120+ Seneca Quotes on Life, Love, and Stoicism

In this article, you will learn:

  1. Seneca Quotes On Time
  2. Seneca Quotes On Life
  3. Seneca Death Quotes
  4. Seneca Quotes Stoicism
  5. Seneca Philosopher Quotes
  6. Seneca On The Shortness of Life Quotes
  7. Seneca The Elder Quotes
  8. Seneca On Anger Quotes
  9. Seneca Quotes On Wisdom
  10. Seneca Friendship Quotes
  11. Seneca Happiness Quotes
  12. Seneca Imagination Quotes

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, better known as Seneca, was a stoic philosopher and one of the wealthiest people in the Roman Empire. He was the son of a wealthy and accomplished writer Seneca the Elder. Where his father was Seneca the Elder, he himself was called as Seneca the Younger. One of the most phenomenal facts about Seneca is that he is the most understandable and delightful philosopher, which is evident in Seneca’s quotes, sayings, and letters.

Seneca the Younger, Stoicism, and Influential Works

Seneca was born in Spain and received education in Rome. He established himself as an influential political figure and was taught philosophy by Attalus, a Stoic philosopher. Seneca, however, did not stick to Stoicism alone. Seneca was also inspired by other schools like Epicurean philosophy.

Seneca is known as one of the ancient stoics including Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus. Stoicism or Stoic Philosophy is one of the important schools of philosophy that deals with the pragmatic wisdom of life. It is a philosophy that enables people to live life the best way possible by achieving the highest standards of character. It is about personal ethics with its four cardinal virtues of courage, wisdom, justice, and temperance.

During his period as a high-profile financial clerk, Seneca penned Consolation to Marcia and tragedies. He just didn’t write philosophy but also harnessed it to deal with good and bad events in life.

Seneca wrote a number of influential works which were delightful and understandable due as most of them were written in the form of letters. Some of his distinguished works include Letters from a Stoic, On the Shortness of Life, Dying every day, etc.

Seneca The Younger Quotes

  1. For it is not boyhood that still stays with us, but something worse, – boyishness. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius

Seneca Quotes On Time

  1. Time heals what reason cannot. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  2. Set yourself free for your own sake; gather and save your time. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  3. Certain moments are torn from us, that some are gently removed, and that others glide beyond our reach. The most disgraceful kind of loss, however, is due to carelessness. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  4. What man can you show me who places any value on his time, who reckons the worth of each day, who understands that he is dying daily? – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  5. If you will pay close heed to the problem, you will find that the largest portion of our life passes while we are ill, a good share while we are doing nothing, and the whole while we are doing that which is not to the purpose. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  6. Hold every hour in your grasp. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  7. Lay hold of today’s task, and you will not need to depend so much upon tomorrow’s. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  8. While we are postponing, life speeds by. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  9. We were entrusted by nature with the ownership of time, so fleeting and slippery that anyone who will oust us from possession. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  10. What fools these mortals be! They allow the cheapest and most useless things, which can easily be replaced, to be charged in the reckoning, after they have acquired them; but they never regard themselves as in debt when they have received some of that precious commodity, – time! – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  11. Time is the one loan that even a grateful recipient cannot repay. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  12. It is too late to spare when you reach the dregs of the cask. Of that which remains at the bottom, the amount is slight, and the quality is vile. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius

Seneca Quotes On Life

  1. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  2. Fate leads the willing and drags along the reluctant. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  3. You should live in such a way that there is nothing which you could not as easily tell your enemy as keep to yourself. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  4. Trusting everyone is as much a fault as trusting no one. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  5. People who never relax and people who are invariably in relaxed state merit your disapproval – the former as much as the latter. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  6. Let our aim be a way of life not diametrically opposed to, but better than that of the mob. Otherwise, we shall repel and alienate the very people whose reform we desire; we shall make them, moreover, reluctant to imitate us in anything for fear they may have to imitate us in everything. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  7. Our motto is to live in conformity with nature: it is quite contrary to nature to torture one’s body, to reject simple standards of cleanliness, and make a point of being dirty, to adopt a diet that is not just plain but hideous and revolting. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  8. As a craving for dainties is a token of extravagant living, avoidance of familiar and inexpensive dishes betokens insanity.
  9. One’s life should be a compromise between the ideal and the popular morality.
  10. Any close observer should be aware that we are different from the mob.
  11. Anyone entering our homes should admire us rather than our furnishings
  12. My situation, however, is the same as that of many who are reduced to slender means through no fault of their own: everyone forgives them, but no one comes to their rescue. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  13. I do not regard a man as poor if the little which remains is enough for him. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  14. Make life as a whole agreeable to yourself by banishing all worry about it.

