Founded in 308 B.C, Stoicism is an Ancient Greek school of spirituality and philosophy. The school was located in Athens, Greece and was founded by Zeno of Citium.

Stoicism is a school that taught children how to be their best or how to achieve arete. The school also taught that they could be independent in society but they also had to help other people.

The school also taught them how to handle their emotions and thoughts.

Learn to live in the moment

The students would learn that if they were able to learn all this, they would be able to find peace in their lives and not become a part of the bad in the world. In order to achieve peace, the school of Stoicism taught, that you had to learn to live in the moment.

If they were able to accept the moment, they would fall become fearful.

Stoicism taught that if people followed the path of pain and fear they were more likely to make errors and mistakes.

A lot of the teachings in the school came from Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus. The school was also heavily influenced by the philosophy of Socrates.

The teaching of the school of Stoicism was a major part of the approaches of western virtue ethics.

Virtue ethics are ethical theories which focus on the mind and how a person behaves. The school of Stoicism also taught that everyone was to be treated the same.

Treated as equals

The school believed that everyone, even the slaves in Ancient Greece, were to be treated as equals to other men because everyone was part of nature.

Stoics believed in cosmopolitanism, which means citizens of the world. This meant that they respected cultures around the world.

Around the year 301 B.C., about seven years after the school of philosophy was founded, Zeno decided to teach the school in a public space.

He taught Stoicism in Stoa Poikile. This is how the school of philosophy got its name, from the Stoa Pikile.

Zeno decided to teach Stoicism in a public place because he believed everyone should be able to get an education and not just the rich.

Three phases of Stoicism

There are three phases to Stoicism.

1. The first phase is called the Early Stoa.

2. The second phase is known as the Middle Stoa

3. the third phase is called Late Stoa.

There is no evidence of work from the early and middle stoa phases. But there is written record of the Late Stoa phase, which comes from Roman texts.

Stoics believed that you learned through reasoning.

They believed that our body’s senses of touch, hearing, seeing, feeling, and smelling would help us learn.

Stoics said that the sensations the body receives through senses travel to the person’s mind and this is how they form thoughts and feelings about the sensations.

Facts about Stoicism

  • One of the students of Stoicism was Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
  • Stoicism taught that Ancient Greeks needed to reach to achieve prohairesis, which is a will that agrees with nature.
  • Stoicism was a popular school of thought until the 3rd Century A.D.
  • Stoicism began to decline with the religion of Christianity.
  • Stoicism worked to teach self-control in order to overcome bad emotions.
  • Stoics believed in simple living and did not want a luxurious lifestyle.
  • People who studied stoicism were called stoics.
  • Stoic spiritual and philosophical practices included logic, self-dialog, and Socratic dialog.

Questions and answers about Stoicism:

1.) What is the Ancient Greek school of philosophy called?

a.) Plato’s Republic

b.) Socratic Method

c.) Stoicism

Answer: C

2.) In what year was Stoicism founded?

a.) 350 B.C

b.) 308 B.C.

c.) 321 B.C.

Answer: B

3.) Stoicism was heavily influenced by which Ancient Greek philosopher?

a.) Socrates

b.) Homer

c.) Aristotle

Answer: A

4.) One of the students of Stoicism was who?

a.) Marcus Aurelius

b.) Socrates

c.) Heraclitus

Answer: A

5.) People who studied and believed in Stoicism were called what?

a.) Socratic

b.) Stoics

c.) Ravens

Answer: B


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