Stoicism is an ancient Greek philosophy, which was developed by Zenon of Cythus around 300 B.C. as a refinement of cynicism, which teaches the development of self-control and strength as a means of overcoming destructive emotions. It does not seek to extinguish emotions completely but seeks to transform them through voluntary abstinence from worldly pleasures, which allows a person to develop clear judgment, inner calm, and freedom from suffering, which is considered the ultimate goal.


Related topics

Monism, Neoplatonism

What is Stoicism?

A philosophical doctrine that studied how to master the passions that affect life with virtue and reason and whose objective was to attain happiness and wisdom without needing material goods and fortune.

About Stoicism

As an ethical doctrine, it consists of seeking a way to free oneself from passion, anguish or suffering through the constant search for reason and apathy. It teaches indifference and a “passive” reaction to external events because it considers that nothing external can be good or bad, and that equanimity towards the ups and downs of life is of paramount importance.


It was founded in Athens by Zenon of Citio and was influenced by Socrates and the Cynics. Stoicism moved to Rome, where it flourished during the Empire period, but at the same time was persecuted by emperors who did not like it and openly accepted by emperors who tried to live off it, such as Marcus Aurelius. It was a doctrine that influenced Christianity, as well as several important philosophical figures throughout the ages, and early in the twenty-first century there was a rebirth as a practical philosophy associated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and similar approaches.

Of course, Stoicism originated as a modification of existing schools of thought, and its influence extended far beyond the formal closure of the old philosophical schools by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I.

There are three phases in its history:

Founder os Stoicism

Zenon of Citio was the founder of Stoicism, he was a Hellenistic thinker probably a descendant of the Phoenicians. His school of Stoic philosophy taught in Athens from about 300 B.C. and was based on the moral ideas of the Cynics. His movement placed great emphasis on goodness and peace of mind acquired by living a life of virtue in accordance with nature. It became very popular and flourished as one of the main schools of philosophy from the Hellenistic period to Roman times.


The most outstanding characteristics of Stoicism are the following:


The principles of Stoicism are:


The most important representatives of Stoicism are:


Stoicism was divided into three different periods or stages:

Roman Stoicism

Stoicism gained importance in Rome during the transitional period between the last Republic and the Empire, and Cato the Younger became a model for the later Stoics due to his political opposition to the “tyrant” Julius Caesar. Roman Stoicism itself was the last phase of the Stoic period. It is completed by two less notable authors: Heracles and Cleomedes.


Unlike other philosophical currents, the great importance of Stoicism lies in the importance it attaches to accepting that there are many things in the world that are bad and cannot be avoided, but that the most important thing to remember is that we can always find a way out. It teaches us to avoid living in a utopian world and insists on accepting the world as it is, taking into account all possible negative reactions.


The main phrases that can be rescued from Stoicism are the following:

Books about Stoicism

Some books that we can consult and read that will provide us with information about Stoicism are the following:


Some examples of Stoicism are the following:

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.

How to cite this article?

Briceño V., Gabriela. (2019). Stoicism. Recovered on 23 February, 2024, de Euston96:

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