nor yet appear poor-spirited.”
His bent was towards inquiry, and he was an exact reasoner on all subjects. Hence the words of Timon in his Silli:
A Phoenician too I saw, a pampered old woman ensconced in gloomy pride, longing for all things; but the meshes of her subtle web have perished, and she had no more intelligence than a banjo.
16. He used to dispute very carefully with Philo the logician and study along with him. Hence Zeno, who was the junior, had as great an admiration for Philo as his master Diodorus. And he had about him certain ragged dirty fellows, as Timon says in these lines:
The while he got together a crowd of ignorant serfs, who surpassed all men in beggary and were the emptiest of townsfolk.
Zeno himself was sour and of a frowning countenance. He was very niggardly too, clinging to meanness unworthy of a Greek, on the plea of economy, If he pitched into anyone he would do it concisely, and not effusively, keeping him rather at arm’s length. I mean, for example, his remark upon the fop showing himself off. 17. When he was slowly picking his way across a watercourse, “With good reason,” quoth Zeno, “he looks askance at the mud, for he can’t see his face in it.” When a certain Cynic declared he had no oil in his flask and begged some of him, Zeno refused to give him any. However, as the man went away, Zeno bade him consider which of the two was the more impudent. Being enamored of Chremonides, as he and Cleanthes were sitting beside the youth, he got up, and upon Cleanthes expressing surprise, “Good physicians tell us,” said he, “that the best cure for inflammation is repose.” When of two reclining next to each other over the wine, the one who was neighbor to Zeno kicked the guest below him, Zeno himself nudged the man with his knee, and upon the man turning round, inquired, “How do you think your neighbor liked what you did to him?” 18. To a lover of boys he remarked, “Just as schoolmasters lose their common-sense by spending all their time with boys, so it is with people like you.” He used to say that the very exact expressions used by those who avoided solecisms were like the coins struck by Alexander: they were beautiful in appearance and well-rounded like the coins, but none the better on that account. Words of the opposite kind he would compare to the Attic tetradrachms, which, though struck carelessly and inartistically, nevertheless outweighed the ornate phrases. When his pupil Ariston discoursed at length in an uninspired manner, sometimes in a headstrong and over-confident way. “Your father,” said he, “must have been drunk when he begat you.” Hence he would call him a chatterbox, being himself concise in speech.
19. There was a gourmand so greedy that he left nothing for his table companions. A large fish having been served, Zeno took it up as if he were about to eat the whole. When the other looked at him, “What do you suppose,” said he, “those who live with you feel every day, if you cannot put up with my gourmandise in this single instance?” A youth was putting a question with more curiosity than became his years, whereupon Zeno led him to a mirror, and bade him look in it; after which he inquired if he thought it became anyone who looked like that to ask such questions. Someone said that he did not in general agree with Antisthenes, whereupon Zeno produced that author’s essay on Sophocles, and asked him if he thought it had any excellence; to which the reply was that he did not know. “Then are you not ashamed,” quoth he, “to pick out and mention anything wrong said by Antisthenes, while you suppress his good things without giving them a thought?”
20. Someone having said that he thought the chain-arguments of the philosophers seemed brief and curt, Zeno replied, “You are quite right; indeed, the very syllables ought, if possible, to be clipped.” Someone remarked to him about Polemo, that his discourse was different from the subject he announced. He replied with a frown, “Well, what value would you have set upon what was given out?” He said that when conversing we ought to be earnest and, like actors, we should have a loud voice and great strength; but we ought not to open the mouth too wide, which is what your senseless chatterbox does. “Telling periods,” he said, “unlike the works of good craftsmen, should need no pause for the contemplation of their excellences; on the contrary, the hearer should be so absorbed in the discourse itself as to have no leisure even to take notes.”
21. Once when a young man was talking a good deal, he said, “Your ears have slid down and merged in your tongue.” To the fair youth, who gave it as his opinion that the wise man would not fall in love, his reply was: “Then who can be more hapless than you fair youths?” He used to say that even of philosophers the greater number were in most things unwise, while about small and casual things they were quite ignorant. And he used to cite the saying of Caphisius, who, when one of his pupils was endeavoring to blow the flute lustily, gave him a slap and told him that to play well does not depend on loudness, though playing loudly may follow upon playing well. And to a youth who was talking somewhat saucily his rejoinder was, “I would rather not tell you what I am thinking, my lad.”
22. A Rhodian, who was handsome and rich, but nothing more, insisted on joining his class; but so unwelcome was this pupil, that first of all Zeno made him sit on the benches that were dusty, that he might soil his cloak, and then he consigned him to the place where the beggars sat, that he might rub shoulders with their rags; so at last the young man went away. Nothing, he declared, was more unbecoming than arrogance, especially in the young. He used also to say that it was not the words and expressions that we ought to remember, but we should exercise our mind in disposing to advantage of what we hear, instead of, as it were, tasting a well-cooked dish or well-dressed meal. The young, he thought, should behave with perfect propriety in walk, gait and dress, and he used continually to quote the lines of Euripides about Capaneus:
Large means had he, yet not the haughtiness
That springs from wealth, nor cherished prouder thoughts
Of vain ambition than the poorest man
23. Again he would say that if we want to master the sciences there is nothing so fatal as conceit, and again there is nothing we stand so much in need of as time. To the question “Who is a friend?” his answer was, “A second self (alter ego).” We are told that he was once chastising a slave for stealing, and when the latter pleaded that it was his fate to steal, “Yes, and to be beaten too,” said Zeno. Beauty he called the flower of chastity, while according to others it was chastity which he called the flower of beauty. Once when he saw the slave of one of his acquaintance marked with weals, “I see,” said he, “the imprints of your anger.” To one who had been drenched with unguent, “Who is this,” quoth he, “who smells of woman?” When Dionysius the Renegade asked, “Why am I the only pupil you do not correct?” the reply was, “Because I mistrust you.” To a stripling who was talking nonsense his words were, “The reason why we have two ears and only one mouth is that we may listen more and talk less.” 24. One day at a banquet he was reclining in silence and was asked the reason: whereupon he bade his critic carry word to the king that there was one present who knew how to hold his tongue. Now those who inquired of him were ambassadors from King Ptolemy, and they wanted to know what message they should take back from him to the king. On being asked how he felt about abuse, he replied, “As an envoy feels who is dismissed without an answer.” Apollonius of Tyre tells us how, when Crates laid hold on him by the cloak to drag him from Stilpo, Zeno said, “The right way to seize a philosopher, Crates, is by the ears: persuade me then and drag me off by them; but, if you use violence, my body will be with you, but my mind with Stilpo.”
25. According to Hippobotus he forgathered with Diodorus, with whom he worked hard at dialectic. And when he was already making progress, he would enter Polemo’s school: so far from all self-conceit was he. In consequence Polemo is said to have addressed him thus: “You slip in, Zeno, by the garden door — I’m quite aware of it — you filch my doctrines and give them a Phoenician make-up.” A dialectician once showed him seven logical forms concerned with the sophism known as “The Reaper,” and Zeno asked him how much he wanted for them. Being told a hundred drachmas, he promptly paid two hundred: to such lengths would he go in his love of learning. They say too that he first introduced the word Duty and wrote a treatise on the subject. It is said, moreover, that he corrected Hesiod’s lines thus:
He is best of all men who follows good advice: good too is he who finds out all things for himself.
26. The reason he gave for this was that the man capable of giving a proper hearing to what is said and profiting by it was superior to him who discovers everything himself. For the one had merely a right apprehension, the other in obeying good counsel superadded conduct.
When he was asked why he, though so austere, relaxed at a drinking-party, he said, “Lupins too are bitter, but when they are soaked become sweet.” Hecato too in the second book of his Anecdotes says that he indulged freely at such gatherings. And he would say, “Better to trip with the feet than with the tongue.” “Well-being is attained by little and little, and nevertheless it is no little thing itself.” [Others attribute this to Socrates.]
27. He showed the utmost endurance, and the greatest frugality; the food he used required no fire to dress, and the cloak he wore was thin. Hence it was said of him:
The cold of winter and the ceaseless rain
Come powerless against him: weak the dart
Of the fierce summer sun or racking pain
To bend that iron frame. He stands apart
Unspoiled by public feast and jollity:
Patient, unwearied night and day doth he
Cling to his studies of philosophy.
Nay more: the comic poets by their very jests at his expense praised him without intending it. Thus Philemon says in a play, Philosophers:
This man adopts a new philosophy.
He teaches to go hungry: yet he gets
Disciples. One sole loaf of bread his food;
His best dessert dried figs; water his drink.
Others attribute these lines to Poseidippus.
By this time he had almost become a proverb. At all events, “More temperate than Zeno the philosopher” was a current saying about him. Poseidippus also writes in his Men Transported:
So that for ten whole days
More temperate than Zeno’s self he seemed.
28. And in very truth in this species of virtue and in dignity he surpassed all mankind, ay, and in happiness; for he was ninety-eight when he died and had enjoyed good health without an ailment to the last. Persaeus, however, in his ethical lectures makes him die at the age of seventy-two, having come to Athens at the age of twenty-two. But Apollonius says that he presided over the school for fifty-eight years. The manner of his death was as follows. As he was leaving the school he tripped and fell, breaking a toe. Striking the ground with his fist, he quoted the line from the Niobe:
I come, I come, why dost thou call for me?
and died on the spot through holding his breath.
29. The Athenians buried him in the Ceramicus and honored him in the decrees already cited above, adding their testimony of his goodness. Here is the epitaph composed for him by Antipater of Sidon:
Here lies great Zeno, dear to Citium, who scaled high Olympus, though he piled not Pelion on Ossa, nor toiled at the labours of Heracles, but this was the path he found out to the stars — the way of temperance alone.
30. Here too is another by Zenodotus the Stoic, a pupil of Diogenes:
Thou madest self-sufficiency thy rule,
Eschewing haughty wealth, O godlike Zeno,
With aspect grave and hoary brow serene.
A manly doctrine thine: and by thy prudence
With much toil thou didst found a great new school,
Chaste parent of unfearing liberty.
And if thy native country was Phoenicia,
What need to slight thee? came not Cadmus thence,
Who gave to Greece her books and art of writing?
And Athenaeus the epigrammatist speaks of all the Stoics in common as follows:
O ye who’ve learnt the doctrines of the Porch
And have committed to your books divine
The best of human learning, teaching men
That the mind’s virtue is the only good!
She only it is who keeps the lives of men
And cities, — safer than high gates and walls.
But those who place their happiness in pleasure
Are led by the least worthy of the Muses.
31. We have ourselves mentioned the manner of Zeno’s death in the Pammetros (a collection of poems in various metres):
The story goes that Zeno of Citium after enduring many hardships by reason of old age was set free, some say by ceasing to take food; others say that once when he had tripped he beat with his hand upon the earth and cried, “I come of my own accord; why then call me?”
For there are some who hold this to have been the manner of his death.
So much then concerning his death.
Demetrius the Magnesian, in his work on Men of the Same Name, says of him: his father, Mnaseas, being a merchant often went to Athens and brought away many books about Socrates for Zeno while still a boy. 32. Hence he had been well trained even before he left his native place. And thus it came about that on his arrival at Athens he attached himself to Crates. And it seems, he adds, that, when the rest were at a loss how to express their views, Zeno framed a definition of the end. They say that he was in the habit of swearing by “capers” just as Socrates used to swear by “the dog.” Some there are, and among them Cassius the Sceptic and his disciples, who accuse Zeno at length. Their first count is that in the beginning of his Republic he pronounced the ordinary education useless: the next is that he applies to all men who are not virtuous the opprobrious epithets of foemen, enemies, slaves, and aliens to one another, parents to children, brothers to brothers, friends to friends.
33. Again, in the Republic, making an invidious contrast, he declares the good alone to be true citizens or friends or kindred or free men; and accordingly in the view of the Stoics parents and children are enemies, not being wise. Again, it is objected, in the Republic he lays down community of wives, and at line 200 prohibits the building of temples, law-courts and gymnasia in cities; while as regards a currency he writes that we should not think it need be introduced either for purposes of exchange or for travelling abroad. Further, he bids men and women wear the same dress and keep no part of the body entirely covered. 34. That the Republic is the work of Zeno is attested by Chrysippus in his De Republica. And he discussed amatory subjects in the beginning of that book of his which is entitled “The Art of Love.” Moreover, he writes much the same in his Interludes. So much for the criticisms to be found not only in Cassius but in Isidorus of Pergamum, the rhetorician. Isidorus likewise affirms that the passages disapproved by the school were expunged from his works by Athenodorus the Stoic, who was in charge of the Pergamene library; and that afterwards, when Athenodorus was detected and compromised, they were replaced. So much concerning the passages in his writings which are regarded as spurious.
35. There have been eight persons of the name of Zeno. First the Eleatic, of whom more hereafter; the second our present subject; the third a Rhodian who wrote a local history in one volume; the fourth a historian who wrote about the expedition of Pyrrhus into Italy and Sicily, and besides that an epitome of the political history of Rome and Carthage; the fifth a pupil of Chrysippus, who left few writings but many disciples; the sixth a physician of the school of Herophilus, a competent practitioner, though a poor writer; the seventh a grammarian, who besides other writings has left behind him epigrams; the eighth a Sidonian by birth and an Epicurean philosopher, lucid both in thinking and in style.