Seneca Death Quotes

  1. For we are mistaken when we look forward to death; the major portion of death has already passed. Whatever years lie behind us are in death’s hands.
  2. Keep on as you have begun, and make all possible haste, so that you may have longer enjoyment of an improved mind, one that is at peace with itself. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  3. Death arrives; it would be a thing to dread if it could remain with you. But death must either not come at all, or else must come and pass away. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  4. No evil is great which is the last evil of all. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  5. No man can have a peaceful life who thinks too much about lengthening it, or believes that living through many consulships is a great blessing.
  6. Most men ebb and flow in wretchedness between the fear of death and the hardships of life; they are unwilling to live, and yet they do not know how to die.
  7. No good thing renders its possessor happy unless his mind is reconciled to the possibility of loss; nothing, however, is lost with less discomfort than that which, when lost, cannot be missed.
  8. Encourage and toughen your spirit against the mishaps that afflict even the most powerful.
  9. The very day the ships have made a brave show in the games, they are engulfed.
  10. A highwayman or an enemy may cut your throat; and, though he is not your master, every slave wields the power of life and death over you.
  11. He is Lord of your life that scorns his own.
  12. What matters how powerful he be whom you fear when everyone possesses the power which inspires your fear?
  13. The fear of the last hour makes all previous hours uneasy.

Seneca Quotes Stoicism

  1. The state of mind that looks on all activity as tiresome is not true repose, but spineless inertia. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  2. Some men have shrunk so far into dark corners that objects in bright daylight seem quite blurred to them. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  3. I view with pleasure and approval the way you keep on at your studies and sacrifice everything to your single-minded efforts to make yourself every day a better man. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  4. Refrain from following the example of those whose craving is for attention, not their own improvement, by doing certain things which are calculated to give rise to comment on your appearance or way of living generally. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  5. You should be extending your stay among writers whose genius is unquestionable, deriving constant nourishment from them if you wish to gain anything from your reading that will find a lasting place in your mind. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  6. A multitude of books only gets in one’s way. So if you are unable to read all the books in your possession, you have enough when you have all the books you are able to read. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  7. The very name of philosophy is unpopular enough as it is: imagine what the reaction would be if we started dissociating ourselves from the conventions of society. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  8. The first thing philosophy promises us is the feeling of fellowship, of belonging to mankind and being members of a community; being different will mean the abandoning of that manifesto. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  9. Philosophy calls for simple living, not for doing penance, and the simple way of life need not be a crude one.
  10. It is a great man that can treat his earthenware as if it was silver, and a man who treats his silver as if it was earthenware is no less great. Finding wealth an intolerable burden is the mark of an unstable mind.

Seneca Philosopher Quotes

  1. Doubtless, you will derive enjoyment during the time when you are improving your mind and setting it at peace with itself. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  2. Quite different is the pleasure which comes from contemplation when one’s mind is so cleansed from every stain that it shines. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  3. You may look for a still greater joy when you have laid aside the mind of boyhood and when wisdom has enrolled you among men. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  4. All you need to do is to advance; you will thus understand that some things are less to be dreaded, precisely because they inspire us with great fear. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  5. Poverty brought into conformity with the law of nature is great wealth. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  6. It is the superfluous things for which men sweat.
  7. He who has made a fair compact with poverty is rich.
  8. A tiny fire does not add to the sun’s light.
  9. Man’s primary art is virtue itself.
  10. Obstacles take nothing away from virtue.
  11. Disasters, losses, and wrongs, have only the same power over virtue that a cloud has over the sun.
  12. What is more detestable and more unworthy than to put contemptible things in the same class with things worthy of reverence.
  13. Reverence is due to justice, duty, loyalty, bravery, and prudence.
  14. The chief thing in virtue is the quality of not needing a single day beyond the present, and of not reckoning up the days that are ours; in the slightest possible moment of time virtue completes an eternity of good.
  15. These goods that virtue bestows seem to us incredible and transcending man’s nature; for we measure its grandeur by the standard of our own weakness, and we call our vices by the name of virtue.
  16. If virtue only stands her ground, she cannot be driven from the field; she must either conquer or be conquered.

