Author: losangelesstoics

  • 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…

  • Parentalia 2023

    Commemorating Friends and Ancestors Past [[this post is an updated version of my 2022 version]] Februarius XIII (Ides of February) marked the beginning of a nine-day Roman festival, Parentalia, which was held in honor of deceased ancestors. It seems like the festival acquired its name from parentes, who were the primary recipients of the rites. The term…

  • MLK and Stoicism (2023)

    As I’m sure you’re all aware, today is “Martin Luther King Jr. Day”, MLK’s birthday. If you have not read it (or have not read it in a while), I strongly encourage you to peruse his “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” In it, he explains the important difference between “legal” and “just.” Though MLK does not…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Zeno & Epicurus 2023

    [This is a reposting of the 2022 post] Today corresponds to the birthday of Epicurus, the founder of Epicureanism. The date was well known in ancient times and has been preserved by historians like Diogenes Laertius: He was born, according to Apollodorus in his Chronology, in the third year of the 109th Olympiad, in the…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Lenaia 2023

    “Commemoration of Love, Friendship, and Women” [[ This post is adapted with edits from the 2022 post ]] Plato’s Symposium is a complex and beautiful dialogue. Most of the dramatic events take place in Athens at the house of Agathon, a tragedian playwright who recently won his first victory at the festival of “Lenaia,” which…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Commemoration of Cicero 2022

    [THIS POST HAS BEEN ADAPTED FROM THE 2021 VERSION] 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 Mark Antony and his once-friend Octavian. Let me commemorate him today with some words about his life and death. Cicero was…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Stoic Thanksgiving 2022

    [[this post is adapted and expanded from a 2020 post of mine]] TODAY is Thanksgiving in the United States. It has been celebrated on and off every year since the first pilgrim and puritan settlers – presumably passed down from earlier European Christian traditions. It was made a federal holiday after the Civil War by…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Pyanopsia 2022

    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 dish of stew of beans and grains from Athens and an olive branch brought from…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Agyrmos 2022

    The second ‘scholarch’ of the Stoic school, Cleanthes, died in 232 BCE.  In what would have corresponded to Oct. 6th of that year (15th of Boedromion), one of the most significant religious event occurred in Athens under the Stoa Poikile: the registration of new initiates (mystai) into the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries.  Surely, Cleanthes and his…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Ludi Romani 2022

    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…