36. Of the many disciples of Zeno the following are the most famous: Persaeus, son of Demetrius, of Citium, whom some call a pupil and others one of the household, one of those sent him by Antigonus to act as secretary; he had been tutor to Antigonus’s son Halcyoneus. And Antigonus once, wishing to make trial of him, caused some false news to be brought to him that his estate had been ravaged by the enemy, and as his countenance fell, “Do you see,” said he, “that wealth is not a matter of indifference?”
The following works are by Persaeus:
37. Ariston, the son of Miltiades and a native of Chios, who introduced the doctrine of things morally indifferent; Herillus of Carthage, who affirmed knowledge to be the end; Dionysius, who became a renegade to the doctrine of pleasure, for owing to the severity of his ophthalmia he had no longer the nerve to call pain a thing indifferent: his native place was Heraclea; Sphaerus of Bosporus; Cleanthes, son of Phanias, of Assos, his successor in the school: him Zeno used to compare to hard waxen tablets which are difficult to write upon, but retain the characters written upon them. Sphaerus also became the pupil of Cleanthes after Zeno’s death, and we shall have occasion to mention him in the Life of Cleanthes. 38. And furthermore the following according to Hippobotus were pupils of Zeno: Philonides of Thebes; Callippus of Corinth; Posidonius of Alexandria; Athenodorus of Soli; and Zeno of Sidon.
I have decided to give a general account of all the Stoic doctrines in the life of Zeno because he was the founder of the School. I have already given a list of his numerous writings, in which he has spoken as has no other of the Stoics. And his tenets in general are as follows. In accordance with my usual practice a summary statement must suffice.
39. Philosophic doctrine, say the Stoics, falls into three parts: one physical, another ethical, and the third logical. Zeno of Citium was the first to make this division in his Exposition of Doctrine, and Chrysippus too did so in the first book of his Exposition of Doctrine and the first book of his Physics; and so too Apollodorus and Syllus in the first part of their Introductions to Stoic Doctrine, as also Eudromus in his Elementary Treatise on Ethics, Diogenes the Babylonian, and Posidonius.
These parts are called by Apollodorus “Heads of Commonplace”; by Chrysippus and Eudromus specific divisions; by others generic divisions. 40. Philosophy, they say, is like an animal, Logic corresponding to the bones and sinews, Ethics to the fleshy parts, Physics to the soul. Another simile they use is that of an egg: the shell is Logic, next comes the white, Ethics, and the yolk in the center is Physics. Or, again, they liken Philosophy to a fertile field: Logic being the encircling fence, Ethics the crop, Physics the soil or the trees. Or, again, to a city strongly walled and governed by reason.
No single part, some Stoics declare, is independent of any other part, but all blend together. Nor was it usual to teach them separately. Others, however, start their course with Logic, go on to Physics, and finish with Ethics; and among those who so do are Zeno in his treatise On Exposition, Chrysippus, Archedemus and Eudromus.
41. Diogenes of Ptolemas, it is true, begins with Ethics; but Apollodorus puts Ethics second, while Panaetius and Posidonius begin with Physics, as stated by Phanias, the pupil of Posidonius, in the first book of his Lectures of Posidonius. Cleanthes makes not three, but six parts: Dialectic, Rhetoric, Ethics, Politics, Physics, and Theology. But others say that these are divisions not of philosophic exposition, but of philosophy itself: so, for instance, Zeno of Tarsus. Some divide the logical part of the system into the two sciences of rhetoric and dialectic; while some would add that which deals with definitions and another part concerning canons or criteria: some, however, dispense with the part about definitions.
42. Now the part which deals with canons or criteria they admit as a means for the discovery of truth, since in the course of it they explain the different kinds of perceptions that we have. And similarly the part about definitions is accepted as a means of recognizing truth, inasmuch as things are apprehended by means of general notions. Further, by rhetoric they understand the science of speaking well on matters set forth by plain narrative, and by dialectic that of correctly discussing subjects by question and answer; hence their alternative definition of it as the science of statements true, false, and neither true nor false.
Rhetoric itself, they say, has three divisions: deliberative, forensic, and panegyric.
43. Rhetoric according to them may be divided into invention of arguments, their expression in words, their arrangement, and delivery; and a rhetorical speech into introduction, narrative, replies to opponents, and peroration.
Dialectic (they hold) falls under two heads: subjects of discourse and language. And the subjects fall under the following headings: presentations and the various products to which they give rise, propositions enunciated and their constituent subjects and predicates, and similar terms whether direct or reversed, genera and species, arguments too, moods, syllogisms and fallacies whether due to the subject matter or to the language; 44. these including both false and true and negative arguments, sorites and the like, whether defective, insoluble, or conclusive, and the fallacies known as the Veiled, or Horned, No man, and The Mowers.
The second main head mentioned above as belonging to Dialectic is that of language, wherein are included written language and the parts of speech, with a discussion of errors in syntax and in single words, poetical diction, verbal ambiguities, euphony and music, and according to some writers chapters on terms, divisions, and style.
45. The study of syllogisms they declare to be of the greatest service, as showing us what is capable of yielding demonstration; and this contributes much to the formation of correct judgments, and their arrangement and retention in memory give a scientific character to our conception of things.
An argument is in itself a whole containing premises and conclusion, and an inference (or syllogism) is an inferential argument composed of these. Demonstration is an argument inferring by means of what is better apprehended something less clearly apprehended.
A presentation (or mental impression) is an imprint on the soul: the name having been appropriately borrowed from the imprint made by the seal upon the wax. 46. There are two species of presentation, the one apprehending a real object, the other not. The former, which they take to be the test of reality, is defined as that which proceeds from a real object, agrees with that object itself, and has been imprinted seal-fashion and stamped upon the mind: the latter, or non-apprehending, that which does not proceed from any real object, or, if it does, fails to agree with the reality itself, not being clear or distinct.
Dialectic, they said, is indispensable and is itself a virtue, embracing other particular virtues under it. Freedom from precipitancy is a knowledge when to give or withhold the mind’s assent to impressions. 47. By wariness they mean a strong presumption against what at the moment seems probable, so as not to be taken in by it. Irrefutability is strength in argument so as not to be brought over by it to the opposite side. Earnestness (or absence of frivolity) is a habit of referring presentations to right reason. Knowledge itself they define either as unerring apprehension or as a habit or state which in reception of presentations cannot be shaken by argument. Without the study of dialectic, they say, the wise man cannot guard himself in argument so as never to fall; for it enables him to distinguish between truth and falsehood, and to discriminate what is merely plausible and what is ambiguously expressed, and without it he cannot methodically put questions and give answers.
48. Overhastiness in assertion affects the actual course of events, so that, unless we have our perceptions well trained, we are liable to fall into unseemly conduct and heedlessness; and in no other way will the wise man approve himself acute, nimblewitted, and generally skilful in argument; for it belongs to the same person to converse well and to argue well, to put questions to the purpose and to respond to the questions put; and all these qualifications are qualifications belonging to the skilled dialectician.
Such is, summarily stated, the substance of their logical teaching. And in order to give it also in detail, let me now cite as much of it as comes within the scope of their introductory handbook. I will quote verbatim what Diocles the Magnesian says in his Synopsis of Philosophers. These are his words:
49. “The Stoics agree to put in the forefront the doctrine of presentation and sensation, inasmuch as the standard by which the truth of things is tested is generically a presentation, and again the theory of assent and that of apprehension and thought, which precedes all the rest, cannot be stated apart from presentation. For presentation comes first; then thought, which is capable of expressing itself, puts into the form of a proposition that which the subject receives from a presentation.”
50. There is a difference between the process and the outcome of presentation. The latter is a semblance in the mind such as may occur in sleep, while the former is the act of imprinting something on the soul, that is a process of change, as is set forth by Chrysippus in the second book of his treatise Of the Soul (De anima). For, says he, we must not take “impression” in the literal sense of the stamp of a seal, because it is impossible to suppose that a number of such impressions should be in one and the same spot at one and the same time. The presentation meant is that which comes from a real object, agrees with that object, and has been stamped, imprinted and pressed seal-fashion on the soul, as would not be the case if it came from an unreal object.
51. According to them some presentations are data of sense and others are not: the former are the impressions conveyed through one or more sense-organs; while the latter, which are not data of sense, are those received through the mind itself, as is the case with incorporeal things and all the other presentations which are received by reason. Of sensuous impressions some are from real objects and are accompanied by yielding and assent on our part. But there are also presentations that are appearances and no more, purporting, as it were, to come from real objects.
Another division of presentations is into rational and irrational, the former being those of rational creatures, the latter those of the irrational. Those which are rational are processes of thought, while those which are irrational have no name. Again, some of our impressions are scientific, others unscientific: at all events a statue is viewed in a totally different way by the trained eye of a sculptor and by an ordinary man.
52. The Stoics apply the term sense or sensation (αἴσθησις) to three things: (1) the current passing from the principal part of the soul to the senses, (2) apprehension by means of the senses, (3) the apparatus of the sense-organs, in which some persons are deficient. Moreover, the activity of the sense-organs is itself also called sensation. According to them it is by sense that we apprehend black and white, rough and smooth, whereas it is by reason that we apprehend the conclusions of demonstration, for instance the existence of gods and their providence. General notions, indeed, are gained in the following ways: some by direct contact, some by resemblance, some by analogy, some by transposition, some by composition, and some by contrariety.
53. By incidence or direct contact have come our notions of sensible things; by resemblance notions whose origin is something before us, as the notion of Socrates which we get from his bust; while under notions derived from analogy come those which we get (1) by way of enlargement, like that of Tityos or the Cyclops, or (2) by way of diminution, like that of the Pygmy. And thus, too, the center of the earth was originally conceived on the analogy of smaller spheres. Of notions obtained by transposition creatures with eyes on the chest would be an instance, while the centaur exemplifies those reached by composition, and death those due to contrariety. Furthermore, there are notions which imply a sort of transition to the realm of the imperceptible: such are those of space and of the meaning of terms. The notions of justice and goodness come by nature. Again, privation originates notions; for instance, that of the man without hands. Such are their tenets concerning presentation, sensation, and thought.
54. The standard of truth they declare to be the apprehending presentation, i.e. that which comes from a real object — according to Chrysippus in the twelfth book of his Physics and to Antipater and Apollodorus. Boethus, on the other hand, admits a plurality of standards, namely intelligence, sense-perception, appetency, and knowledge; while Chrysippus in the first book of his Exposition of Doctrine contradicts himself and declares that sensation and preconception are the only standards, preconception being a general notion which comes by the gift of nature (an innate conception of universals or general concepts). Again, certain others of the older Stoics make Right Reason the standard; so also does Posidonius in his treatise On the Standard.
55. In their theory of dialectic most of them see fit to take as their starting-point the topic of voice. Now voice is a percussion of the air or the proper object of the sense of hearing, as Diogenes the Babylonian says in his handbook On Voice. While the voice or cry of an animal is just a percussion of air brought about by natural impulse, man’s voice is articulate and, as Diogenes puts it, an utterance of reason, having the quality of coming to maturity at the age of fourteen. Furthermore, voice according to the Stoics is something corporeal: I may cite for this Archedemus in his treatise On Voice, Diogenes, Antipater and Chrysippus in the second book of his Physics. 56. For whatever produces an effect is body; and voice, as it proceeds from those who utter it to those who hear it, does produce an effect. Reduced to writing, what was voice becomes a verbal expression, as “day”; so says Diogenes. A statement or proposition is speech that issues from the mind and signifies something, e.g. “It is day.” Dialect (διάλεκτος) means a variety of speech which is stamped on one part of the Greek world as distinct from another, or on the Greeks as distinct from other races; or, again, it means a form peculiar to some particular region, that is to say, it has a certain linguistic quality; e.g. in Attic the word for “sea” is not θάλασσα but θάλαττα, and in Ionic “day” is not ἡμέρα but ἡμέρη.
Elements of language are the four-and-twenty letters. “Letter,” however, has three meanings: (1) the particular sound or element of speech; (2) its written symbol or character; (3) its name, as Alpha is the name of the sound A. 57. Seven of the letters are vowels, a, e, ē i, o, u, ō, and six are mutes, b, g, d, k, p, t. There is a difference between voice and speech; because, while voice may include mere noise, speech is always articulate. Speech again differs from a sentence or statement, because the latter always signifies something, whereas a spoken word, as for example βλίτυρι, may be unintelligible — which a sentence never is. And to frame a sentence is more than mere utterance, for while vocal sounds are uttered, things are meant, that is, are matters of discourse.
58. There are, as stated by Diogenes in his treatise on Language and by Chrysippus, five parts of speech: proper name, common noun, verb, conjunction, article. To these Antipater in his work On Words and their Meaning adds another part, the “mean.”
A common noun or appellative is defined by Diogenes as part of a sentence signifying a common quality, e.g. man, horse; whereas a name is a part of speech expressing a quality peculiar to an individual, e.g. Diogenes, Socrates. A verb is, according to Diogenes, a part of speech signifying an isolated predicate, or, as others define it, an un-declined part of a sentence, signifying something that can be attached to one or more subjects, e.g. “I write,” “I speak.” A conjunction is an indeclinable part of speech, binding the various parts of a statement together; and an article is a declinable part of speech, distinguishing the genders and numbers of nouns, e.g. ὁ, ἡ, τό, οἱ, αἱ, τά.
