Who founded Stoicism?

Posted by Mark Ward on Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Who founded Stoicism, a philosophy that along with Buddhism provides much common sense in today’s world?

Founding a philosophy is no mean feat. Zeno of Citium is regarded as the founder of Stoicism. Zeno was born in Crete around 300 BC and found his way to Athens by way of being shipwrecked, losing all his possessions in the process. Stoicism was founded in Athens, Greece, and derives its name from the word Stoa, a public covered walkway or porch where early Stoics would meet. Stoa Poikile (The painted porch) is regarded as the place where Stoicism was born.

Sadly Zeno’s writings have not survived, so our understanding of Stoicism comes not from its founder, but from his student’s notes and further writings.

Zeno of Citium both studied with other teachers such as Crates of Thebes and Xenocrates. Stoicisms founding philosophy is broken into three parts, Logic, Physics (including the ‘nature of things’ or Logos) and Ethics.

Quotes attributed to Zeno include?

We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say – Zeno

The goal of life is living in agreement with Nature – Zeno

No one entrusts a secret to a drunken man; but one will entrust a secret to a good man; therefore, the good man will not get drunk – Zeno

That which exercises reason is more excellent than that which does not exercise reason; there is nothing more excellent than the universe, therefore the universe exercises reason – Zeno