Seneca | On the Supreme Good (Part II)
Let us press on and persevere
Sundays with Seneca
Welcome to Sundays with Seneca on the Perennial Meditations podcast. Join the search for ancient lessons on the art of living from the writings and Stoic philosophy of Lucius Annaeus Seneca.
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On the Supreme Good (Part II)
In a letter known today as On the Supreme Good, Seneca wrote,
You may say: “What then? Is there no difference between Cato’s being elected praetor and his failure at the polls? Or whether Cato is conquered or conqueror in the battle line of Pharsalia? And when Cato could not be defeated, though his party met defeat, was not this goodness of his equal to that which would have been his if he had returned victorious to his native land and arranged a peace?” Of course it was; for it is by the same virtue that evil fortune is overcome and good fortune is controlled. Virtue however, cannot be increased or decreased; its stature is uniform. […]
“He was conquered in spite of it all!” Well, you may include this among Cato’s “failures”; Cato will bear with an equally stout heart anything that thwarts him of his victory, as he bore that which thwarted him of his praetorship. The day whereon he failed of election, he spent in play; the night wherein he intended to die, he spent in reading. He regarded in the same light both the loss of his praetorship and the loss of his life; he had convinced himself that he ought to endure anything which might happen.
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