59. There are five excellences of speech — pure Greek, lucidity, conciseness, appropriateness, distinction. By good Greek is meant language faultless in point of grammar and free from careless vulgarity. Lucidity is a style which presents the thought in a way easily understood; conciseness a style that employs no more words than are necessary for setting forth the subject in hand; appropriateness lies in a style akin to the subject; distinction in the avoidance of colloquialism. Among vices of style barbarism is violation of the usage of Greeks of good standing; while there is solecism when the sentence has an incongruous construction.
60. Posidonius in his treatise On Style defines a poetical phrase as one that is metrical or rhythmical, thus mechanically avoiding the character of prose; an example of such rhythmical phrase is:
O mightiest earth, O sky, God’s canopy.
And if such poetical phraseology is significant and includes a portrayal or representation of things human and divine, it is poetry.
A term is, as stated by Antipater in his first book On Terms, a word which, when a sentence is analyzed, is uttered with complete meaning; or, according to Chrysippus in his book On Definitions, is a rendering back one’s own. Delineation is a statement which brings one to a knowledge of the subject in outline, or it may be called a definition which embodies the force of the definition proper in a simpler form. Genus (in logic) is the comprehension in one of a number of inseparable objects of thought: e.g. Animal; for this includes all particular animals.
61. A notion or object of thought is a presentation to the intellect, which though not really substance nor attribute is quasi-substance or quasi-attribute. Thus an image of a horse may rise before the mind, although there is no horse present.
Species is that which is comprehended under genus: thus Man is included under Animal. The highest or most universal genus is that which, being itself a genus, has no genus above: namely, reality or the real; and the lowest and most particular species is that which, being itself a species, has no species below it, e.g. Socrates.
Division of a genus means dissection of it into its proximate species, thus: Animals are either rational or irrational (dichotomy). Contrary division dissects the genus into species by contrary qualities: for example, by means of negation, as when all things that are are divided into good and not good. Subdivision is division applied to a previous division: for instance, after saying, “Of things that are some are good, some are not good,” we proceed, “and of the not good some are bad, some are neither good nor bad (morally indifferent).”
62. Partition in logic is (according to Crinis) classification or distribution of a genus under heads: for instance, Of goods some are mental, others bodily.
Verbal ambiguity arises when a word properly, rightfully, and in accordance with fixed usage denotes two or more different things, so that at one and the same time we may take it in several distinct senses: e.g. in Greek, where by the same verbal expression may be meant in the one case that “A house has three times” fallen, in the other that “a dancing-girl” has fallen.
Posidonius defines Dialectic as the science dealing with truth, falsehood, and that which is neither true nor false; whereas Chrysippus takes its subject to be signs and things signified. Such then is the gist of what the Stoics say in their theory of language.
63. To the department dealing with things as such and things signified is assigned the doctrine of expressions, including those which are complete in themselves, as well as judgments and syllogisms and that of defective expressions comprising predicates both direct and reversed.
By verbal expression they mean that of which the content corresponds to some rational presentation. Of such expressions the Stoics say that some are complete in themselves and others defective. Those are defective the enunciation of which is unfinished, as e.g. “writes,” for we inquire “Who?” Whereas in those that are complete in themselves the enunciation is finished, as “Socrates writes.” And so under the head of defective expressions are ranged all predicates, while under those complete in themselves fall judgments, syllogisms, questions, and inquiries.
64. A predicate is, according to the followers of Apollodorus, what is said of something; in other words, a thing associated with one or more subjects; or, again, it may be defined as a defective expression which has to be joined on to a nominative case in order to yield a judgment. Of predicates some are adjectival, as e.g. “to sail through rocks.” Again, some predicates are direct, some reversed, some neither. Now direct predicates are those that are constructed with one of the oblique cases, as “hears,” “sees,” “converses”; while reversed are those constructed with the passive voice, as “I am heard,” “I am seen.” Neutral are such as correspond to neither of these, as “thinks,” “walks.” Reflexive predicates are those among the passive, which, although in form passive, are yet active operations, as “he gets his hair cut”: 65. for here the agent includes himself in the sphere of his action. The oblique cases are genitive, dative, and accusative.
A judgment is that which is either true or false, or a thing complete in itself, capable of being denied in and by itself, as Chrysippus says in his Dialectical Definitions: “A judgment is that which in and by itself can be denied or affirmed, e.g. ‘It is day,’ ‘Dion is walking.’” The Greek word for judgment (ἀξίωμα) is derived from the verb ἀξιοῦν, as signifying acceptance or rejection; for when you say “It is day,” you seem to accept the fact that it is day. Now, if it really is day, the judgment before us is true, but if not, it is false. 66. There is a difference between judgment, interrogation, and inquiry, as also between imperative, adjurative, optative, hypothetical, vocative, whether that to which these terms are applied be a thing or a judgment. For a judgment is that which, when we set it forth in speech, becomes an assertion, and is either false or true: an interrogation is a thing complete in itself like a judgment but demanding an answer, e.g. “Is it day?” and this is so far neither true nor false. Thus “It is day” is a judgment; “Is it day?” an interrogation. An inquiry is something to which we cannot reply by signs, as you can nod Yes to an interrogation; but you must express the answer in words, “He lives in this or that place.”
67. An imperative is something which conveys a command: e.g.
Go thou to the waters of Inachus.
An adjurative utterance is something … A vocative utterance is something the use of which implies that you are addressing some one; for instance:
Most glorious son of Atreus, Agamemnon, lord of men.
A quasi-proposition is that which, having the enunciation of a judgment, yet in consequence of the intensified tone or emotion of one of its parts falls outside the class of judgments proper, e.g.
68. There is also, differing from a proposition or judgment, what may be called a timid suggestion, the expression of which leaves one at a loss, e.g.
Can it be that pain and life are in some sort akin?
Interrogations, inquiries and the like are neither true nor false, whereas judgments (or propositions) are always either true or false.
The followers of Chrysippus, Archedemus, Athenodorus, Antipater and Crinis divide propositions into simple and not simple. Simple are those that consist of one or more propositions which are not ambiguous, as “It is day.” Not simple are those that consist of one or more ambiguous propositions. 69. They may, that is, consist either of a single ambiguous proposition, e.g. “If it is day, it is day,” or of more than one proposition, e.g. “If it is day, it is light.”
With simple propositions are classed those of negation, denial, privation, affirmation, the definitive and the indefinitive; with those that are not simple the hypothetical, the inferential, the coupled or complex, the disjunctive, the causal, and that which indicates more or less. An example of a negative proposition is “It is not day.” Of the negative proposition one species is the double negative. By double negative is meant the negation of a negation, e.g. “It is not not-day.” Now this presupposes that it is day.
70. A denial contains a negative part or particle and a predication: such as this, “No one is walking.” A privative proposition is one that contains a privative particle reversing the effect of a judgment, as, for example, “This man is unkind.” An affirmative or assertory proposition is one that consists of a noun in the nominative case and a predicate, as “Dion is walking.” A definitive proposition is one that consists of a demonstrative in the nominative case and a predicate, as “This man is walking.” An indefinitive proposition is one that consists of an indefinite word or words and a predicate, e.g. “Some one is walking,” or “There’s some one walking”; “He is in motion.”
71. Of propositions that are not simple the hypothetical, according to Chrysippus in his Dialectics and Diogenes in his Art of Dialectic, is one that is formed by means of the conditional conjunction “If.” Now this conjunction promises that the second of two things follows consequentially upon the first, as, for instance, “If it is day, it is light.” An inferential proposition according to Crinis in his Art of Dialectic is one which is introduced by the conjunction “Since” and consists of an initial proposition and a conclusion; for example, “Since it is day-time, it is light.” This conjunction guarantees both that the second thing follows from the first and that the first is really a fact. 72. A coupled proposition is one which is put together by certain coupling conjunctions, e.g. “It is day-time and it is light.” A disjunctive proposition is one which is constituted such by the disjunctive conjunction “Either,” as e.g. “Either it is day or it is night.” This conjunction guarantees that one or other of the alternatives is false. A causal proposition is constructed by means of the conjunction “Because,” e.g. “Because it is day, it is light.” For the first clause is, as it were, the cause of the second. A proposition which indicates more or less is one that is formed by the word signifying “rather” and the word “than” in between the clauses, as, for example, “It is rather day-time than night.” 73. Opposite in character to the foregoing is a proposition which declares what is less the fact, as e.g. “It is less or not so much night as day.” Further, among propositions there are some which in respect of truth and falsehood stand opposed to one another, of which the one is the negative of the other, as e.g. the propositions “It is day” and “It is not day.” A hypothetical proposition is therefore true, if the contradictory of its conclusion is incompatible with its premise, e.g. “If it is day, it is light.” This is true. For the statement “It is not light,” contradicting the conclusion, is incompatible with the premise “It is day.” On the other hand, a hypothetical proposition is false, if the contradictory of its conclusion does not conflict with the premise, e.g. “If it is day, Dion is walking.” For the statement “Dion is not walking” does not conflict with the premise “It is day.”
74. An inferential proposition is true if starting from a true premise it also has a consequent conclusion, as e.g. “Since it is day, the sun is above the horizon.” But it is false if it starts from a false premise or has an inconsequent conclusion, as e.g. “Since it is night, Dion is walking,” if this be said in day-time. A causal proposition is true if its conclusion really follows from a premise itself true, though the premise does not follow conversely from the conclusion, as e.g. “Because it is day, it is light,” where from the “it is day” the “it is light” duly follows, though from the statement “it is light” it would not follow that “it is day.” But a causal proposition is false if it either starts from a false premise or has an inconsequent conclusion or has a premise that does not correspond with the conclusion, as e.g. “Because it is night, Dion is walking.” 75. A probable judgment is one which induces to assent, e.g. “Whoever gave birth to anything, is that thing’s mother.” This, however, is not necessarily true; for the hen is not mother of an egg.
Again, some things are possible, others impossible; and some things are necessary, others are not necessary. A proposition is possible which admits of being true, there being nothing in external circumstances to prevent it being true, e.g. “Diocles is alive.” Impossible is one which does not admit of being true, as e.g. “The earth flies.” That is necessary which besides being true does not admit of being false or, while it may admit of being false, is prevented from being false by circumstances external to itself, as “Virtue is beneficial.” Not necessary is that which, while true, yet is capable of being false if there are no external conditions to prevent, e.g. “Dion is walking.” 76. A reasonable proposition is one which has to start with more chances of being true than not, e.g. “I shall be alive to-morrow.”
And there are other shades of difference in propositions and grades of transition from true to false — and conversions of their terms — which we now go on to describe broadly.
An argument, according to the followers of Crinis, consists of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion, such as for example this: “If it is day, it is light; but it is day, therefore it is light.” Here the sentence “If it is day, it is light” is the major premise, the clause “it is day” is the minor premise, and “therefore it is light” is the conclusion. A mood is a sort of outline of an argument, like the following: “If the first, then the second; but the first is, therefore the second is.”
77. Symbolical argument is a combination of full argument and mood; e.g. “If Plato is alive, he breathes; but the first is true, therefore the second is true.” This mode of argument was introduced in order that when dealing with long complex arguments we should not have to repeat the minor premise, if it be long, and then state the conclusion, but may arrive at the conclusion as concisely as possible: if A, then B.
Of arguments some are conclusive, others inconclusive. Inconclusive are such that the contradictory of the conclusion is not incompatible with combination of the premises, as in the following: “If it is day, it is light; but it is day, therefore Dion walks.”
78. Of conclusive some are denoted by the common name of the whole class, “conclusive proper,” others are called syllogistic. The syllogistic are such as either do not admit of, or are reducible to such as do not admit of, immediate proof in respect of one or more of the premises; e.g. “If Dion walks, then Dion is in motion; but Dion is walking, therefore Dion is in motion.” Conclusive specifically are those which draw conclusions, but not by syllogism; e.g. the statement “It is both day and night” is false: “now it is day; therefore it is not night.” Arguments not syllogistic are those which plausibly resemble syllogistic arguments, but are not cogent proof; e.g. “If Dion is a horse, he is an animal; but Dion is not a horse, therefore he is not an animal.”
79. Further, arguments may be divided into true and false. The former draw their conclusions by means of true premises; e.g. “If virtue does good, vice does harm; but virtue does good, therefore vice does harm.” Those are false which have error in the premises or are inconclusive; e.g. “If it is day, it is light; but it is day, therefore Dion is alive.” Arguments may also be divided into possible and impossible, necessary and not necessary. Further, there are statements which are indemonstrable because they do not need demonstration; they are employed in the construction of every argument. As to the number of these, authorities differ; Chrysippus makes them five. These are assumed alike in reasoning specifically conclusive and in syllogisms both categorical and hypothetical. 80. The first kind of indemonstrable statement is that in which the whole argument is constructed of a hypothetical proposition and the clause with which the hypothetical proposition begins, while the final clause is the conclusion; as e.g. “If the first, then the second; but the first is, therefore the second is.” The second is that which employs a hypothetical proposition and the contradictory of the consequent, while the conclusion is the contradictory of the antecedent; e.g. “If it is day, it is light; but it is night, therefore it is not day.” Here the minor premise is the contradictory of the consequent; the conclusion the contradictory of the antecedent. The third kind of indemonstrable employs a conjunction of negative propositions for major premise and one of the conjoined propositions for minor premise, concluding thence the contradictory of the remaining proposition; e.g. “It is not the case that Plato is both dead and alive; but he is dead, therefore Plato is not alive.” 81. The fourth kind employs a disjunctive proposition and one of the two alternatives in the disjunction as premises, and its conclusion is the contradictory of the other alternative; e.g. “Either A or B; but A is, therefore B is not.” The fifth kind is that in which the argument as a whole is constructed of a disjunctive proposition and the contradictory of one of the alternatives in the disjunction, its conclusion being the other alternative; e.g. “Either it is day or it is night; but it is not night, therefore it is day.”
