Wisdom Books: The Stoic’s Bible by Giles Laurén

Quotations from Greek and Roman philosophers that illustrate the origins and practice of Stoicism and the pursuit of the Good Life. A complete course in Stoicism including cultural background, chronology, examples, and Arrian’s notes. Largest source for classical quotations. Aide memoire to locate a given text or idea.

The following passages is an excerpt from The Stoic’s Bible:

6th c. B.C.

SOURCE: as noted.

On being asked what is difficult: To know oneself. What is easy? To give advice to another. What is pleasant? Success. What is divine? That which has neither beginning nor end. The strangest thing he had ever seen? An aged tyrant. Thales of Miletus. D.L.I. pp.37, 39.

How shall we lead the best and most righteous life? By refraining from doing what we blame in others. Thales. D.L.I. p.39.

To Thales belongs the proverb: KNOW THYSELF. D.L.I. p.41.

One should say what is probable and shroud in silence that which is impossible. Thales. PL. Mor .2, p.429.

1. Go surety and ruin is at hand.
2. Remember your friends, be they present or absent.
3. Do not beautify your appearance, but be beautiful in what you do.
4. Do not grow rich by ill means.
5. Do not let words alienate you from those who have a share in your trust.
6. Do not hesitate to flatter your parents.
7. Do not accept what is mean.
8. In old age accept from your children services similar to those you rendered your parents.
9. Good judgment is difficult.
10. Sweetest is the attainment of one’s desires.
11. Idleness is annoying.
12. Lack of self-restraint is harmful.
13. Stupidity is burdensome.
14. Teach and learn what is better.
15. Do not be idle, even if you are rich.
16. Hide your troubles indoors.
17. To avoid envy do not show pity.
18. Use moderation.
19. Do not trust everyone.
20. When in office, dress with dignity.
Thales. DEMETRIUS. Fortenbaugh/Schütrumpf.


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