Seneca On The Shortness of Life Quotes

  1. A man is indeed lazy and careless.
  2. Infinitely swift is the flight of time, as those see more clearly who are looking backwards. For when we are intent on the present, we do not notice it, so gentle is the passage of time’s headlong flight.
  3. An event which in its entirety is of brief compass cannot contain long intervals.
  4. All past time is in the same place; it all presents the same aspect to us, it lies together. Everything slips into the same abyss.
  5. The time which we spend in living is but a point, nay, even less than a point.
  6. Nature has mocked by making life seem outwardly of longer duration; she has taken one portion thereof and made it infancy, another childhood, another youth, another the gradual slope, so to speak, from youth to old age, and old age itself is still another.
  7. Time, no matter how carefully it is guarded, cannot suffice even for necessary things.
  8. When a soldier is undisturbed and travelling at his ease, he can hunt for trifles along his way; but when the enemy is closing in on the rear, and a command is given to quicken the pace, necessity makes him throw away everything which he picked up in moments of peace and leisure.

Seneca The Elder Quotes

  1. The condition is all the more serious because men possess the authority of old age, together with the follies of boyhood, yea, even the follies of infancy. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
  2. Boys fear trifles, children fear shadows, we men fear both. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius

Seneca On Anger Quotes

  1. The greatest remedy for anger is delay. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Seneca Quotes On Wisdom

  1. Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  2. If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  3. All cruelty springs from weakness. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  4. Sometimes even to live is an act of courage. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  5. You do not tear from place to place and unsettle yourself with one move after another. The restlessness of that sort is symptomatic of a sick mind. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  6. Nothing is better proof of a well-ordered mind than a man’s ability to stop just where he is and pass some time in his own company. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  7. To be everywhere is to be nowhere. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  8. A plant that is frequently moved never grows strong. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  9. Food that is vomited up as soon as it is eaten is not assimilated into the body and does not do one any good. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  10. Nothing hinders a cure so much as frequent changes of treatment. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  11. A wound will not heal over if it is being made the subject of experiments with different ointments. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  12. Tasting one dish after another is the sign of a fussy stomach, and where the foods are dissimilar and diverse in range they lead to contamination of the system, not nutrition. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  13. Each day, too, acquire something which will help you to face poverty, or death, and other ills as well. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  14. It is not the man who has too little who is poor, but the one who hankers after more. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  15. What difference does it make how much there is laid away in a man’s safe or in his barns, how many heads of stock he grazes, or how much capital he puts out at interest if he is always after what is another’s and only counts what he has yet to get, never what he has already. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  16. You ask what is the proper limit to a person’s wealth? First, having what is essential, and second, having what is enough. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  17. Some men’s fear of being deceived has taught people to deceive them; by their suspiciousness, they give themselves the right to do the wrong. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  18. A balanced combination of the two attitudes is what we want; the active man should be able to take things easily, while the man who is inclined towards repose should be capable of action. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  19. Ask nature: she will tell you that she made both day and night. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  20. Avoid shabby attire, long hair, an unkempt beard, an outspoken dislike of silverware, sleeping on the ground, and all other misguided means to self-advertisement. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  21. Inwardly everything should be different but our outward face should conform with the crowd. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  22. Our clothes should not be gaudy, yet they should not be dowdy either. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  23. We must watch that the means by which we hope to gain admiration do not earn ridicule and hostility. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  24. Fear keeps pace with hope. Both belong to a mind in suspense, to a mind in a state of anxiety through looking into the future. Both are mainly due to projecting our thoughts far ahead of us instead of adapting ourselves to the present. Thus it is that foresight, the greatest blessing humanity has been given, is transformed into a curse.
  25. Wild animals run from the dangers they actually see, and once they have escaped they worry no more. We however are tormented alike by what is past and what is to come.
  26. A number of our blessings do us harm, for memory brings back the agony of fear while foresight brings it on prematurely.
  27. I see in myself not just an improvement but a transformation, although I would not venture as yet to assure you, or even to hope, that there is nothing left in me needing to be changed.
  28. Naturally, there are a lot of things about me requiring to be built up or fined down or eliminated.
  29. The fact that it perceives the failings it was unaware of in itself before, is evidence of a change for the better in one’s character.
  30. In the case of some sick people, it is a matter of congratulation when they come to realize for themselves that they are sick.

