Chapter 1. ZENO (333-261 B.C.)
, 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
relates that he declined most invitations to
dinner. They say he was fond of eating green figs and of basking in
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
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
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. As he went on reading the second book of
, he was so pleased that
he inquired where men like Socrates were to be found.
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."
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.
Besides the Republic
the following works :
Of Life according to Nature.
Impulse, or Human Nature.
Of Greek Education.
Of the Whole World.
Of Varieties of
Homeric Problems, in five books.
Of the Reading
There are also by him :
A Handbook of
Two books of Refutations.
Recollections of Crates.
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
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 thee, 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 Portico2
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.3
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.
of Athens held Zeno
in high honour, as is proved by their depositing
with him the keys of the city walls, and their honouring 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,4
and the men of Citium living
in Sidon were also proud to claim him for their own. Antigonus
(Gonatas) also favoured 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 (260-256 b.c.), 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
"King Antigonus to Zeno the
"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
And Zeno's reply is as follows :
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.
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 follows5
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-- 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
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 honour the good
both in their life and after their death.
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
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.
It is said that he
had more than a thousand talents when he came to Greece, and that he
lent this money on bottomry.6
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
stances, 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.
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
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."
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.7
After Zeno's death Antigonus is reported to have said, "What an
audience I have lost."8
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,"
he, "the many ample gifts I offered him
never made him conceited nor yet appear poor-spirited."
bent was towards inquiry, and he was an exact reasoner on all
subjects. Hence the words of Timon in his Silli9
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.10
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 says11
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.12
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.
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 enamoured 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 neighbour 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 neighbour
liked what you did to him?"
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.
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. Some one 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?"
Some one having
said that he thought the chainarguments of the philosophers seemed
brief and curt, Zeno replied, "You are quite right ; indeed, the
very syllables ought, if possible, to be clipped." Some one 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."
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 endeavouring 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
And to a youth who was talking somewhat saucily his
rejoinder was, "I would rather not tell you what I am thinking, my
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 :
had he, yet not the haughtiness
That springs from wealth, nor
cherished prouder thoughts
Of vain ambition than the poorest
Again he would say that if we want to master the sciences there
is nothing so fatal as conceit, and
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
)." 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.15
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 the more and talk the less."
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
persuade me then and drag me off by them
; but, if you use violence, my body will be with you, but my mind
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 selfconceit 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
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
the tongue." "Well-being is attained by
little and little, and nevertheless it is no little thing itself."
[Others attribute this17
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
against him : weak the dart
Of the fierce summer sun or
To bend that iron frame. He stands apart
Unspoiled by public feast and jollity :
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
He teaches to go hungry : yet he gets
Disciples. One sole loaf of bread his food ;
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
More temperate than Zeno's self he seemed.
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 Niobe18
I come, I come, why
dost thou call for me?
and died on the spot through holding
The Athenians buried him in the Ceramicus and
honoured him in the decrees already cited above, adding their
testimony of his goodness. Here is the epitaph composed for him by
Antipater of Sidon19
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.
Here too is another by
Zenodotus the Stoic, a pupil of Diogenes20
self-sufficiency thy rule,
Eschewing haughty wealth, O
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
And if thy native country was
What need to slight thee? came not Cadmus
Who gave to Greece her books and art of writing?
And Athenaeus the epigrammatist speaks of all the Stoics in
common as follows21
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
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.
We have ourselves mentioned
the manner of Zeno's death in the Pammetros
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?"22
For there are
some who hold this to have been the manner of his death.
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.
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
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.
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
he lays down community of wives, and
at line 200 prohibits the building of temples, lawcourts 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.
That the Republic
is the work of Zeno is
attested by Chrysippus in his De Republica.
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.
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.
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
The Spartan Constitution.
Four books of
A Reply to Plato's Laws
in seven books.
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
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.23
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.24
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
Chrysippus too did so in the first book of his Exposition of Doctrine
and the first book of his
; and so
Apollodorus and Syllus in the first part of their Introductions to Stoic Doctrine
, as also Eudromus
in his Elementary Treatise on Ethics
the Babylonian, and Posidonius.
These parts are called by
Apollodorus "Heads of Commonplace"; by Chrysippus and Eudromus
specific divisions ; by others generic divisions.
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 centre 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
Archedemus and Eudromus.
Diogenes of Ptolemaïs, 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,
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
would add that which deals with definitions and another part
concerning canons or criteria : some, however, dispense with the
part about definitions.
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.
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 : presentations25
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
moods, syllogisms and fallacies whether due to the subject matter or
to the language ;
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.
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 judgements, and their arrangement
and retention in memory give a scientific character to our
conception of things.
An argument is in itself a whole
containing premisses 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
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 :
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.26
Freedom from precipitancy is a knowledge when to give or
withhold the mind's assent to impressions. 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.
