This is part six 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.
The quotes are attributable to the D. Lyman translation.
To see other parts of this series, click here.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS #51
Reason guides, and not the eye, when chaste women select a husband.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS #52
A [haughty] spirit in disgrace is a show for the rabble.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS #53
Human reason grows rich by self-conquest.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS #54
To know when to fear, is to be in the path of safety.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS #55
He has existed only, not lived, who lacks wisdom in old age.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS #56
Death laughs when old women frolic.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS #57
Woman becomes good, when she is openly wicked.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS #58
When the tree has fallen, any one can cut wood.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS #59
Tension weakens the bow; the want of it, the mind.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS #60
Art avails nothing, when chance determines the issue.