The Substack Newsletter of Donald J. Robertson
Author of Stoicism and the Art of Happiness, How to Think Like a Roman Emperor, and Verissimus: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius
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The Choice of Hercules – Stoicism: Philosophy as a Way of Life Podcast
This is the famous speech, which we’re told inspired Zeno, the founder of Stoicism, to embark on a life of philosophy. He came across it in Book Two of Xenophon’s Memorabilia Socratis, where Socrates is portrayed reciting a version of it, which he learned from the celebrated Sophist and orator, Prodicus. It’s an exhortation to philosophy, which uses the legend of Hercules as an allegory to illustrate the choice between a life of virtue and one of vice. This story was illustrated in our graphic novel, Verissimus: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius.Stoicism: Philosophy as a Way of Life is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.Highlights* Introducing the speech* Hercules confronted by the choice between two paths in life* The temptations of Kakia or Vice, to a life of pleasure and idleness* The exhortation of Arete or Virtue, to temperance and endurance* The legacy of the speech and influence on Stoicism Get full access to Stoicism: Philosophy as a Way of Life at donaldrobertson.substack.com/subscribe