From a truth a truth follows, according to the Stoics, as e.g. “It is light” from “It is day”; and from a falsehood a falsehood, as “It is dark” from “It is night,” if this latter be untrue. Also a truth may follow from a falsehood; e.g. from “The earth flies” will follow “The earth exists”; whereas from a truth no falsehood will follow, for from the existence of the earth it does not follow that the earth flies aloft.
82. There are also certain insoluble arguments: the Veiled Men, the Concealed, Sorites, Horned Folk, the Nobodies. The Veiled is as follows: … “It cannot be that if two is few, three is not so likewise, nor that if two or three are few, four is not so; and so on up to ten. But two is few, therefore so also is ten.” … The Nobody argument is an argument whose major premise consists of an indefinite and a definite clause, followed by a minor premise and conclusion; for example, “If anyone is here, he is not in Rhodes; but there is some one here, therefore there is not anyone in Rhodes.” …
83. Such, then, is the logic of the Stoics, by which they seek to establish their point that the wise man is the true dialectician. For all things, they say, are discerned by means of logical study, including whatever falls within the province of Physics, and again whatever belongs to that of Ethics. For else, say they, as regards statement and reasoning Physics and Ethics could not tell how to express themselves, or again concerning the proper use of terms, how the laws have defined various actions. Moreover, of the two kinds of common-sense inquiry included under Virtue one considers the nature of each particular thing, the other asks what it is called. Thus much for their logic.
84. The ethical branch of philosophy they divide as follows: (1) the topic of impulse; (2) the topic of things good and evil; (3) that of the passions; (4) that of virtue; (5) that of the end; (6) that of primary value and of actions; (7) that of duties or the befitting; and (8) of inducements to act or refrain from acting. The foregoing is the subdivision adopted by Chrysippus, Archedemus, Zeno of Tarsus, Apollodorus, Diogenes, Antipater, and Posidonius, and their disciples. Zeno of Citium and Cleanthes treated the subject somewhat less elaborately, as might be expected in an older generation. They, however, did subdivide Logic and Physics as well as Ethics.
85. An animal’s first impulse, say the Stoics, is to self-preservation, because nature from the outset endears it to itself, as Chrysippus affirms in the first book of his work On Ends: his words are, “The dearest thing to every animal is its own constitution and its consciousness thereof”; for it was not likely that nature should estrange the living thing from itself or that she should leave the creature she has made without either estrangement from or affection for its own constitution. We are forced then to conclude that nature in constituting the animal made it near and dear to itself; for so it comes to repel all that is injurious and give free access to all that is serviceable or akin to it.
86. As for the assertion made by some people that pleasure is the object to which the first impulse of animals is directed, it is shown by the Stoics to be false. For pleasure, if it is really felt, they declare to be a by-product, which never comes until nature by itself has sought and found the means suitable to the animal’s existence or constitution; it is an aftermath comparable to the condition of animals thriving and plants in full bloom. And nature, they say, made no difference originally between plants and animals, for she regulates the life of plants too, in their case without impulse and sensation, just as also certain processes go on of a vegetative kind in us. But when in the case of animals impulse has been superadded, whereby they are enabled to go in quest of their proper aliment, for them, say the Stoics, Nature’s rule is to follow the direction of impulse. But when reason by way of a more perfect leadership has been bestowed on the beings we call rational, for them life according to reason rightly becomes the natural life. For reason supervenes to shape impulse scientifically.
87. This is why Zeno was the first (in his treatise On the Nature of Man) to designate as the end “life in agreement with nature” (or living agreeably to nature), which is the same as a virtuous life, virtue being the goal towards which nature guides us. So too Cleanthes in his treatise On Pleasure, as also Posidonius, and Hecato in his work On Ends. Again, living virtuously is equivalent to living in accordance with experience of the actual course of nature, as Chrysippus says in the first book of his De finibus; for our individual natures are parts of the nature of the whole universe. 88. And this is why 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, a life in which we refrain from every action forbidden by the law common to all things, that is to say, the right reason which pervades all things, and is identical with this Zeus, lord and ruler of all that is. And this very thing constitutes the virtue of the happy man and the smooth current of life, when all actions promote the harmony of the spirit dwelling in the individual man with the will of him who orders the universe. Diogenes then expressly declares the end to be to act with good reason in the selection of what is natural. Archedemus says the end is to live in the performance of all befitting actions.
89. By the nature with which our life ought to be in accord, Chrysippus understands both universal nature and more particularly the nature of man, whereas Cleanthes takes the nature of the universe alone as that which should be followed, without adding the nature of the individual.
And virtue, he holds, is a harmonious disposition, choice-worthy for its own sake and not from hope or fear or any external motive. Moreover, it is in virtue that happiness consists; for virtue is the state of mind which tends to make the whole of life harmonious. When a rational being is perverted, this is due to the deceptiveness of external pursuits or sometimes to the influence of associates. For the starting-points of nature are never perverse.
90. Virtue, in the first place, is in one sense the perfection of anything in general, say of a statue; again, it may be non-intellectual, like health, or intellectual, like prudence. For Hecato says in his first book On the Virtues that some are scientific and based upon theory, namely, those which have a structure of theoretical principles, such as prudence and justice; others are non-intellectual, those that are regarded as co-extensive and parallel with the former, like health and strength. For health is found to attend upon and be co-extensive with the intellectual virtue of temperance, just as strength is a result of the building of an arch. 91. These are called non-intellectual, because they do not require the mind’s assent; they supervene and they occur even in bad men: for instance, health, courage. The proof, says Posidonius in the first book of his treatise on Ethics, that virtue really exists is the fact that Socrates, Diogenes, and Antisthenes and their followers made moral progress. And for the existence of vice as a fundamental fact the proof is that it is the opposite of virtue. That it, virtue, can be taught is laid down by Chrysippus in the first book of his work On the End, by Cleanthes, by Posidonius in his Protreptica, and by Hecato; that it can be taught is clear from the case of bad men becoming good.
92. Panaetius, however, divides virtue into two kinds, theoretical and practical; others make a threefold division of it into logical, physical, and ethical; while by the school of Posidonius four types are recognized, and more than four by Cleanthes, Chrysippus, Antipater, and their followers. Apollophanes for his part counts but one, namely, practical wisdom.
Amongst the virtues some are primary, some are subordinate to these. The following are the primary: wisdom, courage, justice, temperance. Particular virtues are magnanimity, continence, endurance, presence of mind, good counsel. And wisdom they define as the knowledge of things good and evil and of what is neither good nor evil; courage as knowledge of what we ought to choose, what we ought to beware of, and what is indifferent; justice …; 93. magnanimity as the knowledge or habit of mind which makes one superior to anything that happens, whether good or evil equally; continence as a disposition never overcome in that which concerns right reason, or a habit which no pleasures can get the better of; endurance as a knowledge or habit which suggests what we are to hold fast to, what not, and what is indifferent; presence of mind as a habit prompt to find out what is meet to be done at any moment; good counsel as knowledge by which we see what to do and how to do it if we would consult our own interests.
Similarly, of vices some are primary, others subordinate: e.g. folly, cowardice, injustice, profligacy are accounted primary; but incontinence, stupidity, ill-advisedness subordinate. Further, they hold that the vices are forms of ignorance of those things whereof the corresponding virtues are the knowledge.
94. Good in general is that from which some advantage comes, and more particularly what is either identical with or not distinct from benefit. Whence it follows that virtue itself and whatever partakes of virtue is called good in these three senses — viz. as being (1) the source from which benefit results; or (2) that in respect of which benefit results, e.g. the virtuous act; or (3) that by the agency of which benefit results, e.g. the good man who partakes in virtue.
Another particular definition of good which they give is “the natural perfection of a rational being qua rational.” To this answers virtue and, as being partakers in virtue, virtuous acts and good men; as also its supervening accessories, joy and gladness and the like. 95. So with evils: either they are vices, folly, cowardice, injustice, and the like; or things which partake of vice, including vicious acts and wicked persons as well as their accompaniments, despair, moroseness, and the like.
Again, some goods are goods of the mind and others external, while some are neither mental nor external. The former include the virtues and virtuous acts; external goods are such as having a good country or a good friend, and the prosperity of such. Whereas to be good and happy oneself is of the class of goods neither mental nor external. 96. Similarly of things evil some are mental evils, namely, vices and vicious actions; others are outward evils, as to have a foolish country or a foolish friend and the unhappiness of such; other evils again are neither mental nor outward, e.g. to be yourself bad and unhappy.
Again, goods are either of the nature of ends or they are the means to these ends, or they are at the same time end and means. A friend and the advantages derived from him are means to good, whereas confidence, high-spirit, liberty, delight, gladness, freedom from pain, and every virtuous act are of the nature of ends.
97. The virtues (they say) are goods of the nature at once of ends and of means. On the one hand, in so far as they cause happiness they are means, and on the other hand, in so far as they make it complete, and so are themselves part of it, they are ends. Similarly of evils some are of the nature of ends and some of means, while others are at once both means and ends. Your enemy and the harm he does you are means; consternation, abasement, slavery, gloom, despair, excess of grief, and every vicious action are of the nature of ends. Vices are evils both as ends and as means, since in so far as they cause misery they are means, but in so far as they make it complete, so that they become part of it, they are ends.
98. Of mental goods some are habits, others are dispositions, while others again are neither the one nor the other. The virtues are dispositions, while accomplishments or avocations are matters of habit, and activities as such or exercise of faculty neither the one nor the other. And in general there are some mixed goods: e.g. to be happy in one’s children or in one’s old age. But knowledge is a pure good. Again, some goods are permanent like the virtues, others transitory like joy and walking-exercise.
99. All good (they say) is expedient, binding, profitable, useful, serviceable, beautiful, beneficial, desirable, and just or right. It is expedient, because it brings about things of such a kind that by their occurrence we are benefited. It is binding, because it causes unity where unity is needed; profitable, because it defrays what is expended on it, so that the return yields a balance of benefit on the transaction. It is useful, because it secures the use of benefit; it is serviceable, because the utility it affords is worthy of all praise. It is beautiful, because the good is proportionate to the use made of it; beneficial, because by its inherent nature it benefits; choiceworthy, because it is such that to choose it is reasonable. It is also just or right, inasmuch as it is in harmony with law and tends to draw men together.
100. The reason why they characterize the perfect good as beautiful is that it has in full all the “factors” required by nature or has perfect proportion. Of the beautiful there are (say they) four species, namely, what is just, courageous, orderly and wise; for it is under these forms that fair deeds are accomplished. Similarly there are four species of the base or ugly, namely, what is unjust, cowardly, disorderly, and unwise. By the beautiful is meant properly and in an unique sense that good which renders its possessors praiseworthy, or briefly, good which is worthy of praise; though in another sense it signifies a good aptitude for one’s proper function; while in yet another sense the beautiful is that which lends new grace to anything, as when we say of the wise man that he alone is good and beautiful.
101. And they say that only the morally beautiful is good. So Hecato in his treatise On Goods, book iii., and Chrysippus in his work On the Morally Beautiful. They hold, that is, that virtue and whatever partakes of virtue consists in this: which is equivalent to saying that all that is good is beautiful, or that the term “good” has equal force with the term “beautiful,” which comes to the same thing. “Since a thing is good, it is beautiful; now it is beautiful, therefore it is good.” They hold that all goods are equal and that all good is desirable in the highest degree and admits of no lowering or heightening of intensity. Of things that are, some, they say, are good, some are evil, and some neither good nor evil (that is, morally indifferent).
102. Goods comprise the virtues of prudence, justice, courage, temperance, and the rest; while the opposites of these are evils, namely, folly, injustice, and the rest. Neutral (neither good nor evil, that is) are all those things which neither benefit nor harm a man: such as life, health, pleasure, beauty, strength, wealth, fair fame and noble birth, and their opposites, death, disease, pain, ugliness, weakness, poverty, ignominy, low birth, and the like. This Hecato affirms in his De fine, book vii., and also Apollodorus in his Ethics, and Chrysippus. For, say they, such things (as life, health, and pleasure) are not in themselves goods, but are morally indifferent, though falling under the species or subdivision “things preferred.” 103. For as the property of hot is to warm, not to cool, so the property of good is to benefit, not to injure; but wealth and health do no more benefit than injury, therefore neither wealth nor health is good. Further, they say that that is not good of which both good and bad use can be made; but of wealth and health both good and bad use can be made; therefore wealth and health are not goods. On the other hand, Posidonius maintains that these things too are among goods. Hecato in the ninth book of his treatise On Goods, and Chrysippus in his work On Pleasure, deny that pleasure is a good either; for some pleasures are disgraceful, and nothing disgraceful is good. 104. To benefit is to set in motion or sustain in accordance with virtue; whereas to harm is to set in motion or sustain in accordance with vice.
