Lives of The Stoics

Ryan Holiday, Stephen Hanselman

Lives of The Stoics



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Where do the Stoics come from? And what are the pillars that enabled this ancient philosophical discipline to resist for five whole centuries and travel from ancient Greece to the Roman Republic and through the reigns of more than ten emperors? Without doubt, the answer lies at its core principles of justice, morality, consistency and moderation, which played an important role in the endurance of this school of thought. However, it was the men who created and followed stoicism, who first consolidated its place in history. In their book, Lives of the Stoics: the art of living from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius, Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman tell the stories of the most influential Stoics.

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Analysis and key concepts


The four principles of stoic discipline enabled them to be effective for five centuries


The Stoic school of philosophy was born of the resilience of its founding member: Zeno of Citium


During the Roman Republic stoic discipline proved to be useful in politics


Cicero and Cato show how even two Stoics can be complete opposites


The stoic principles during the empire were severely tested by corruption and wicked rulers


Stoicism and power come together in the luminary emperor Marcus Aurelius




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Get a better understanding of the thinking that made Stoicism immortal.
  • Understand how the principles of stoic discipline have adapted to different periods in history.
  • Learn the art of resilience, justice and the courage of the teachers of the ancient world.

Ryan Holiday is a highly sought-after speaker and strategist and, author of bestsellers such as The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, Conspiracy, Trust me, I am Lying and other books about marketing, culture and the human condition. His works have been translated into more than thirty languages and have appeared all over, from the New York Times to Fast Company. Holiday is one of the main thinkers and writers of ancient philosophy and how to apply it in everyday life. He lives in Austin, Texas with his family.

Co-creator of the renowned podcast, The Daily Stoic, Stephen Hanselman has a master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School and is an academic and expert on philosophy. His 30 years of experience as editor and publishing agent have made him a big name in American editoring, and have led to him founding the influential publishing company Level Five Media. He has published several books, some of them with Ryan Holiday; among these are “The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom”, “Perseverance, and the Art of Living” and “Lives of the Stoics: the art of living from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius”.

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