Year: 2023

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Cicero 2023

    On December VII, 43 BCE Cicero was finally overtaken by the forces of the Second Triumvirate after being designated an enemy of the state by his bitter rival Mark Antony and his once-friend Octavian. Let’s commemorate him today with some words about his life and death. Cicero was born into rural nobility in a small…

  • Cultivating the Sprouts of Virtue

    Last Saturday (Nov. 11) I gave a talk at Stoicon-X Los Angeles on “How Confucianism Can Help Us Practice Stoicism.” I got a lot out of the preperatory reading and reflection leading up to the event. I wanted to share the preliminary results of this project with everyone here (with a bit more detail than…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Pyanopsia 2023

    A Commemoration of Chrysippus, without whom there would be no Stoa Pyanopsia was a Greek festival held in commemoration of Apollo on the seventh day of the month of Pyanepsion. The festival was connected with the myth of Theseus, who—before his trial against the Minotaur—gave thanks to Apollo by offering a stew of beans and…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Agyrmos 2023

    COMMEMORATING CLEANTHES AND THE RELIGION OF PHILOSOPHY The second ‘scholarch’ of the Stoic school, Cleanthes of Assos, died in 232 BCE. In what would have corresponded to October 6th of that year (15th of Boedromion), one of the most significant religious event occurred in Athens under the Stoa Poikile: under the painted colonnade where the…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Ludi Romani 2023

    September V marked the beginning of the most important Roman Festival of the year, Ludi Romani, in which games and plays were held in honor of the god Jupiter. It’s fitting to commemorate Musonius Rufus (c. 30–102 CE) on this day who was known as the “Roman Socrates.” For the occasion, I strongly recommend reading…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Herakleia 2023

    Augustus (or, Sextilis) XII marked the Roman Festival of Herculia which commemorated Hercules Invictus (Hercules the Victor). It corresponded with a very popular Athenian festival, Herakleia, held some day in the corresponding month of Metageitnion at the gymnasium of Cynosarges. It’s fitting to commemorate Epictetus this day for four reasons: Besides Epictetus the person, we…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Kronia 2023

    A Summer celebration of moderation, community, and freedom Today is Kronia—a holiday with no meaningful significance to any extant religious or ethnic group and, thus, ripe to be appropriated by the modern secular Stoic community. The following are a few thoughts I had on how we could observe Kronia, but also how we could observe…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Seneca 2023

    Commemorating Progress On the 19th of Aprilis (or, as Nero demanded it be called, Neroneus) in 65 CE, a plot to assassinate Nero was foiled and Seneca was implicated along with many others. The emperor’s forces found him at a villa on the outskirts of Rome and interrogated him about a cryptic remark he made…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Cato 2023

    [[NOTE: This is a reposting of my “Cato 2022” blog article with some modifications]] The everyday expressions of earlier times are now archaic; and likewise the names of those who were highly acclaimed in earlier ages are now, in a sense, archaic; Camillus, Caeso, Volesus, Dentatus, and a little later, Scipio too and Cato, and…

  • The Death of Marcus Aurelius 2023

    Commemorating of a Graceful Death Today is March 17th, the day Marcus Aurelius died in 180 CE. I’m of the somewhat strong opinion that we should commemorate deaths of notable people rather than their births. The time, place, and manner of their death actually speaks to the kind of life that they chose for themselves—the…