The Best Annaeus Seneca quotes

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Annaeus Seneca was a very influential philosopher and writer during the first century AD. His work has had a large impact on subsequent generations of thinkers. In this quotes compilation, we will explore the life and work of this brilliant mind.

Here are the most interesting Universe, Change, Time, Nature, Life, Mind quotes from Annaeus Seneca, and much more.


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About Annaeus Seneca

birth of the author

C. 54 Bc

death of the author

C. 39 Ad

genre of the author

Rhetoric, Silver Age Of Latin, History

award of the author

Notable Works:
Oratorum Et Rhetorum Sententiae Divisiones Colores Historiae Ab Initio Bellorum Civilium


Where life is possible at all, a right life is possible; life in a palace is possible; therefore even in a palace a right life is possible. — Marcus Aurelius

Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life. — Marcus Aurelius

Life is neither good or evil, but only a place for good and evil. — Marcus Aurelius

Life is a warfare and a stranger’s sojourn, and after fame is oblivion. — Marcus Aurelius

Let thine occupations be few, saith the sage, if thou wouldst lead a tranquil life. — Marcus Aurelius

No one loses any other life than the one he now lives, nor does one live any other life than that which he will lose. — Marcus Aurelius

Often a very old man has no other proof of his long life than his age. — Seneca

Life is slavery if the courage to die is absent. — Seneca

We learn not in the school, but in life. — Seneca

Short is the little which remains to thee of life. Live as on a mountain. — Marcus Aurelius

Remember that the sole life which a man can lose is that which he is living at the moment. — Marcus Aurelius

Remember this–that there is a proper dignity and proportion to be observed in the performance of every act of life. — Marcus Aurelius


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Do you see what little is required of a man to live a well–tempered and god–fearing life? Obey these precepts, and the gods will ask nothing more. — Marcus Aurelius

Life is a campaign, a brief staying in a strange region. — Marcus Aurelius

Thou seest how few be the things, the which if a man has at his command his life flows gently on and is divine. — Marcus Aurelius

It takes the whole of life to learn how to live, and–what will perhaps make you wonder more–it takes the whole of life to learn how to die. — Seneca

As for life, it is a battle and a sojourning in a strange land; but the fame that comes after is oblivion. — Marcus Aurelius

Why is Seneca important?

Seneca was a Roman philosopher, statesman, orator, and tragedian.

He was Rome’s leading intellectual figure in the mid-1st century CE and was virtual ruler with his friends of the Roman world between 54 and 62, during the first phase of the emperor Nero’s reign.


Live not as though there were a thousand years ahead of you. Fate is at your elbow; make yourself good while life and power are still yours. — Marcus Aurelius

What really ruins our character is the fact that none of us looks back over his life. — Seneca

As it is with a play, so it is with life–what matters is not how long the acting lasts, but how good it is. — Seneca

What we cannot bear removes us from life; what remains can be borne. — Marcus Aurelius

The act of dying is one of the acts of life. — Marcus Aurelius

That which makes the man no worse than he was makes his life no worse: it has no power to harm, without or within. — Marcus Aurelius

What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears. — Seneca

All things of the body stream away like a river, all things of the mind are dreams and delusion; life is warfare, and a visit to a strange land; the only lasting fame is oblivion. — Marcus Aurelius


The more a mind takes in the more it expands. — Seneca

By a tranquil mind I mean nothing else than a mind well ordered. — Marcus Aurelius

It is within our power not to make a judgement about something, and so not disturb our minds; for nothing in itself possesses the power to form our judgements. — Marcus Aurelius

In the same degree in which a man’s mind is nearer to freedom from all passion, in the same degree also is it nearer to strength. — Marcus Aurelius

Let thy chief fort and place of defense be a mind free from passions. A stronger place and better fortified than this, hath no man. — Marcus Aurelius

The mind in itself wants nothing, unless it creates a want for itself; therefore it is both free from perturbation and unimpeded, if it does not perturb and impede itself. — Marcus Aurelius

Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body. — Seneca

Bear in mind that the measure of a man is the worth of the things he cares about. If it is good to say or do something, then it is even better to be criticized for having said or done it. — Marcus Aurelius

Death is a release from the impressions of the senses, and from desires that make us their puppets, and from the vagaries of the mind, and from the hard service of the flesh. — Marcus Aurelius

When a mind is impressionable and has none too firm a hold on what is right, it must be rescued from the crowd: it is so easy for it to go over to the majority. — Seneca

You are making an inopportune rejection of what Nature has given you today, if all your mind is set on what men will say of you tomorrow. — Marcus Aurelius

Suppose that men kill thee, cut thee in pieces, curse thee, what can these things do to prevent thy mind from remaining pure, wise, sober, just? — Marcus Aurelius

Let no act be done without purpose. — Marcus Aurelius


Nature insists on whatever benefits the whole. — Marcus Aurelius

Nothing befalls a man except what is in his nature to endure. — Marcus Aurelius

Death, like birth, is a secret of Nature. — Marcus Aurelius

A rational nature admits of nothing but what is serviceable to the rest of mankind. — Marcus Aurelius

Each of us needs what nature gives us, when nature gives us. — Marcus Aurelius

Everything that happens either happens in such a way as you are formed by nature to bear it, or as you are not formed by nature to bear it. — Marcus Aurelius

Pray look upon the plants and birds, the ants, spiders, and bees, and you will see them all exerting their nature, and busy in their station. Pray, shall not a man act like a man? — Marcus Aurelius

An angry look on the face is wholly against nature. If it be assumed frequently, beauty begins to perish, and in the end is quenched beyond rekindling. — Marcus Aurelius

Nature in no case cometh short of art, for the arts are copiers of natural forms. — Marcus Aurelius

Redundant Thematics

In Annaeus Seneca Statements


No form of nature is inferior to art; for the arts merely imitate natural forms. — Marcus Aurelius

Once you have done a man a service, what more reward would you have? Is it not enough to have obeyed the laws of your own nature, without expecting to be paid for it? — Marcus Aurelius

When we consider we are bound to be serviceable to mankind, and bear with their faults, we shall perceive there is a common tie of nature and relation between us. — Marcus Aurelius

The universal nature out of the universal substance, as if it were wax, now molds a horse, and when it has broken this up, it uses the material for a tree, then for a man, then for something else. — Marcus Aurelius

What was Seneca’s family like?

