Author: losangelesstoics

  • 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…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Herakleia 2022

    Augustus (or, Sextilis) XII marked the Roman Festival of Herculia which commemorated Herculi 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 who has such close ties with Rome, his…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Panathenaia 2022

    In Plato’s Parmenides, the characters gather in the house of Pythadorus in the Kerameikos neighborhood of Athens just outside the city walls on the 28th day of the month of Hecatombaion in 450 BCE. The famous Parmenides and his student Zeno, both originally from Ionia (western Turkey), are also there along with an Aristotle of…

  • GROUP UPDATE: Email Lists

    It’s a slow process but I’m finding different ways to make our group and our website better. With the help of a fellow Stoic, I set up an email marketing service that I hope will make things easier for everyone: you will be able to find info about group meetings easier and I will be…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Attic New Years 2022

    Happy New Year! If we were following the Attic Lunisolar Calendar, today (June 30th) would be New Year’s Day. Like many cultures in the past and present, citizens of Attica and its allies looked to the sun and moon to track progress through their religious calendar and mark the days of their festivals. In the…

  • Seneca’s Stages of Progress

    After a careful reading of letters 72 and 75 in Seneca’s Letters to Lucilius (trans. Graver & Long), my mind went to work trying to reconcile two lists that Seneca provides of different categories of “progressors” (proficientes) ––those who are making progress towards wisdom, but who are not yet wise. This is not meant to…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: The Death of Socrates 2022

    Today marks the 2,421st anniversary of Socrates’ death, which took place on June 15th, 399 BC in Athens. On May 16th, he defended himself unsuccessfully against charges of immorality and impiety (both considered a kind of sedition against the state) and sentenced to death. That day, he was escorted across the agora one last time…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: The Trial of Socrates 2022

    On the second day of Thargelion (May 16th in the Julian calendar), 399 BCE, at the age of 70 years old, Socrates was brought to the high court of Athens. According to Plato’s Apology, he was officially charged with two crimes—amorality and impiety: Socrates is a wrongdoer because [#1] he corrupts the youth and [#2]…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Bendideia 2022

    The Greek and Thracian festival of Bendideia fell on the nineteenth day of the month of Thargelion. The day in 407 BCE (which would correspond to May 12th) served as the dramatic date of Plato’s Republic, in which Socrates discussed the virtue of justice. Today, we should use May 12th as a date to commemorate…

  • STOIC CALENDAR: Marcus Aurelius 2022

    Marcus Annius Verus was born on ante diem V kalendas Maias (‘the fifth day before the start of May’) or Aprilis XXVI in the year DCCCLXXV ab urbe condita (‘875 years after the founding of Rome’) in Hispania Baetica near Corduba. The boy came to be called Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (or just…