This is part 22 in our series of aphorisms by Publilius Syrus who was a big influence on Seneca and his own work. He is quoted by Seneca in two of his letters to Lucilius, On the Value of Advice and On the Philosopher’s Seclusion, both coming from his Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium, known today as the Letters from a Stoic.
If you have read Seneca’s work before, carefully study how the Syrus aphorisms have influenced him.
Regardless of whether they have a Stoic context or not, they are nonetheless enjoyable.
My favorite aphorisms are in bold.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS # 211
The more promptly bestowed, the greater the kindness.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS # 212
Avoid cupidity, and you conquer your kingdom.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS # 213
The less a mortal desires, the less he needs.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS # 214
How sad his fate, who grows old through anxiety.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS # 215
A kindness should be received in the spirit that prompted it.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS # 216
There is no need of spurs when the horse is running away.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS # 217
In place of giving an angry man arms, we should take them away.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS # 218
Speed itself is slow when cupidity waits.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS # 219
For him who loves labor, there is always something to do.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS # 220
It is a kingly spirit that can return good deeds for reproaches.
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