An essential guide to the core texts of Stoic philosophy, featuring a new introduction from Massimo Pigliucci, author of How To Be A Stoic
Stoicism is a philosophy, a worldview, and a transformational practice. Throughout the centuries everyone from kings and presidents to Silicone Valley entrepreneurs have drawn inspiration and wisdom from Stoicism. The best way to learn about Stoic philosophy is always to go back to the foundation—the original texts, written by the great Stoic philosophers.
Three writers form the bedrock of Stoic thought: Marcus Aurelius, a Roman Emperor; Seneca, a playwright and advisor; and Epictetus, a former slave turned philosopher and teacher. Stoic Foundations combines the work of these three pillars of Stoic thought into one essential volume, including Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations, selections from Seneca’s Letters from a Stoic, and Epictetus’s Enchiridion.
Though they were written millennia ago, these texts have resonated with readers across the centuries, offering powerful, clear guidance that remains relevant and transformative in the modern day. Featuring an insightful introduction from Massimo Pigliucci, author of How to Be A Stoic, Stoic Foundations is essential reading for anyone interested in exploring modern Stoicism and in reading the luminaries of Stoic philosophy in their own words.
About the Author
Marcus Aurelius was Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD. He was the last emperor during the Pax Romana, a time of peace and stability for the Roman Empire. He wrote Meditations, one of the key texts of Stoic philosophy, while on campaign, as a way to foster his own self-improvement.
Seneca was a Stoic philosopher, statesman, and playwright. He was the tutor and advisor of Emperor Nero before he was forced to drink poison for allegedly having aided in an assassination attempt against the emperor. He is best known for his letters and essay on moral issues as well as his tragedies, including Medea and Phaedra.
Epictetus was born into slavery, but gained his freedom and became one of the primary thinkers in the Stoic tradition. The only record of his teachings comes via Arrian, his pupil, who recorded much of his philosophy and reasoning.