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Musonius Rufus: Lectures and Sayings Paperback – January 22, 2011
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On how to become a philosopher:
"The person who is practicing to become a philosopher must seek to overcome himself so that he won't welcome pleasure and avoid pain, so that he won't love living and fear death, and so that, in the case of money, he won't honor receiving over giving."
On acquiring good things by pain
"In order for us to withstand more easily and eagerly the pains we would be suffering on account of virtue and noble character, it is useful to consider how much trouble those who pursue illicit love-affairs undergo because of their wicked passions, how much others put up with for the sake of gain, and again how many ills some suffer in pursuit of fame.
On controlling your desires:
"And yet, wouldn't everyone agree that it is much better to work to gain control over one's own desires than it is to work to gain possession of someone else's wife-- and for a person to train himself to want little instead of struggling to become wealthy? And instead of exerting effort to gain fame, shouldn't a person strive to overcome his thirst for it? Instead of searching for a way to damage a person whom he envies, shouldn't he contemplate how not to bear envy against anyone? Instead of being slavish to some so-called friends, who are actually insincere, shouldn't he make sacrifices to win true friends?Read more ›
As the author of the preface, William B. Irvine, notes, “Gaius Musonius Rufus (c. AD 30-100) was one of the four great Roman Stoic philosophers…” (p. 9). When Alexander the Great conquered the Near East he introduced many aspects of Greek culture—not least the philosophic erudition of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and the special perspectives of Pythagoreans, Epicureanism, Stoicism and other philosophic views. When historians seek to investigate the relationship of Greek philosophy to Judaism and later, to Christian approaches to life, they want to get as close to the original time frame and language in use to the subject matter they are studying. Judaism, and later, Christianity, picked up through syncretism many ideas that were carried into the Near East by the Greeks. But they put their own “spin” on these ideas. Scholars investigating the links between Stoicism and Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity would do well to have access to this useful translation into English of the original Greek texts (in in at least one case, Latin).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found the book to be very good. It was written in a way that made it easy to digest.Published 3 months ago by Andres
Reading this Stoic philosopher/moralist from antiquity was a most pleasurable experience. I learned some things I was not prepared for.Published 11 months ago by Lyle D. Hettinger
I enjoyed the plain speaking description of living a stoic life. It is mostly "lectures" by Musonios. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Carl Wright
Socrates, Musonius Rufus, and Epictetus were living examples of the good life. Their students felt that this knowledge was so important that they had to write it down. Read morePublished on November 15, 2013 by Cheyenne Cannaday
I am no expert on the writings of Roman stoics, and I applaud this author's tough work translating. You get a really good idea of how the guy viewed his world. Read morePublished on June 13, 2013 by john bordeaux