The term “indifferent” has two meanings: in the first it denotes the things which do not contribute either to happiness or to misery, as wealth, fame, health, strength, and the like; for it is possible to be happy without having these, although, if they are used in a certain way, such use of them tends to happiness or misery. In quite another sense those things are said to be indifferent which are without the power of stirring inclination or aversion; e.g. the fact that the number of hairs on one’s head is odd or even or whether you hold out your finger straight or bent. But it was not in this sense that the things mentioned above were termed indifferent, 105. they being quite capable of exciting inclination or aversion. Hence of these latter some are taken by preference, others are rejected, whereas indifference in the other sense affords no ground for either choosing or avoiding.
Of things indifferent, as they express it, some are “preferred,” others “rejected.” Such as have value, they say, are “preferred,” while such as have negative, instead of positive, value are “rejected.” Value they define as, first, any contribution to harmonious living, such as attaches to every good; secondly, some faculty or use which indirectly contributes to the life according to nature: which is as much as to say “any assistance brought by wealth or health towards living a natural life”; thirdly, value is the full equivalent of an appraiser, as fixed by an expert acquainted with the facts — as when it is said that wheat exchanges for so much barley with a mule thrown in.
106. Thus things of the preferred class are those which have positive value, e.g. amongst mental qualities, natural ability, skill, moral improvement, and the like; among bodily qualities, life, health, strength, good condition, soundness of organs, beauty, and so forth; and in the sphere of external things, wealth, fame, noble birth, and the like. To the class of things “rejected” belong, of mental qualities, lack of ability, want of skill, and the like; among bodily qualities, death, disease, weakness, being out of condition, mutilation, ugliness, and the like; in the sphere of external things, poverty, ignominy, low birth, and so forth. But again there are things belonging to neither class; such are not preferred, neither are they rejected.
107. Again, of things preferred some are preferred for their own sake, some for the sake of something else, and others again both for their own sake and for the sake of something else. To the first of these classes belong natural ability, moral improvement, and the like; to the second wealth, noble birth, and the like; to the last strength, perfect faculties, soundness of bodily organs. Things are preferred for their own sake because they accord with nature; not for their own sake, but for the sake of something else, because they secure not a few utilities. And similarly with the class of things rejected under the contrary heads.
Furthermore, the term Duty is applied to that for which, when done, a reasonable defense can be adduced, e.g. harmony in the tenor of life’s process, which indeed pervades the growth of plants and animals. For even in plants and animals, they hold, you may discern fitness of behavior.
108. Zeno was the first to use this term καθῆκον of conduct. Etymologically it is derived from κατά τινας ἥκειν, i.e. reaching as far as, being up to, or incumbent on so and so. And it is an action in itself adapted to nature’s arrangements. For of the acts done at the prompting of impulse some, they observe, are fit and meet, others the reverse, while there is a third class which is neither the one nor the other.
Befitting acts are all those which reason prevails with us to do; and this is the case with honoring one’s parents, brothers and country, and intercourse with friends. Unbefitting, or contrary to duty, are all acts that reason deprecates, e.g. to neglect one’s parents, to be indifferent to one’s brothers, not to agree with friends, to disregard the interests of one’s country, and so forth. 109. Acts which fall under neither of the foregoing classes are those which reason neither urges us to do nor forbids, such as picking up a twig, holding a style or a scraper, and the like.
Again, some duties are incumbent unconditionally, others in certain circumstances. Unconditional duties are the following: to take proper care of health and one’s organs of sense, and things of that sort. Duties imposed by circumstances are such as maiming oneself and sacrifice of property. And so likewise with acts which are violations of duty. Another division is into duties which are always incumbent and those which are not. To live in accordance with virtue is always a duty, whereas dialectic by question and answer or walking-exercise and the like are not at all times incumbent. The same may be said of the violations of duty. 110. And in things intermediate also there are duties; as that boys should obey the attendants who have charge of them.
According to the Stoics there is an eight-fold division of the soul: the five senses, the faculty of speech, the intellectual faculty, which is the mind itself, and the generative faculty, being all parts of the soul. Now from falsehood there results perversion, which extends to the mind; and from this perversion arise many passions or emotions, which are causes of instability. Passion, or emotion, is defined by Zeno as an irrational and unnatural movement in the soul, or again as impulse in excess.
The main, or most universal, emotions, according to Hecato in his treatise On the Passions, book ii., and Zeno in his treatise with the same title, constitute four great classes, grief, fear, desire or craving, pleasure. 111. They hold the emotions to be judgments, as is stated by Chrysippus in his treatise On the Passions: avarice being a supposition that money is a good, while the case is similar with drunkenness and profligacy and all the other emotions.
And grief or pain they hold to be an irrational mental contraction. Its species are pity, envy, jealousy, rivalry, heaviness, annoyance, distress, anguish, distraction. Pity is grief felt at undeserved suffering; envy, grief at others’ prosperity; jealousy, grief at the possession by another of that which one desires for oneself; rivalry, pain at the possession by another of what one has oneself. 112. Heaviness or vexation is grief which weighs us down, annoyance that which coops us up and straitens us for want of room, distress a pain brought on by anxious thought that lasts and increases, anguish painful grief, distraction irrational grief, rasping and hindering us from viewing the situation as a whole.
Fear is an expectation of evil. Under fear are ranged the following emotions: terror, nervous shrinking, shame, consternation, panic, mental agony. Terror is a fear which produces fright; shame is fear of disgrace; nervous shrinking is a fear that one will have to act; consternation is fear due to a presentation of some unusual occurrence; 113. panic is fear with pressure exercised by sound; mental agony is fear felt when some issue is still in suspense.
Desire or craving is irrational appetency, and under it are ranged the following states: want, hatred, contentiousness, anger, love, wrath, resentment. Want, then, is a craving when it is balked and, as it were, cut off from its object, but kept at full stretch and attracted towards it in vain. Hatred is a growing and lasting desire or craving that it should go ill with somebody. Contentiousness is a craving or desire connected with partisanship; anger a craving or desire to punish one who is thought to have done you an undeserved injury. The passion of love is a craving from which good men are free; for it is an effort to win affection due to the visible presence of beauty. 114. Wrath is anger which has long rankled and has become malicious, waiting for its opportunity, as is illustrated by the lines:
Even though for the one day he swallow his anger, yet doth he still keep his displeasure thereafter in his heart, till he accomplish it.
Resentment is anger in an early stage.
Pleasure is an irrational elation at the accruing of what seems to be choiceworthy; and under it are ranged ravishment, malevolent joy, delight, transport. Ravishment is pleasure which charms the ear. Malevolent joy is pleasure at another’s ills. Delight is the mind’s propulsion to weakness, its name in Greek (τέρψις) being akin to τρέψις or turning. To be in transports of delight is the melting away of virtue.
115. And as there are said to be certain infirmities in the body, as for instance gout and arthritic disorders, so too there is in the soul love of fame, love of pleasure, and the like. By infirmity is meant disease accompanied by weakness; and by disease is meant a fond imagining of something that seems desirable. And as in the body there are tendencies to certain maladies such as colds and diarrhea, so it is with the soul, there are tendencies like enviousness, pitifulness, quarrelsomeness, and the like.
116. Also they say that there are three emotional states which are good, namely, joy, caution, and wishing. Joy, the counterpart of pleasure, is rational elation; caution, the counterpart of fear, rational avoidance; for though the wise man will never feel fear, he will yet use caution. And they make wishing the counterpart of desire (or craving), inasmuch as it is rational appetency. And accordingly, as under the primary passions are classed certain others subordinate to them, so too is it with the primary eupathies or good emotional states. Thus under wishing they bring well-wishing or benevolence, friendliness, respect, affection; under caution, reverence and modesty; under joy, delight, mirth, cheerfulness.
117. Now they say that the wise man is passionless, because he is not prone to fall into such infirmity. But they add that in another sense the term apathy is applied to the bad man, when, that is, it means that he is callous and relentless. Further, the wise man is said to be free from vanity; for he is indifferent to good or evil report. However, he is not alone in this, there being another who is also free from vanity, he who is ranged among the rash, and that is the bad man. Again, they tell us that all good men are austere or harsh, because they neither have dealings with pleasure themselves nor tolerate those who have. The term harsh is applied, however, to others as well, and in much the same sense as a wine is said to be harsh when it is employed medicinally and not for drinking at all.
118. Again, the good are genuinely in earnest and vigilant for their own improvement, using a manner of life which banishes evil out of sight and makes what good there is in things appear. At the same time they are free from pretense; for they have stripped off all pretense or “make-up” whether in voice or in look. Free too are they from all business cares, declining to do anything which conflicts with duty. They will take wine, but not get drunk. Nay more, they will not be liable to madness either; not but what there will at times occur to the good man strange impressions due to melancholy or delirium, ideas not determined by the principle of what is choiceworthy but contrary to nature. Nor indeed will the wise man ever feel grief; seeing that grief is irrational contraction of the soul, as Apollodorus says in his Ethics.
119. They are also, it is declared, godlike; for they have a something divine within them; whereas the bad man is godless. And yet of this word — godless or ungodly — there are two senses, one in which it is the opposite of the term “godly,” the other denoting the man who ignores the divine altogether: in this latter sense, as they note, the term does not apply to every bad man. The good, it is added, are also worshippers of God; for they have acquaintance with the rites of the gods, and piety is the knowledge of how to serve the gods. Further, they will sacrifice to the gods and they keep themselves pure; for they avoid all acts that are offenses against the gods, and the gods think highly of them: for they are holy and just in what concerns the gods. The wise too are the only priests; for they have made sacrifices their study, as also the building of temples, purifications, and all the other matters appertaining to the gods.
120. The Stoics approve also of honoring parents and brothers in the second place next after the gods. They further maintain that parental affection for children is natural to the good, but not to the bad. It is one of their tenets that sins are all equal: so Chrysippus in the fourth book of his Ethical Questions, as well as Persaeus and Zeno. For if one truth is not more true than another, neither is one falsehood more false than another, and in the same way one deceit is not more so than another, nor sin than sin. For he who is a hundred furlongs from Canopus and he who is only one furlong away are equally not in Canopus, and so too he who commits the greater sin and he who commits the less are equally not in the path of right conduct. 121. But Heraclides of Tarsus, who was the disciple of Antipater of Tarsus, and Athenodorus both assert that sins are not equal.
Again, the Stoics say that the wise man will take part in politics, if nothing hinders him — so, for instance, Chrysippus in the first book of his work On Various Types of Life — since thus he will restrain vice and promote virtue. Also (they maintain) he will marry, as Zeno says in his Republic, and beget children. Moreover, they say that the wise man will never form mere opinions, that is to say, he will never give assent to anything that is false; that he will also play the Cynic, Cynicism being a short cut to virtue, as Apollodorus calls it in his Ethics; that he will even turn cannibal under stress of circumstances. They declare that he alone is free and bad men are slaves, freedom being power of independent action, whereas slavery is privation of the same; 122. though indeed there is also a second form of slavery consisting in subordination, and a third which implies possession of the slave as well as his subordination; the correlative of such servitude being lordship; and this too is evil. Moreover, according to them not only are the wise free, they are also kings; kingship being irresponsible rule, which none but the wise can maintain: so Chrysippus in his treatise vindicating Zeno’s use of terminology. For he holds that knowledge of good and evil is a necessary attribute of the ruler, and that no bad man is acquainted with this science. Similarly the wise and good alone are fit to be magistrates, judges, or orators, whereas among the bad there is not one so qualified. 123. Furthermore, the wise are infallible, not being liable to error. They are also without offense; for they do no hurt to others or to themselves. At the same time they are not pitiful and make no allowance for anyone; they never relax the penalties fixed by the laws, since indulgence and pity and even equitable consideration are marks of a weak mind, which affects kindness in place of chastizing. Nor do they deem punishments too severe. Again, they say that the wise man never wonders at any of the things which appear extraordinary, such as Charon’s mephitic caverns, ebbings of the tide, hot springs or fiery eruptions. Nor yet, they go on to say, will the wise man live in solitude; for he is naturally made for society and action. 124. He will, however, submit to training to augment his powers of bodily endurance.
And the wise man, they say, will offer prayers, and ask for good things from the gods: so Posidonius in the first book of his treatise On Duties, and Hecato in his third book On Paradoxes. Friendship, they declare, exists only between the wise and good, by reason of their likeness to one another. And by friendship they mean a common use of all that has to do with life, wherein we treat our friends as we should ourselves. They argue that a friend is worth having for his own sake and that it is a good thing to have many friends. But among the bad there is, they hold, no such thing as friendship, and thus no bad man has a friend. Another of their tenets is that the unwise are all mad, inasmuch as they are not wise but do what they do from that madness which is the equivalent of their folly.
125. Furthermore, the wise man does all things well, just as we say that Ismenias plays all airs on the flute well. Also everything belongs to the wise. For the law, they say, has conferred upon them a perfect right to all things. It is true that certain things are said to belong to the bad, just as what has been dishonestly acquired may be said, in one sense, to belong to the state, in another sense to those who are enjoying it.
