Famous Quotes By Lucius Annaeus Seneca


  1. A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.
  2. A great fortune is a great slavery.
  3. A great mind becomes a great fortune.
  4. A happy life is one which is in accordance with its own nature.
  5. A person's fears are lighter when the danger is at hand.
  6. All art is but imitation of nature.
  7. Anger is like those ruins which smash themselves on what they fall.
  8. Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.
  9. Anger: an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
  10. As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.
  11. As long as you live, keep learning how to live.
  12. Behold a worthy sight, to which the God, turning his attention to his own work, may direct his gaze. Behold an equal thing, worthy of a God, a brave man matched in conflict with evil fortune.
  13. Believe me, that was a happy age, before the days of architects, before the days of builders.
  14. Brave men rejoice in adversity, just as brave soldiers triumph in war.
  15. Call it Nature, Fate, Fortune all these are names of the one and selfsame God.
  16. Consult your friend on all things, especially on those which respect yourself. His counsel may then be useful where your own self-love might impair your judgment.
  17. Death is the wish of some, the relief of many, and the end of all.
  18. Everything is the product of one universal creative effort. There is nothing dead in Nature. Everything is organic and living, and therefore the whole world appears to be a living organism.
  19. Everywhere is nowhere. When a person spends all his time in foreign travel, he ends by having many acquaintances, but no friends.
  20. For greed all nature is too little.
  21. For many men, the acquisition of wealth does not end their troubles, it only changes them.
  22. Genius always gives its best at first prudence, at last.
  23. God is the universal substance in existing things. He comprises all things. He is the fountain of all being. In Him exists everything that is.
  24. Great grief does not of itself put an end to itself.
  25. He that does good to another does good also to himself.
  26. He who has great power should use it lightly.
  27. Health is the soul that animates all the enjoyments of life, which fade and are tasteless without it.
  28. I don't trust liberals, I trust conservatives.
  29. I never come back home with the same moral character I went out with something or other becomes unsettled where I had achieved internal peace some one or other of the things I had put to flight reappears on the scene.
  30. I shall never be ashamed of citing a bad author if the line is good.
  31. I will govern my life and thoughts as if the whole world were to see the one and read the other, for what does it signify to make anything a secret to my neighbor, when to God, who is the searcher of our hearts, all our privacies are open?
  32. If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.
  33. If thou art a man, admire those who attempt great things, even though they fail.
  34. If you wished to be loved, love.
  35. Ignorant people see life as either existence or non-existence, but wise men see it beyond both existence and non-existence to something that transcends them both this is an observation of the Middle Way.
  36. In war there is no prize for runner-up.
  37. In war, when a commander becomes so bereft of reason and perspective that he fails to understand the dependence of arms on Divine guidance, he no longer deserves victory.
  38. It is another's fault if he be ungrateful, but it is mine if I do not give. To find one thankful man, I will oblige a great many that are not so.
  39. It is the sign of a great mind to dislike greatness, and to prefer things in measure to things in excess.
  40. It is the superfluous things for which men sweat, - superfluous things that wear our togas theadbare, that force us to grow old in camp, that dash us upon foreign shores.
  41. It is true greatness to have in one the frailty of a man and the security of a god.
  42. It makes a great deal of difference whether one wills not to sin or has not the knowledge to sin.
  43. Love in its essence is spiritual fire.
  44. Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.
  45. No man was ever wise by chance.
  46. No one can be happy who has been thrust outside the pale of truth. And there are two ways that one can be removed from this realm: by lying, or by being lied to.
  47. Nothing is void of God, his work is everywhere his full of himself.
  48. One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.
  49. Precepts or maxims are of great weight and a few useful ones on hand do more to produce a happy life than the volumes we can't find.
  50. Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
  51. Shall I tell you what the real evil is? To cringe to the things that are called evils, to surrender to them our freedom, in defiance of which we ought to face any suffering.
  52. Shun no toil to make yourself remarkable by some talent or other yet do not devote yourself to one branch exclusively. Strive to get clear notions about all. Give up no science entirely for science is but one.
  53. So live with men as if God saw you and speak to God, as if men heard you.
  54. Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.
  55. Success consecrates the most offensive crimes.
  56. Success is not greedy, as people think, but insignificant. That is why it satisfies nobody.
  57. The bad fortune of the good turns their faces up to heaven the good fortune of the bad bows their heads down to the earth.
  58. The bravest sight in the world is to see a great man struggling against adversity.
  59. The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity.
  60. The deferring of anger is the best antidote to anger.
  61. The display of grief makes more demands than grief itself. How few men are sad in their own company.
  62. The first step in a person's salvation is knowledge of their sin.
  63. The good things of prosperity are to be wished but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.
  64. The greatest remedy for anger is delay.
  65. The heart is great which shows moderation in the midst of prosperity.
  66. The less we deserve good fortune, the more we hope for it.
  67. The mind that is anxious about the future is miserable.
  68. The wish for healing has always been half of health.
  69. There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn, as in doing it.
  70. There is no great genius without some touch of madness.
  71. There is none made so great, but he may both need the help and service, and stand in fear of the power and unkindness, even of the meanest of mortals.
  72. There is nothing in the world so much admired as a man who knows how to bear unhappiness with courage.
  73. Time discovers truth.
  74. To be able to endure odium is the first art to be learned by those who aspire to power.
  75. True happiness is... to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.
  76. We are more often frightened than hurt and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.
  77. We can be thankful to a friend for a few acres, or a little money and yet for the freedom and command of the whole earth, and for the great benefits of our being, our life, health, and reason, we look upon ourselves as under no obligation.
  78. We often want one thing and pray for another, not telling the truth even to the gods.
  79. What nature requires is obtainable, and within easy reach. It is for the superfluous we sweat.
  80. When we are well, we all have good advice for those who are ill.
  81. Where fear is, happiness is not.
  82. While we are postponing, life speeds by.
  83. Why do I not seek some real good one which I could feel, not one which I could display?
  84. Wisdom allows nothing to be good that will not be so forever no man to be happy but he that needs no other happiness than what he has within himself no man to be great or powerful that is not master of himself.
  85. Wisdom does not show itself so much in precept as in life - in firmness of mind and a mastery of appetite. It teaches us to do as well as to talk and to make our words and actions all of a color.

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