Seneca was the second son of a wealthy family. His father, Seneca the Elder, had been a famous teacher of rhetoric in Rome.
His mother’s name was Helvia. His elder brother was Gallio, who met St.



Prize that which is best in the universe; and this is that which useth everything and ordereth everything. — Marcus Aurelius

The intelligence of the universe is social. — Marcus Aurelius

All things are changing; and thou thyself art in continuous mutation and in a manner in continuous destruction and the whole universe to. — Marcus Aurelius

The earth loveth the shower,’ and ‘the holy æther knoweth what love is.’ The Universe, too, loves to create whatsoever is destined to be made. — Marcus Aurelius

Consider frequently the connection of all things in the universe and their relation to one another. For things are somehow implicated with one another, and all in a way friendly to one another. — Marcus Aurelius

One universe made up all that is; and one God in it all, and one principle of being, and one law, the reason shared by all thinking creatures, and one truth. — Marcus Aurelius

The nature of the All moved to make the universe. — Marcus Aurelius


Why should a man have any apprehension about the change and dissolution of all the elements? For it is according to nature, and nothing is evil which is according to nature. — Marcus Aurelius

And can anything else that is useful be accomplished without change? Do you not see then that for yourself also to change is just the same, and equally necessary for the universal nature? — Marcus Aurelius

All things are in the act of change; thou thyself in ceaseless transformation and partial decay, and the whole universe with thee. — Marcus Aurelius

The whole universe is change and life itself is but what you deem it–either gratefully better than or bitterly worse than something else that you alone choose. — Marcus Aurelius

The universe is in change, life is an opinion. — Marcus Aurelius

The world is mere change, and this life, opinion. — Marcus Aurelius

Everything is in a state of metamorphosis. Thou thyself art in everlasting change and in corruption to correspond; so is the whole universe. — Marcus Aurelius

Turn thy thoughts now to the consideration of thy life, thy life as a child, as a youth, thy manhood, thy old age, for in these also every change was a death. Is this anything to fear? — Marcus Aurelius

Remember that to change your mind and follow him who sets you right is to be none the less free than you were before. — Marcus Aurelius

Observe always that everything is the result of a change, and get used to thinking that there is nothing Nature loves so well as to change existing forms and to make new ones like them. — Marcus Aurelius

What did Seneca write?

Seneca wrote Stoic philosophical treatises, such as the Moral Letters to Lucilius, a series of essays which discuss a range of moral problems.

He also wrote tragedies based on particularly bloody and vengeful episodes of Greek myth, such as Thyestes, in which a familial conflict leads to sons being served to their unwitting father as stew


That which comes after ever conforms to that which has gone before. — Marcus Aurelius

A lucky chance is constant in nothing but inconstancy. — Marcus Aurelius


Every instant of time… is a pinprick of eternity. — Marcus Aurelius

How very near us stand the two vast gulfs of time, the past and the future, in which all things disappear. — Marcus Aurelius

On the occasion of every act ask thyself, How is this with respect to me? Shall I repent of it? A little time and I am dead, and all is gone. — Marcus Aurelius

Ab honesto virum bonum nihil deterret. (Nothing deters a good man from doing what is honorable.)–A Wrinkle in Time — Seneca

Limit time to the present. Meditate upon your last hour. — Marcus Aurelius

If it’s time for you to go, leave willingly–as you would to accomplish anything that can be done with grace and honor. — Marcus Aurelius

It’s time you realized that you have something in you more powerful and miraculous than the things that affect you and make you dance like a puppet. — Marcus Aurelius

It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. … The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully. — Seneca

Give thyself time to learn something new and good, and cease to be whirled around. — Marcus Aurelius

Consider thyself to be dead, and to have completed thy life up to the present time; and live according to nature the remainder which is allowed thee. — Marcus Aurelius

Consider when thou art much vexed or grieved, that man’s life is only a moment, and after a short time we are all laid out dead. — Marcus Aurelius

Time is like a river made up of the events which happen, and a violent stream; for as soon as a thing has been seen, it is carried away, and another comes in its place, and this will be carried away too. — Marcus Aurelius

Time is a kind of river, an irresistible flood sweeping up men and events and carrying them headlong, one after the other, to the great sea of being. — Marcus Aurelius

People who know no self–restraint lead stormy and disordered lives, passing their time in a state of fear commensurate with the injuries they do to others, never able to relax. — Seneca

Take it that you have died today, and your life’s story is ended; and henceforward regard what future time may be given you as uncovenanted surplus, and live it out in harmony with nature. — Marcus Aurelius

What were Seneca’s political accomplishments?

As Nero’s tutor, Seneca had considerable political influence in the early years of that emperor’s reign.

With his friend Burrus, Seneca introduced fiscal and judicial reforms and fostered a more humane attitude toward slaves.


People who labor all their lives but have no purpose to direct every thought and impulse toward are wasting their time–even when hard at work. — Marcus Aurelius

Constantly contemplate the whole of time and the whole of substance, and consider that all individual things as to substance are a grain of a fig, and as to time the turning of a gimlet . — Marcus Aurelius

Wasting Life?


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