Seneca Friendship Quotes

  1. People who spend their whole life traveling abroad end up having plenty of places where they can find hospitality but no real friendships. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  2. Looking on anyone as a friend when you do not trust him as you trust yourself, you are making a grave mistake, and have failed to grasp sufficiently the full force of true friendship. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  3. Certainly, you should discuss everything with a friend; but before you do so, discuss in your mind the man himself. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  4. After friendship is formed you must trust, but before that you must judge. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  5. Those people who judge a man after they have made him their friend instead of the other way round, certainly put the cart before the horse. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  6. Think for a long time whether or not you should admit a given person to your friendship. But when you have decided to do so, welcome him heart and soul, and speak as unreservedly with him as you would with yourself. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  7. Seeing that certain matters do arise on which convention decrees silence, the things you should share with your friend are all your worries and deliberations. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  8. Regard your friend as loyal, and you will make him loyal. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  9. Why should I keep back anything when I’m with a friend? Why shouldn’t I imagine I’m alone when I’m in his company? – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  10. There are certain people who tell any person they meet things that should only be confided to friends, unburdening themselves of whatever is on their minds into any ear they please. Others again are shy of confiding in their closest friends, and would not even let themselves into the secrets they keep hidden deep down inside themselves. We should do neither. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Seneca Happiness Quotes

  1. No one confines his unhappiness to the present.
  2. A happy life depends upon our attainment of perfect reason alone.
  3. Whatever the condition of their affairs may be, attainment of perfect reason keeps men untroubled.
  4. Happiness is peace of mind and lasting tranquillity.
  5. Happiness will be yours if you possess greatness of soul and the steadfastness that resolutely clings to a good judgment just reached.
  6. A man gets happiness by gaining a complete view of truth; maintaining order, measure, fitness in all that he does, and has a will that is inoffensive, kindly, well-reasoned, and commands love and admiration at the same time.
  7. The wise man’s soul ought to be such as would be proper for a god.
  8. If you are not contented with only that which is honorable, it must follow that you desire in addition either undisturbedness or else pleasure.
  9. For the mind is free from disturbance when it is fully free to contemplate the universe, and nothing distracts it from the contemplation of nature.
  10. The irrational part of the soul is twofold: the one part is spirited, ambitious, uncontrolled; its seat is in the passions; the other is lowly, sluggish, and devoted to pleasure.
  11. Pleasure actually destroys the soul and softens all its vigour.
  12. One who possesses virtue cannot be unhappy, yet one cannot be perfectly happy if one lacks such natural gifts as health, or soundness of limb.
  13. In order to live more happily, a man must live more rightly; if he cannot do that, then he cannot live more happily either.
  14. Virtue cannot be strained tighter and therefore neither can the happy life, which depends on virtue. For virtue is so great a good that it is not affected by such insignificant assaults upon it as shortness of life, pain, and the various bodily vexations.
  15. It is our vices that bring us to despair.
  16. There resides in this imperfect creature, man, a certain power that makes for badness, because he possesses a mind which is easily moved to perversity.

Seneca Imagination Quotes

  1. There are more things, Lucilius, that frighten us than injure us, and we suffer more in imagination than in reality. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  2. We should not keep silver plates with inlays of solid gold, but at the same time, we should not imagine that doing without gold and silver is proof that we are leading a simple life. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Seneca Quotes Religion

  1. Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Seneca Falls Convention Quotes

  1. Man is happy whom nothing makes less strong than he is; he keeps to the heights, leaning upon none but himself; for one who sustains himself by any prop may fall.
  2. It is the attainment of the perfect reason that keeps the soul from being bowed down, that stands its ground against Fortune.

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