The Hymn to Zeus by Cleanthes

Excerpts from the famous Hymn to Zeus by the Stoic philosopher Cleanthes.

The Hymn to Zeus by Cleanthes

Brief excerpt quoted in Epictetus’ Enchiridion and the Epistles of Seneca:

Lead me on, O Zeus, and thou Destiny,
To that goal long ago to me assigned.
I’ll follow readily but if my will prove weak;
Wretched as I am, I must follow still.
Fate guides the willing, but drags the unwilling.

The longer version found in the Anthology of Stobaeus begins:

Most glorious of the  immortals, called by many names, ever almighty
Zeus, leader of nature, guiding everything with law,
Hail!  For it is right that all mortals should address you,
since all are descended from you and imitate your voice,
alone of all the mortals which live and creep upon the earth.
So I will sing your praises and hymn your might always.

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One reply on “The Hymn to Zeus by Cleanthes”

Dear Donald, I came to your page through the link to Robert Burns poem from the New Stoa website. I enjoyed the Burns and Bronte poetry and may well purchase the Bronte Book, the existence of which I was unaware. Thank you.

May I point out an editorial error in the hymn to Zeus? In the third line from Stobaeus opening the word “should” is misspelt.

With best wishes,
Ricky Jones

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