Category: Uncategorized

  • Politeia 2024

    Today (May 12th) is the Stoic holiday of Politeia, which corresponds with the dramatic date of Plato’s Republic (set in 407 BCE). On this day, we do what Socrates did– we think and talk about justice. Next week, Stoics will start observing Sokratia—a festival 30 days long that corresponds with the days Socrates spent in prison.…

  • STOIC HOLIDAY: PARENTALIA 2024

    Feb. 13th: A Commemoration of departed role-models Februārius XIII (Ides of February) marked the beginning of a nine-day Roman festival, Parentālia, which was held in honor of deceased ancestors. It seems like the festival acquired its name from the Latin term parentēs (sg., parēns), who were the primary recipients of the rites. The term was…

  • 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: 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…

  • 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…