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, 27
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
"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."
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
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.
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
The Stoics apply the term sense or sensation ( αἴσθης ις
) 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
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 centre 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.
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. Boëthus,
on the other hand, admits a plurality of standards, namely
intelligence, senseperception, appetency, and knowledge ; while
Chrysippus in the first book of his Exposition of
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
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.
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.
is day." Dialect (διά- λεκτος
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 θάλασς α
and in Ionic "day" is not ἡμέρα
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.
Seven of the letters are
vowels, a, e, ē i, o, u, ō,
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 βλίτυρ ι,
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.
There are, as stated by
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
adds another part, the "mean."29
A common noun or appellative
is defined by Diogenes as part of a sentence signifying a common
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
define it, an
un-declined part of a sentence, signifying something that can be
attached to one or more subjects, e.g.
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.31
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.
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.Nauck, T.G.F.2, Eur. 839.
And if such poetical
phraseology is significant and includes a portrayal or
representation of things human and divine, it is poetry.
term is, as stated by Antipater in his first book On
, a word which, when a sentence is analysed, is uttered
with complete meaning ; or, according to Chrysippus in his book On Definitions
, is a rendering back one's
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.
or object of thought is a presentation to the intellect, which
though not really substance nor
quasi-substance or quasi-attribute.34
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.
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)."
Partition in logic is
(according to Crinis) classification or distribution of a genus
under heads : for instance, Of goods some are mental, others
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"
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.
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 judgements and syllogisms and that of
defective expressions comprising predicates both direct and
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 judgements, syllogisms,
questions, and inquiries.
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 judgement. Of predicates
some are adjectival [and so have personal subjects], as e.g.
"to sail through rocks."36
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," "con-
verses"; 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,37
as "he gets his hair
for here the agent includes
himself in the sphere of his action. The oblique cases are genitive,
dative, and accusative.
A judgement 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 judgement is that
which in and by itself can be denied or affirmed, e.g.
`It is day,' `Dion is walking.'" The Greek
word for judgement ( ἀξίωμα
derived from the verb ἀξιοῦν,
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 judgement before us is true, but if not, it is false.
is a difference between judgement, interrogation, and inquiry, as
also between imperative, adjurative, optative, hypothetical,
vocative, whether that to which these terms are applied be a thing
or a judgement. For a judgement 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 judgement but
demanding an answer, e.g.
"Is it day ?" and
this is so far neither true nor false. Thus "It is day" is a
judgement ; "Is it day ?" an interrogation. An inquiry is
something to which we cannot reply by signs, as you can nod Yes to
tion ; but you must express the
answer in words, "He lives in this or that place."
imperative is something which conveys a command : e.g.
Go thou to the waters
of Inachus.Nauck, T.G.F.2, Adesp. 177 ; cf. Galen, xiii. p. 363 K.
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.Iliad ix. 96.
quasi-proposition is that which, having the enunciation of a
judgement, yet in consequence of the intensified tone or emotion of
one of its parts falls outside the class of judgements proper, e.g.
Yea, fair indeed the Parthenon !
How like to Priam's sons the cowherd is!41
There is also, differing
from a proposition or judgement, 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 judgements (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.
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.
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 judgement, 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.
is walking," or "There's some one walking"; "He is in motion."
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.
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."
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 premiss,
"If it is day, it is light." This is true.
For the statement "It is not light," contradicting the conclusion,
is incompatible with the premiss "It is day." On the other hand, a
thetical proposition is false, if the
contradictory of its conclusion does not conflict with the premiss,
"If it is day, Dion is walking." For the
statement "Dion is not walking" does not conflict with the premiss
"It is day."
An inferential proposition is true if starting
from a true premiss 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 premiss or has
an inconsequent conclusion, as e.g.
is night, Dion is walking," if this be said in day-time. A causal
proposition is true if its conclusion really follows from a premiss
itself true, though the premiss 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 premiss or has an inconsequent conclusion or has a premiss
that does not correspond with the conclusion, as e.g.
"Because it is night, Dion is walking."
probable judgement 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
"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.
A reasonable proposition is one which has to start with
more chances of being true than not, e.g.
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
An argument, according to the followers of
Crinis, consists of a major premiss, a minor premiss, 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 premiss, the clause "it is day" is
the minor premiss, 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
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 premiss, if it be
long, and then state the conclusion, but may arrive at the
conclusion as concisely as possible : if A, then B.
arguments some are conclusive, others inconclusive. Inconclusive
are such that the contradictory of the conclusion is not
incompatible with combina-
tion of the
premisses, as in the following : "If it is day, it is light ; but it
is day, therefore Dion walks."42
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 premisses ; 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."
arguments may be divided into true and false. The former draw their
conclusions by means of true premisses ; e.g.
