Greek Ethical Thought from Homer to the Stoics

By Hilda D. Oakeley | Go to book overview

THE STOICS
THE FIRST HEADS OF THE STOA

ZENO, 336-264 B.C.; CLEANTHES, 333-232 B.C.; CHRYSIPPUS, d. 208 B.C.

Zeno came from Citium, in Cyprus, and is said to have been partly of Phoenician descent. He came to Athens in 314, and after twenty years' study, founded the school at the Stoa (colonnade or porch) Poecile. Cleanthes, who succeeded him in the headship of the school, gave to the system a more Pantheistic character. Of Chrysippus of Soh in Cilicia, the third leader, it was said, "Had there been no Chrysippus there had been no Stoa." He appears to have given the doctrine its final form, and was a voluminous writer. But all the writings of the early Stoics have been lost, except the Hymn to Zeus, by Cleanthes. We have to depend on "fragments" collected by modern scholars from classical literature, or accounts of the system compiled by later writers.

The passages selected are translated mainly from the material collected in Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta, by J. Von Arnim, a few from Historia Philosophiae Graecae, H. Ritter and L. Preller. I have thought it best to give Von Arnim's references to his sources, without the exact reference to the loci, as readers would probably consult Von Arnim first. Where not otherwise stated, the extracts are all from Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta (volume and number of fragment given).


The World, the Soul, and Fate

ii. 300.

In their view there are two principles of all things--the active and the passive. The passive is the inactive substance, matter; the active the reason in it--God; for this, which is eternal in all substance, is the creator of individual things.

580.

And God is one, both Mind and Destiny, and Zeus, and also known by many other names. . . . The world is organised in accordance with reason and providence; mind extending through every part of it, even as with us, the

-199-

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Greek Ethical Thought from Homer to the Stoics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction vii
  • Contents xxxix
  • Greek Ethical Thought 1
  • Theognis - 565-490 B.C. 15
  • Simonides - 556-467 B.C. 17
  • Bacchylides - Probably 507-428 B.C. 18
  • Aeschylus - 525-456 B.C. 20
  • Sophocles - 495-406 B.C. 26
  • Euripides - 480-406 B.C. 29
  • Anaximander of Miletus 33
  • Philolaus - Fifth Century B.C. 33
  • Democritus of Abdera 36
  • Thucydides - 460-400 B.C. 39
  • Xenophon's "Memorabilia" 46
  • Plato - 427-347 B.C. 52
  • Aristotle - 384-322 B.C. 142
  • Epicurus - 342-270 B.C. 190
  • The Stoics - The First Heads of the Stoa 199
  • Epictetus - About A.D. 50 to A.D. 130 209
  • The Thoughts Of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus - Born A.D. 121. Emperor A.D. 161. Died A.D. 180 216
  • Index of Authors, Works, And Chief Ethical Subjects 223
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