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385 Ryan Holiday, Stephen Hanselman: Lives of the Stoics

Explore the lives and teachings of prominent Stoic philosophers and learn how their wisdom can be applied in modern life



"Lives of the Stoics" provides a captivating journey into the lives and philosophies of influential Stoic thinkers. It offers insights on how their timeless wisdom can guide us in facing challenges, finding purpose, and living a virtuous life in today's world.


Title: "Lives of the Stoics: The Art of Living from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius"

Author: Ryan Holiday, Stephen Hanselman

Publishing Year: 2020

Publisher: Penguin Audio

Length in Hours: 10 hours and 8 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. Delve into the lives of Stoic philosophers such as Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius.
  2. Uncover the core principles and practices of Stoicism, emphasizing self-mastery and resilience.
  3. Understand how Stoicism can provide practical guidance for navigating adversity and embracing tranquility.
  4. Discover the Stoic approach to cultivating virtues, such as wisdom, courage, and justice.
  5. Learn how to apply Stoic principles to enhance personal and professional relationships and find meaning in life.

5 funny quotes

  1. "In our house, Plato and Aristotle were like the Harry Potter of the ancient world."
  2. "To put it bluntly, when your friends and family come for dinner, you're going to need some interesting conversation topics."
  3. "One emperor even proposed a law that punished philosophers for speaking too much."
  4. "He was a bald, chubby man who walked around barefoot."
  5. "It's like we just can't get enough of the advice of dead men.

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition." - Marcus Aurelius
  2. "No person has the power to have everything they want, but it is in their power not to want what they don't have." - Seneca
  3. "We suffer more often in imagination than in reality." - Seneca
  4. "Waste no more time arguing what a good person should be. Be one." - Marcus Aurelius
  5. "The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts." - Epictetus

5 dilemmas

  1. Balancing personal desires and societal obligations in Stoic philosophy.
  2. The tension between accepting fate and striving for personal excellence.
  3. Navigating ethical dilemmas when principles conflict with practicality.
  4. Finding tranquility amidst external chaos and uncertainty.
  5. Addressing the challenge of maintaining virtue and inner peace in the midst of power and influence.

5 examples

  1. Marcus Aurelius, the renowned Roman emperor, reflects on his struggles and insights in his personal diary.
  2. Seneca, a prominent Stoic philosopher, advises his friend Lucilius on achieving a tranquil mind.
  3. Epictetus, a former slave, imparts his wisdom on living a virtuous life to his students, including Arrian.
  4. Cato the Younger, a Stoic senator, remains steadfast in his principles even in the face of political opposition.
  5. Musonius Rufus, a Stoic philosopher, provides guidance on the importance of self-discipline and living in accordance with nature.

Referenced books

  1. "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius
  2. "Letters from a Stoic" by Seneca
  3. "Discourses" by Epictetus
  4. "Enchiridion" by Epictetus
  5. "On the Shortness of Life" by Seneca

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"One emperor even proposed a law that punished philosophers for speaking too much."

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