They hold that the virtues involve one another, and that the possessor of one is the possessor of all, inasmuch as they have common principles, as Chrysippus says in the first book of his work On Virtues, Apollodorus in his Physics according to the Early School, and Hecato in the third book of his treatise On Virtues. 126. For if a man be possessed of virtue, he is at once able to discover and to put into practice what he ought to do. Now such rules of conduct comprise rules for choosing, enduring, staying, and distributing; so that if a man does some things by intelligent choice, some things with fortitude, some things by way of just distribution, and some steadily, he is at once wise, courageous, just, and temperate. And each of the virtues has a particular subject with which it deals, as, for instance, courage is concerned with things that must be endured, practical wisdom with acts to be done, acts from which one must abstain, and those which fall under neither head. Similarly each of the other virtues is concerned with its own proper sphere. To wisdom are subordinate good counsel and understanding; to temperance, good discipline and orderliness; to justice, equality and fair-mindedness; to courage, constancy and vigor.
127. It is a tenet of theirs that between virtue and vice there is nothing intermediate, whereas according to the Peripatetics there is, namely, the state of moral improvement. For, say the Stoics, just as a stick must be either straight or crooked, so a man must be either just or unjust. Nor again are there degrees of justice and injustice; and the same rule applies to the other virtues. Further, while Chrysippus holds that virtue can be lost, Cleanthes maintains that it cannot. According to the former it may be lost in consequence of drunkenness or melancholy; the latter takes it to be inalienable owing to the certainty of our mental apprehension. And virtue in itself they hold to be worthy of choice for its own sake. At all events we are ashamed of bad conduct as if we knew that nothing is really good but the morally beautiful. Moreover, they hold that it is in itself sufficient to ensure well-being: thus Zeno, and Chrysippus in the first book of his treatise On Virtues, and Hecato in the second book of his treatise On Goods: 128. “For if magnanimity by itself alone can raise us far above everything, and if magnanimity is but a part of virtue, then too virtue as a whole will be sufficient in itself for well-being — despising all things that seem troublesome.” Panaetius, however, and Posidonius deny that virtue is self-sufficing: on the contrary, health is necessary, and some means of living and strength.
Another tenet of theirs is the perpetual exercise of virtue, as held by Cleanthes and his followers. For virtue can never be lost, and the good man is always exercising his mind, which is perfect. Again, they say that justice, as well as law and right reason, exists by nature and not by convention: so Chrysippus in his work On the Morally Beautiful. 129. Neither do they think that the divergence of opinion between philosophers is any reason for abandoning the study of philosophy, since at that rate we should have to give up life altogether: so Posidonius in his Exhortations. Chrysippus allows that the ordinary Greek education is serviceable.
It is their doctrine that there can be no question of right as between man and the lower animals, because of their unlikeness. Thus Chrysippus in the first book of his treatise On Justice, and Posidonius in the first book of his De officio. Further, they say that the wise man will feel affection for the youths who by their countenance show a natural endowment for virtue. So Zeno in his Republic, Chrysippus in book i. of his work On Modes of Life, and Apollodorus in his Ethics.
130. Their definition of love is an effort toward friendliness due to visible beauty appearing, its sole end being friendship, not bodily enjoyment. At all events, they allege that Thrasonides, although he had his mistress in his power, abstained from her because she hated him. By which it is shown, they think, that love depends upon regard, as Chrysippus says in his treatise Of Love, and is not sent by the gods. And beauty they describe as the bloom or flower of virtue.
Of the three kinds of life, the contemplative, the practical, and the rational, they declare that we ought to choose the last, for that a rational being is expressly produced by nature for contemplation and for action. They tell us that the wise man will for reasonable cause make his own exit from life, on his country’s behalf or for the sake of his friends, or if he suffer intolerable pain, mutilation, or incurable disease.
131. It is also their doctrine that amongst the wise there should be a community of wives with free choice of partners, as Zeno says in his Republic and Chrysippus in his treatise On Government [and not only they, but also Diogenes the Cynic and Plato]. Under such circumstances we shall feel paternal affection for all the children alike, and there will be an end of the jealousies arising from adultery. The best form of government they hold to be a mixture of democracy, kingship, and aristocracy (or the rule of the best).
Such, then, are the statements they make in their ethical doctrines, with much more besides, together with their proper proofs: let this, however, suffice for a statement of them in a summary and elementary form.
132. Their physical doctrine they divide into sections (1) about bodies; (2) about principles; (3) about elements; (4) about the gods; (5) about bounding surfaces and space whether filled or empty. This is a division into species; but the generic division is into three parts, dealing with (i.) the universe; (ii.) the elements; (iii.) the subject of causation.
The part dealing with the universe admits, they say, of division into two: for with one aspect of it the mathematicians also are concerned, in so far as they treat questions relating to the fixed stars and the planets, e.g. whether the sun is or is not just so large as it appears to be, and the same about the moon, the question of their revolutions, and other inquiries of the same sort. 133. But there is another aspect or field of cosmological inquiry, which belongs to the physicists alone: this includes such questions as what the substance of the universe is, whether the sun and the stars are made up of form and matter, whether the world has had a beginning in time or not, whether it is animate or inanimate, whether it is destructible or indestructible, whether it is governed by providence, and all the rest. The part concerned with causation, again, is itself subdivided into two. And in one of its aspects medical inquiries have a share in it, in so far as it involves investigation of the ruling principle of the soul and the phenomena of soul, seeds, and the like. Whereas the other part is claimed by the mathematicians also, e.g. how vision is to be explained, what causes the image on the mirror, what is the origin of clouds, thunder, rainbows, halos, comets, and the like.
134. They hold that there are two principles in the universe, the active principle and the passive. The passive principle, then, is a substance without quality, i.e. matter, whereas the active is the reason inherent in this substance, that is God. For he is everlasting and is the artificer of each several thing throughout the whole extent of matter. This doctrine is laid down by Zeno of Citium in his treatise On Existence, Cleanthes in his work On Atoms, Chrysippus in the first book of his Physics towards the end, Archedemus in his treatise On Elements, and Posidonius in the second book of his Physical Exposition. There is a difference, according to them, between principles and elements; the former being without generation or destruction, whereas the elements are destroyed when all things are resolved into fire. Moreover, the principles are incorporeal and destitute of form, while the elements have been endowed with form.
135. Body is defined by Apollodorus in his Physics as that which is extended in three dimensions, length, breadth, and depth. This is also called solid body. But surface is the extremity of a solid body, or that which has length and breadth only without depth. That surface exists not only in our thought but also in reality is maintained by Posidonius in the third book of his Celestial Phenomena. A line is the extremity of a surface or length without breadth, or that which has length alone. A point is the extremity of a line, the smallest possible mark or dot.
God is one and the same with Reason, Fate, and Zeus; he is also called by many other names. 136. In the beginning he was by himself; he transformed the whole of substance through air into water, and just as in animal generation the seed has a moist vehicle, so in cosmic moisture God, who is the seminal reason of the universe, remains behind in the moisture as such an agent, adapting matter to himself with a view to the next stage of creation. Thereupon he created first of all the four elements, fire, water, air, earth. They are discussed by Zeno in his treatise On the Whole, by Chrysippus in the first book of his Physics, and by Archedemus in a work On Elements. An element is defined as that from which particular things first come to be at their birth and into which they are finally resolved. 137. The four elements together constitute unqualified substance or matter. Fire is the hot element, water the moist, air the cold, earth the dry. Not but what the quality of dryness is also found in the air. Fire has the uppermost place; it is also called aether, and in it the sphere of the fixed stars is first created; then comes the sphere of the planets, next to that the air, then the water, and lowest of all the earth, which is at the center of all things.
The term universe or cosmos is used by them in three senses: (1) of God himself, the individual being whose quality is derived from the whole of substance; he is indestructible and ingenerable, being the artificer of this orderly arrangement, who at stated periods of time absorbs into himself the whole of substance and again creates it from himself. (2) 138. Again, they give the name of cosmos to the orderly arrangement of the heavenly bodies in itself as such; and (3) in the third place to that whole of which these two are parts. Again, the cosmos is defined as the individual being qualifying the whole of substance, or, in the words of Posidonius in his elementary treatise on Celestial Phenomena, a system made up of heaven and earth and the natures in them, or, again, as a system constituted by gods and men and all things created for their sake. By heaven is meant the extreme circumference or ring in which the deity has his seat.
The world, in their view, is ordered by reason and providence: so says Chrysippus in the fifth book of his treatise On Providence and Posidonius in his work On the Gods, book iii. — inasmuch as reason pervades every part of it, just as does the soul in us. Only there is a difference of degree; in some parts there is more of it, in others less. 139. For through some parts it passes as a “hold” or containing force, as is the case with our bones and sinews; while through others it passes as intelligence, as in the ruling part of the soul. Thus, then, the whole world is a living being, endowed with soul and reason, and having aether for its ruling principle: so says Antipater of Tyre in the eighth book of his treatise On the Cosmos. Chrysippus in the first book of his work On Providence and Posidonius in his book On the Gods say that the heaven, but Cleanthes that the sun, is the ruling power of the world. Chrysippus, however, in the course of the same work gives a somewhat different account, namely, that it is the purer part of the aether; the same which they declare to be preeminently God and always to have, as it were in sensible fashion, pervaded all that is in the air, all animals and plants, and also the earth itself, as a principle of cohesion.
140. The world, they say, is one and finite, having a spherical shape, such a shape being the most suitable for motion, as Posidonius says in the fifth book of his Physical Discourse and the disciples of Antipater in their works on the Cosmos. Outside of the world is diffused the infinite void, which is incorporeal. By incorporeal is meant that which, though capable of being occupied by body, is not so occupied. The world has no empty space within it, but forms one united whole. This is a necessary result of the sympathy and tension which binds together things in heaven and earth. Chrysippus discusses the void in his work On Void and in the first book of his Physical Sciences; so too Apollophanes in his Physics, Apollodorus, and Posidonius in his Physical Discourse, book ii. But these, it is added [i.e. sympathy and tension], are likewise bodies.
141. Time too is incorporeal, being the measure of the world’s motion. And time past and time future are infinite, but time present is finite. They hold that the world must come to an end, inasmuch as it had a beginning, on the analogy of those things which are understood by the senses. And that of which the parts are perishable is perishable as a whole. Now the parts of the world are perishable, seeing that they are transformed one into the other. Therefore the world itself is doomed to perish. Moreover, anything is destructible if it admits of deterioration; therefore the world is so, for it is first evaporated and again dissolved into water.
142. The world, they hold, comes into being when its substance has first been converted from fire through air into moisture and then the coarser part of the moisture has condensed as earth, while that whose particles are fine has been turned into air, and this process of rarefaction goes on increasing till it generates fire. Thereupon out of these elements animals and plants and all other natural kinds are formed by their mixture. The generation and the destruction of the world are discussed by Zeno in his treatise On the Whole, by Chrysippus in the first book of his Physics, by Posidonius in the first book of his work On the Cosmos, by Cleanthes, and by Antipater in his tenth book On the Cosmos. Panaetius, however, maintained that the world is indestructible.
The doctrine that the world is a living being, rational, animate and intelligent, is laid down by Chrysippus in the first book of his treatise On Providence, by Apollodorus in his Physics, and by Posidonius. 143. It is a living thing in the sense of an animate substance endowed with sensation; for animal is better than non-animal, and nothing is better than the world, ergo the world is a living being. And it is endowed with soul, as is clear from our several souls being each a fragment of it. Boethus, however, denies that the world is a living thing. The unity of the world is maintained by Zeno in his treatise On the Whole, by Chrysippus, by Apollodorus in his Physics, and by Posidonius in the first book of his Physical Discourse. By the totality of things, the All, is meant, according to Apollodorus, (1) the world, and in another sense (2) the system composed of the world and the void outside it. The world then is finite, the void infinite.
144. Of the stars some are fixed, and are carried round with the whole heaven; others, the wandering stars or planets, have their special motions. The sun travels in an oblique path through the zodiac. Similarly the moon travels in a spiral path. The sun is pure fire: so Posidonius in the seventh book of his Celestial Phenomena. And it is larger than the earth, as the same author says in the sixth book of his Physical Discourse. Moreover it is spherical in shape like the world itself according to this same author and his school. That it is fire is proved by its producing all the effects of fire; that it is larger than the earth by the fact that all the earth is illuminated by it; nay more, the heaven beside. The fact too that the earth casts a conical shadow proves that the sun is greater than it. And it is because of its great size that it is seen from every part of the earth.
145. The moon, however, is of a more earthy composition, since it is nearer to the earth. These fiery bodies and the stars generally derive their nutriment, the sun from the wide ocean, being a fiery kindling, though intelligent; the moon from fresh waters, with an admixture of air, close to the earth as it is: thus Posidonius in the sixth book of his Physics; the other heavenly bodies being nourished from the earth. They hold that the stars are spherical in shape and that the earth too is so and is at rest; and that the moon does not shine by her own light, but by the borrowed light of the sun when he shines upon her.