"If virtue does good, vice does harm ; but virtue does good,
therefore vice does harm."43
Those are false which
have error in the premisses 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 reason-
ing specifically conclusive and in syllogisms both
categorical and hypothetical.
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."44
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 premiss 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 premiss and one of
the conjoined propositions for minor premiss, 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."
fourth kind employs a disjunctive proposition and one of the two
alternatives in the disjunction as premisses, 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.
There are also certain insoluble
Veiled Men, the Concealed, Sorites, Horned Folk, the Nobodies. The
Veiled is as follows46
: . . . "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 premiss consists of an indefinite and a
definite clause, followed by a minor premiss 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." . . .
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.47
the two kinds of common-sense inquiry included under Virtue one
considers the nature of each
the other asks what it is called. Thus much for their logic.
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
An animal's first impulse, say the Stoics, is to
selfpreservation, 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.
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.
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
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
; for our individual natures are parts of the nature of
the whole universe.
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
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.
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
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
that some are scientific and based upon theory, namely,
those which have a structure of theoretical principles, such as
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.
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
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.
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. Apollophanes48
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
what is neither good nor evil ; courage49
as knowledge of what we ought
to choose, what we ought to beware of, and what is indifferent ;
justice . . . ; 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
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
partakers in virtue, virtuous acts and
good men ; as also its supervening accessories, joy and gladness and
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
And they say that only the morally beautiful is
good. So Hecato in his treatise On Goods
iii., and Chrysippus in his work On the Morally
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).
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."
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
Chrysippus in his work On Pleasure
, deny that
pleasure is a good either ; for some pleasures are disgraceful,
and nothing disgraceful is good.
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.
"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
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, 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 indirectly50
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.51
Thus things of the preferred class are
those which have positive value, e.g.
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,
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.
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,52
a reasonable defence can be
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
Zeno was the first to use this term καθῆκο ν
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.53
And it is an action in
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 honouring one's parents, brothers and country, and intercourse
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.
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.
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.
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.
They hold the emotions to be
judgements, 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.
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 ;
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 baulked 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.
Wrath is anger which has long rankled and has become malicious,
waiting for its opportunity, as is illustrated by the lines54
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
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.
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 diarrhoea, so it is
with the soul, there are tendencies like enviousness, pitifulness,
quarrelsomeness, and the like.
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.
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
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 pretence; for they have stripped
off all pretence 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
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
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 offences 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
The Stoics approve also of honouring 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
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
--since thus he will restrain vice and promote virtue. Also
(they maintain) he
will marry, as Zeno says in
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
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. Furthermore, the wise are infallible, not being
liable to error.
They are also without offence; 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
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. 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,
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
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.
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,
in the third book of his treatise On Virtues.
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
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,
Hecato in the second book of his treatise On
"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.
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,
donius in the first book of his De
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
and Apollodorus in his Ethics.
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
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
Chrysippus in his treatise On Government
not only they, but also Diogenes the Cynic and Plato].56
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
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.
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.
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
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.
But there is another aspect or field of cosmological57
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
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.
They hold that there
are two principles in the universe, the active principle and the
passive. The passive principle, then, is a substance without
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,
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.
defined by Apollodorus in his Physics
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
God is one and the same with Reason, Fate,
and Zeus ; he is also called by many other names.
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
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.
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.58
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 centre 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.
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.
in their view, is
ordered by reason and providence : so says Chrysippus in the fifth
book of his treatise On Providence
Posidonius in his work On the Gods
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.
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.
the first book of his work On Providence
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.
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
the first book of his Physical Sciences
too Apollophanes in his Physics
and Posidonius in his Physical Discourse
ii. But these, it is added [i.e.
tension], are likewise bodies.60
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
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
Cleanthes, and by Antipater in his tenth book On the
Panaetius, however, maintained that the world is
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
, by Apollodorus in his Physics
and by Posidonius.
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. Boëthus, 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
, 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.
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.
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.
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 [and not
always then], 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,61
when she is in the constellations of
Cancer, Scorpio, Aries and Taurus : so Posidonius and his followers
The deity, say they, is a living being, immortal,
rational, perfect or intelligent in happiness, admitting nothing
evil [into him], 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
) 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
deity his other titles, fastening, as best they can, on some one or
other of his peculiar attributes.
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
by Posidonius in his first book with the same title. Again,
Antipater in the seventh book of his work On the
says that the substance of God is akin to air, while
Boëthus 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 principles62
within definite periods, and effecting results
homogeneous with their sources.
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 Boëthus 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
, 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.
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
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.
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 blended63
Also they hold that there are daemons (
) 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.
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 ; 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 named64
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
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.
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
and yet others vertical
They maintain that the parts of the world are
arranged thus. The earth is in the middle answering to a centre ;
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
The zodiac is an oblique circle, as it crosses the
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.
Zeno of Citium and
Antipater, in their treatises De anima
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.67
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.
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
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.
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.
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