An eclipse of the sun takes place when the moon passes in front of it on the side towards us, as shown by Zeno with a diagram in his treatise On the Whole. 146. For the moon is seen approaching at conjunctions and occulting it and then again receding from it. This can best be observed when they are mirrored in a basin of water. The moon is eclipsed when she falls into the earth’s shadow: for which reason it is only at the full moon that an eclipse happens, although she is in opposition to the sun every month; because the moon moves in an oblique orbit, diverging in latitude relatively to the orbit of the sun, and she accordingly goes farther to the north or to the south. When, however, the moon’s motion in latitude has brought her into the sun’s path through the zodiac, and she thus comes diametrically opposite to the sun, there is an eclipse. Now the moon is in latitude right on the zodiac, when she is in the constellations of Cancer, Scorpio, Aries and Taurus: so Posidonius and his followers tell us.
147. The deity, say they, is a living being, immortal, rational, perfect or intelligent in happiness, admitting nothing evil, taking providential care of the world and all that therein is, but he is not of human shape. He is, however, the artificer of the universe and, as it were, the father of all, both in general and in that particular part of him which is all-pervading, and which is called many names according to its various powers. They give the name Dia (Δία) because all things are due to (διά) him; Zeus (Ζῆνα) in so far as he is the cause of life (ζῆν) or pervades all life; the name Athena is given, because the ruling part of the divinity extends to the aether; the name Hera marks its extension to the air; he is called Hephaestus since it spreads to the creative fire; Poseidon, since it stretches to the sea; Demeter, since it reaches to the earth. Similarly men have given the deity his other titles, fastening, as best they can, on some one or other of his peculiar attributes.
148. The substance of God is declared by Zeno to be the whole world and the heaven, as well as by Chrysippus in his first book Of the Gods, and by Posidonius in his first book with the same title. Again, Antipater in the seventh book of his work On the Cosmos says that the substance of God is akin to air, while Boethus in his work On Nature speaks of the sphere of the fixed stars as the substance of God. Now the term Nature is used by them to mean sometimes that which holds the world together, sometimes that which causes terrestrial things to spring up. Nature is defined as a force moving of itself, producing and preserving in being its offspring in accordance with seminal principles within definite periods, and effecting results homogeneous with their sources. 149. Nature, they hold, aims both at utility and at pleasure, as is clear from the analogy of human craftsmanship. That all things happen by fate or destiny is maintained by Chrysippus in his treatise De fato, by Posidonius in his De fato, book ii., by Zeno and by Boethus in his De fato, book i. Fate is defined as an endless chain of causation, whereby things are, or as the reason or formula by which the world goes on. What is more, they say that divination in all its forms is a real and substantial fact, if there is really Providence. And they prove it to be actually a science on the evidence of certain results: so Zeno, Chrysippus in the second book of his De divinatione, Athenodorus, and Posidonius in the second book of his Physical Discourse and the fifth book of his De divinatione. But Panaetius denies that divination has any real existence.
150. The primary matter they make the substratum of all things: so Chrysippus in the first book of his Physics, and Zeno. By matter is meant that out of which anything whatsoever is produced. Both substance and matter are terms used in a twofold sense according as they signify (1) universal or (2) particular substance or matter. The former neither increases nor diminishes, while the matter of particular things both increases and diminishes. Body according to them is substance which is finite: so Antipater in his second book On Substance, and Apollodorus in his Physics. Matter can also be acted upon, as the same author says, for if it were immutable, the things which are produced would never have been produced out of it. Hence the further doctrine that matter is divisible ad infinitum. Chrysippus says that the division is not ad infinitum, but itself infinite; for there is nothing infinitely small to which the division can extend. But nevertheless the division goes on without ceasing.
151. Hence, again, their explanation of the mixture of two substances is, according to Chrysippus in the third book of his Physics, that they permeate each other through and through, and that the particles of the one do not merely surround those of the other or lie beside them. Thus, if a little drop of wine be thrown into the sea, it will be equally diffused over the whole sea for a while and then will be blended with it.
Also they hold that there are daemons (δαίμονες) who are in sympathy with mankind and watch over human affairs. They believe too in heroes, that is, the souls of the righteous that have survived their bodies.
Of the changes which go on in the air, they describe winter as the cooling of the air above the earth due to the sun’s departure to a distance from the earth; spring as the right temperature of the air consequent upon his approach to us; 152. summer as the heating of the air above the earth when he travels to the north; while autumn they attribute to the receding of the sun from us. As for the winds, they are streams of air, differently named according to the localities from which they blow. And the cause of their production is the sun through the evaporation of the clouds. The rainbow is explained as the reflection of the sun’s rays from watery clouds or, as Posidonius says in his Meteorology, an image of a segment of the sun or moon in a cloud suffused with dew, which is hollow and visible without intermission, the image showing itself as if in a mirror in the form of a circular arch. Comets, bearded stars, and meteors are fires which arise when dense air is carried up to the region of aether. 153. A shooting star is the sudden kindling of a mass of fire in rapid motion through the air, which leaves a trail behind it presenting an appearance of length. Rain is the transformation of cloud into water, when moisture drawn up by the sun from land or sea has been only partially evaporated. If this is cooled down, it is called hoar-frost. Hail is frozen cloud, crumbled by a wind; while snow is moist matter from a cloud which has congealed: so Posidonius in the eighth book of his Physical Discourse. Lightning is a kindling of clouds from being rubbed together or being rent by wind, as Zeno says in his treatise On the Whole; thunder the noise these clouds make when they rub against each other or burst. 154. Thunderbolt is the term used when the fire is violently kindled and hurled to the ground with great force as the clouds grind against each other or are torn by the wind. Others say that it is a compression of fiery air descending with great force. A typhoon is a great and violent thunderstorm whirlwind-like, or a whirlwind of smoke from a cloud that has burst. A “prester” is a cloud rent all round by the force of fire and wind. Earthquakes, say they, happen when the wind finds its way into, or is imprisoned in, the hollow parts of the earth: so Posidonius in his eighth book; and some of them are tremblings, others openings of the earth, others again lateral displacements, and yet others vertical displacements.
155. They maintain that the parts of the world are arranged thus. The earth is in the middle answering to a center; next comes the water, which is shaped like a sphere all round it, concentric with the earth, so that the earth is in water. After the water comes a spherical layer of air. There are five celestial circles: first, the arctic circle, which is always visible; second, the summer tropic; third, the circle of the equinox; fourth, the winter tropic; and fifth, the antarctic, which is invisible to us. They are called parallel, because they do not incline towards one another; yet they are described round the same center. The zodiac is an oblique circle, as it crosses the parallel circles. 156. And there are five terrestrial zones: first, the northern zone which is beyond the arctic circle, uninhabitable because of the cold; second, a temperate zone; a third, uninhabitable because of great heats, called the torrid zone; fourth, a counter-temperate zone; fifth, the southern zone, uninhabitable because of its cold.
Nature in their view is an artistically working fire, going on its way to create; which is equivalent to a fiery, creative, or fashioning breath. And the soul is a nature capable of perception. And they regard it as the breath of life, congenital with us; from which they infer first that it is a body and secondly that it survives death. Yet it is perishable, though the soul of the universe, of which the individual souls of animals are parts, is indestructible. 157. Zeno of Citium and Antipater, in their treatises De anima, and Posidonius define the soul as a warm breath; for by this we become animate and this enables us to move. Cleanthes indeed holds that all souls continue to exist until the general conflagration; but Chrysippus says that only the souls of the wise do so.
They count eight parts of the soul: the five senses, the generative power in us, our power of speech, and that of reasoning. They hold that we see when the light between the visual organ and the object stretches in the form of a cone: so Chrysippus in the second book of his Physics and Apollodorus. The apex of the cone in the air is at the eye, the base at the object seen. Thus the thing seen is reported to us by the medium of the air stretching out towards it, as if by a stick.
158. We hear when the air between the sonant body and the organ of hearing suffers concussion, a vibration which spreads spherically and then forms waves and strikes upon the ears, just as the water in a reservoir forms wavy circles when a stone is thrown into it. Sleep is caused, they say, by the slackening of the tension in our senses, which affects the ruling part of the soul. They consider that the passions are caused by the variations of the vital breath.
Semen is by them defined as that which is capable of generating offspring like the parent. And the human semen which is emitted by a human parent in a moist vehicle is mingled with parts of the soul, blended in the same ratio in which they are present in the parent. 159. Chrysippus in the second book of his Physics declares it to be in substance identical with vital breath or spirit. This, he thinks, can be seen from the seeds cast into the earth, which, if kept till they are old, do not germinate, plainly because their fertility has evaporated. Sphaerus and his followers also maintain that semen derives its origin from the whole of the body; at all events every part of the body can be reproduced from it. That of the female is according to them sterile, being, as Sphaerus says, without tension, scanty, and watery. By ruling part of the soul is meant that which is most truly soul proper, in which arise presentations and impulses and from which issues rational speech. And it has its seat in the heart.
160. Such is the summary of their Physics which I have deemed adequate, my aim being to preserve a due proportion in my work. But the points on which certain of the Stoics differed from the rest are the following.
Ariston the Bald, of Chios, who was also called the Siren, declared the end of action to be a life of perfect indifference to everything which is neither virtue nor vice; recognizing no distinction whatever in things indifferent, but treating them all alike. The wise man he compared to a good actor, who, if called upon to take the part of a Thersites or of an Agamemnon, will impersonate them both becomingly. He wished to discard both Logic and Physics, saying that Physics was beyond our reach and Logic did not concern us: all that did concern us was Ethics.
161. Dialectical reasonings, he said, are like spiders’ webs, which, though they seem to display some artistic workmanship, are yet of no use. He would not admit a plurality of virtues with Zeno, nor again with the Megarians one single virtue called by many names; but he treated virtue in accordance with the category of relative modes. Teaching this sort of philosophy, and lecturing in the Cynosarges, he acquired such influence as to be called the founder of a sect. At any rate Miltiades and Diphilus were denominated Aristoneans. He was a plausible speaker and suited the taste of the general public. Hence Timon’s verse about him:
One who from wily Ariston’s line boasts his descent.
162. After meeting Polemo, says Diocles of Magnesia, while Zeno was suffering from a protracted illness, he recanted his views. The Stoic doctrine to which he attached most importance was the wise man’s refusal to hold mere opinions. And against this doctrine Persaeus was contending when he induced one of a pair of twins to deposit a certain sum with Ariston and afterwards got the other to reclaim it. Ariston being thus reduced to perplexity was refuted. He was at variance with Arcesilaus; and one day when he saw an abortion in the shape of a bull with a uterus, he said, “Alas, here Arcesilaus has had given into his hand an argument against the evidence of the senses.”
163. When some Academic alleged that he had no certainty of anything, Ariston said, “Do you not even see your neighbor sitting by you?” and when the other answered “No,” he rejoined,
Who can have blinded you? who robbed you of luminous eyesight?
The books attributed to him are as follows:
Panaetius and Sosicrates consider the Letters to be alone genuine; all the other works named they attribute to Ariston the Peripatetic.
164. The story goes that being bald he had a sunstroke and so came to his end. I have composed a trifling poem upon him in limping iambics as follows:
Wherefore, Ariston, when old and bald did you let the sun roast your forehead? Thus seeking warmth more than was reasonable, you lit unwillingly upon the chill reality of Death.
There was also another Ariston, a native of Iulis; a third, a musician of Athens; a fourth, a tragic poet; a fifth, of Halae, author of treatises on rhetoric; a sixth, a Peripatetic philosopher of Alexandria.
165. Herillus of Carthage declared the end of action to be Knowledge, that is, so to live always as to make the scientific life the standard in all things and not to be misled by ignorance. Knowledge he defined as a habit of mind, not to be upset by argument, in the acceptance of presentations. Sometimes he used to say there was no single end of action, but it shifted according to varying circumstances and objects, as the same bronze might become a statue either of Alexander or of Socrates. He made a distinction between end-in-chief and subordinate end: even the unwise may aim at the latter, but only the wise seek the true end of life. Everything that lies between virtue and vice he pronounced indifferent. His writings, though they do not occupy much space, are full of vigor and contain some controversial passages in reply to Zeno.
166. He is said to have had many admirers when a boy; and as Zeno wished to drive them away, he compelled Herillus to have his head shaved, which disgusted them.
His books are the following:
Dionysius, the Renegade, declared that pleasure was the end of action; this under the trying circumstance of an attack of ophthalmia. For so violent was his suffering that he could not bring himself to call pain a thing indifferent.
He was the son of Theophantus and a native of Heraclea. At first, as Diocles relates, he was a pupil of his fellow-townsman, Heraclides, next of Alexinus and Menedemus, and lastly of Zeno.
167. At the outset of his career he was fond of literature and tried his hand at all kinds of poetry; afterwards he took Aratus for his model, whom he strove to imitate. When he fell away from Zeno, he went over to the Cyrenaics, and used to frequent houses of ill fame and indulge in all other excesses without disguise. After living till he was nearly eighty years of age, he committed suicide by starving himself.
The following works are attributed to him:
These three, then, are the heterodox Stoics. The legitimate successor to Zeno, however, was Cleanthes: of whom we have now to speak.
168. Cleanthes, son of Phanias, was a native of Assos. This man, says Antisthenes in his Successions of Philosophers, was at first a pugilist. He arrived in Athens, as some people say, with four drachmas only, and meeting with Zeno he studied philosophy right nobly and adhered to the same doctrines throughout. He was renowned for his industry, being indeed driven by extreme poverty to work for a living. Thus, while by night he used to draw water in gardens, by day he exercised himself in arguments: hence the nickname Phreantles or Well-lifter was given him. He is said to have been brought into court to answer the inquiry how so sturdy a fellow as he made his living, and then to have been acquitted on producing as his witnesses the gardener in whose garden he drew water 169. and the woman who sold the meal which he used to crush. The Areopagites were satisfied and voted him a donation of ten minas, which Zeno forbade him to accept. We are also told that Antigonus made him a present of three thousand drachmas. Once, as he was conducting some youths to a public spectacle, the wind blew his cloak aside and disclosed the fact that he wore no shirt, whereupon he was applauded by the Athenians, as is stated by Demetrius of Magnesia in his work on Men of the Same Name. This then also increased the admiration felt for him. There is another story that Antigonus when attending his lectures inquired of him why he drew water and received the reply, “Is drawing water all I do? What? Do I not dig? What? Do I not water the garden? or undertake any other labor for the love of philosophy?” For Zeno used to discipline him to this and bid him return him an obol from his wages. 170. And one day he produced a handful of small coin before his acquaintance and said, “Cleanthes could even maintain a second Cleanthes, if he liked, whereas those who possess the means to keep themselves yet seek to live at the expense of others, and that too though they have plenty of time to spare from their studies.” Hence Cleanthes was called a second Heracles. He had industry, but no natural aptitude for physics, and was extraordinarily slow. On which account Timon describes him thus:
Who is this that like a bell-wether ranges over the ranks of men, a dullard, lover of verse, hailing from Assos, a mass of rock, unventuresome.
And he used to put up with gibes from his fellow-pupils and did not mind being called the ass, telling them that he alone was strong enough to carry the load of Zeno. 171. Once when he was reproached with cowardice, he replied, “That is why I so seldom go wrong.” Again, when extolling his own manner of life above that of the wealthy, he used to say that, while they were playing at ball, he was at work digging hard and barren ground. He would often find fault with himself too, and one day when Ariston heard him doing this and asked, “Who is it you are scolding so?” he, laughing, said, “An old man with grey hairs and no wits.” To some one who declared that Arcesilaus did not do what he ought, his reply was, “No more of this; do not censure him. For if by his words he does away with duty, he maintains it at all events by his deeds.” And Arcesilaus rejoined, “I am not to be won by flattery.” Whereupon Cleanthes said, “True, but my flattery consists in alleging that your theory is incompatible with your practice.”
172. When some one inquired of him what lesson he ought to give his son, Cleanthes in reply quoted words from the Electra:
Silence, silence, light be thy step.
A Lacedaemonian having declared that toil was a good thing, he was overjoyed and said,
You are of gentle blood, dear child.
Dicit autem Hecato in Sententiis eum, cum adulescens quidam formosus dixisset, Si pulsans ventrem ventrizat, pulsans coxas coxizat, dixisse, Tibi habeas, adulescens, coxizationes: nempe vocabula quae conveniunt analogia non semper etiam significatione conveniunt. Once in conversation with a youth he put the question, “Do you see?” and when the youth nodded assent, he went on, “Why, then, don’t I see that you see?”
173. He was present in the theater when the poet Sositheus uttered the verse —
Driven by Cleanthes’ folly like dumb herds,
and he remained unmoved in the same attitude. At which the audience were so astonished that they applauded him and drove Sositheus off the stage. Afterwards when the poet apologized for the insult, he accepted the apology, saying that, when Dionysus and Heracles were ridiculed by the poets without getting angry, it would be absurd for him to be annoyed at casual abuse. He used to say that the Peripatetics were in the same case as lyres which, although they give forth sweet sounds, never hear themselves. It is said that when he laid it down as Zeno’s opinion that a man’s character could be known from his looks, certain witty young men brought before him a rake with hands horny from toil in the country and requested him to state what the man’s character was. Cleanthes was perplexed and ordered the man to go away; but when, as he was making off, he sneezed, “I have it,” cried Cleanthes, “he is effeminate.” 174. To the solitary man who talked to himself he remarked, “You are not talking to a bad man.” When someone twitted him on his old age, his reply was, “I too am ready to depart; but when again I consider that I am in all points in good health and that I can still write and read, I am content to wait.” We are told that he wrote down Zeno’s lectures on oyster-shells and the blade-bones of oxen through lack of money to buy paper. Such was he; and yet, although Zeno had many other eminent disciples, he was able to succeed him in the headship of the school.
He has left some very fine writings, which are as follows:
This, then, is the list of his works.
176. His end was as follows. He had severe inflammation of the gums, and by the advice of his doctors he abstained from food for two whole days. As it happened, this treatment succeeded, so that the doctors were for allowing him to resume his usual diet. To this, however, he would not consent, but declaring that he had already got too far on the road, he went on fasting the rest of his days until his death at the same age as Zeno according to some authorities, having spent nineteen years as Zeno’s pupil.
My lighter verse on him runs thus:
I praise Cleanthes, but praise Hades more,
Who could not bear to see him grown so old,
So gave him rest at last among the dead,
Who’d drawn such load of water while alive.
177. Among those who after the death of Zeno became pupils of Cleanthes was Sphaerus of Bosporus, as already mentioned. After making considerable progress in his studies, he went to Alexandria to the court of King Ptolemy Philopator. One day when a discussion had arisen on the question whether the wise man could stoop to hold opinion, and Sphaerus had maintained that this was impossible, the king, wishing to refute him, ordered some waxen pomegranates to be put on the table. Sphaerus was taken in and the king cried out, “You have given your assent to a presentation which is false.” But Sphaerus was ready with a neat answer. “I assented not to the proposition that they are pomegranates, but to another, that there are good grounds for thinking them to be pomegranates. Certainty of presentation and reasonable probability are two totally different things.” Mnesistratus having accused him of denying that Ptolemy was a king, his reply was, “Being of such quality as he is, Ptolemy is indeed a king.”
178. The books that he wrote were as follows:
179. Chrysippus, the son of Apollonius, came either from Soli or from Tarsus, as Alexander relates in his Successions. He was a pupil of Cleanthes. Before this he used to practice as a long-distance runner; but afterwards he came to hear Zeno, or, as Diocles and most people say, Cleanthes; and then, while Cleanthes was still living, withdrew from his school and attained exceptional eminence as a philosopher. He had good natural parts and showed the greatest acuteness in every branch of the subject; so much so that he differed on most points from Zeno, and from Cleanthes as well, to whom he often used to say that all he wanted was to be told what the doctrines were; he would find out the proofs for himself. Nevertheless, whenever he had contended against Cleanthes, he would afterwards feel remorse, so that he constantly came out with the lines:
Blessed in all else am I, save only where
I touch Cleanthes: there I am ill-fortuned.
180. So renowned was he for dialectic that most people thought, if the gods took to dialectic, they would adopt no other system than that of Chrysippus. He had abundance of matter, but in style he was not successful. In industry he surpassed everyone, as the list of his writings shows; for there are more than 705 of them. He increased their number by arguing repeatedly on the same subject, setting down anything that occurred to him, making many corrections and citing numerous authorities. So much so that in one of his treatises he copied out nearly the whole of Euripides’ Medea, and some one who had taken up the volume, being asked what he was reading, replied, “The Medea of Chrysippus.”
181. Apollodorus of Athens in his Collection of Doctrines, wishing to show that what Epicurus wrote with force and originality unaided by quotations was far greater in amount than the books of Chrysippus, says, to quote his exact words, “If one were to strip the books of Chrysippus of all extraneous quotations, his pages would be left bare.” So much for Apollodorus. Of Chrysippus the old woman who sat beside him used to say, according to Diocles, that he wrote 500 lines a day. Hecato says that he came to the study of philosophy, because the property which he had inherited from his father had been confiscated to the king’s treasury.
182. In person he was insignificant, as is shown by the statue in the Ceramicus, which is almost hidden by an equestrian statue hard by; and this is why Carneades called him Crypsippus or Horse-hidden. Once when somebody reproached him for not going with the multitude to hear Ariston, he rejoined, “If I had followed the multitude, I should not have studied philosophy.” When some dialectician got up and attacked Cleanthes, proposing sophistical fallacies to him, Chrysippus called to him. “Cease to distract your elder from matters of importance; propound such quibbles to us juniors.” Again, when somebody who had a question to ask was steadily conversing with him in private, and then upon seeing a crowd approaching began to be more contentious, he said:
Ah! brother mine, thine eye is growing wild:
To madness fast thou’rt changing, sane but now.
183. At wine-parties he used to behave quietly, though he was unsteady on his legs; which caused the woman-slave to say, “As for Chrysippus, only his legs get tipsy.” His opinion of himself was so high that when some one inquired, “To whom shall I entrust my son?” he replied, “To me: for, if I had dreamt of there being anyone better than myself, I should myself be studying with him.” Hence, it is said, the application to him of the line:
He alone has understanding; the others flit shadow-like around;
But for Chrysippus, there had been no Porch.
184. At last, however, — so we are told by Sotion in his eighth book, — he joined Arcesilaus and Lacydes and studied philosophy under them in the Academy. And this explains his arguing at one time against, and at another in support of, ordinary experience, and his use of the method of the Academy when treating of magnitudes and numbers.
On one occasion, as Hermippus relates, when he had his school in the Odeum, he was invited by his pupils to a sacrificial feast. There after he had taken a draught of sweet wine unmixed with water, he was seized with dizziness and departed this life five days afterwards, having reached the age of seventy-three years, in the 143rd Olympiad. This is the date given by Apollodorus in his Chronology. I have toyed with the subject in the following verses:
Chrysippus turned giddy after gulping down a draught of Bacchus; he spared not the Porch nor his country nor his own life, but fared straight to the house of Hades.
185. Another account is that his death was caused by a violent fit of laughter; for after an ass had eaten up his figs, he cried out to the old woman, “Now give the ass a drink of pure wine to wash down the figs.” And thereupon he laughed so heartily that he died.
He appears to have been a very arrogant man. At any rate, of all his many writings he dedicated none to any of the kings. And he was satisfied with one old woman’s judgment, says Demetrius in his work called Men of the Same Name. When Ptolemy wrote to Cleanthes requesting him to come himself or else to send someone to his court, Sphaerus undertook the journey, while Chrysippus declined to go. On the other hand, he sent for his sister’s sons, Aristocreon and Philocrates, and educated them. Demetrius above mentioned is also our authority for the statement that Chrysippus was the first who ventured to hold a lecture-class in the open air in the Lyceum.
186. There was another Chrysippus, a native of Cnidus, a physician, to whom Erasistratus says that he was under great obligation. And another besides, a son of the former, court-physician to Ptolemy, who on a false charge was dragged about and castigated with the lash. And yet another was a pupil of Erasistratus, and another the author of a work on Agriculture.
To return to the philosopher. He used to propound arguments such as the following: “He who divulges the mysteries to the uninitiated is guilty of impiety. Now the hierophant certainly does reveal the mysteries to the uninitiated, ergo he is guilty of impiety.” Or again: “What is not in the city is not in the house either: now there is no well in the city, ergo there is none in the house either.” Yet another: “There is a certain head, and that head you have not. Now this being so, there is a head which you have not, therefore you are without a head.” 187. Again: “If anyone is in Megara, he is not in Athens: now there is a man in Megara, therefore there is not a man in Athens.” Again: “If you say something, it passes through your lips: now you say wagon, consequently a wagon passes through your lips.” And further: “If you never lost something, you have it still; but you never lost horns, ergo you have horns.” Others attribute this to Eubulides.
There are people who run Chrysippus down as having written much in a tone that is gross and indecent. For in his work On the ancient Natural Philosophers at line 600 or thereabouts he interprets the story of Hera and Zeus coarsely, with details which no one would soil his lips by repeating. 188. Indeed, his interpretation of the story is condemned as most indecent. He may be commending physical doctrine; but the language used is more appropriate to street-walkers than to deities; and it is moreover not even mentioned by bibliographers, who wrote on the titles of books. What Chrysippus makes of it is not to be found in Polemo nor Hypsicrates, no, nor even in Antigonus. It is his own invention. Again, in his Republic he permits marriage with mothers and daughters and sons. He says the same in his work On Things for their own Sake not Desirable, right at the outset. In the third book of his treatise On Justice, at about line 1000, he permits eating of the corpses of the dead. And in the second book of his On the Means of Livelihood, where he professes to be considering a priori how the wise man is to get his living, occur the words: 189. “And yet what reason is there that he should provide a living? For if it be to support life, life itself is after all a thing indifferent. If it be for pleasure, pleasure too is a thing indifferent. While if it be for virtue, virtue in itself is sufficient to constitute happiness. The modes of getting a livelihood are also ludicrous, as e.g. maintenance by a king; for he will have to be humored: or by friends; for friendship will then be purchasable for money: or living by wisdom; for so wisdom will become mercenary.” These are the objections urged against him.
As the reputation of his writings stands so high, I have decided to make a separate catalogue of them, arranged according to the class of subject treated. And they are as follows:
II. Logic dealing with the subject matter.
III. Logic, as concerned with words or phrases and the sentence.
IV. Logic as concerned with syllogisms and moods.
V. Under Logic.
199. 1. Ethics dealing with the classification of ethical conceptions.
201. 2. Ethics dealing with the common view and the sciences and virtues thence arising.
3. Ethics, dealing with things good and evil.
© Copyright 2019. Stoic Therapy, LLC. All rights reserved.