Zeno of Citium (/ˈziːnoʊ/; Greek: Ζήνων ὁ Κιτιεύς, Zēnōn ho Kitieus; c. 334 – c. 262 BC) was a Hellenistic philosopher of Phoenician origin  from Citium (Κίτιον, Kition), Cyprus. Zeno was the founder of the Stoic school of philosophy, which he taught in Athens from about 300 BC. Based on the moral ideas of the Cynics, Stoicism laid great emphasis on goodness and peace of mind gained from living a life of Virtue in accordance with Nature. It proved very popular, and flourished as one of the major schools of philosophy from the Hellenistic period through to the Roman era.
Zeno of Citium
|Born||c. 334 BC|
|Died||c. 262 BC|
|Logic, Physics, Ethics|
|Founder of Stoicism, three branches of philosophy (physics, ethics, logic), Logos, rationality of human nature, virtue ethics, world citizenship|
Zeno was born c. 334 BC,[a] in Citium in Cyprus. Most of the details known about his life come from the biography and anecdotes preserved by Diogenes Laërtius in his Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. Diogenes reports that Zeno's interest in philosophy began when "he consulted the oracle to know what he should do to attain the best life, and that the god's response was that he should take on the complexion of the dead. Whereupon, perceiving what this meant, he studied ancient authors." Zeno became a wealthy merchant. On a voyage from Phoenicia to Peiraeus he survived a shipwreck, after which he went to Athens and visited a bookseller. There he encountered Xenophon's Memorabilia. He was so pleased with the book's portrayal of Socrates that he asked the bookseller where men like Socrates were to be found. Just then, Crates of Thebes, the most famous Cynic living at that time in Greece happened to be walking by, and the bookseller pointed to him.
Zeno is described as a haggard, dark-skinned person, living a spare, ascetic life despite his wealth. This coincides with the influences of Cynic teaching, and was, at least in part, continued in his Stoic philosophy. From the day Zeno became Crates’ pupil, he showed a strong bent for philosophy, though with too much native modesty to assimilate Cynic shamelessness. Hence Crates, desirous of curing this defect in him, gave him a potful of lentil-soup to carry through the Ceramicus; and when he saw that Zeno was ashamed and tried to keep it out of sight, Crates broke the pot with a blow of his staff. As Zeno began to run off in embarrassment with the lentil-soup flowing down his legs, Crates chided, "Why run away, my little Phoenician? Nothing terrible has befallen you."
Apart from Crates, Zeno studied under the philosophers of the Megarian school, including Stilpo, and the dialecticians Diodorus Cronus, and Philo. He is also said to have studied Platonist philosophy under the direction of Xenocrates, and Polemo.
Zeno began teaching in the colonnade in the Agora of Athens known as the Stoa Poikile (Greek Στοὰ Ποικίλη) in 301 BC. His disciples were initially called Zenonians, but eventually they came to be known as Stoics, a name previously applied to poets who congregated in the Stoa Poikile.
Among the admirers of Zeno was king Antigonus II Gonatas of Macedonia, who, whenever he came to Athens, would visit Zeno. Zeno is said to have declined an invitation to visit Antigonus in Macedonia, although their supposed correspondence preserved by Laërtius is undoubtedly the invention of a later writer. Zeno instead sent his friend and disciple Persaeus, who had lived with Zeno in his house. Among Zeno's other pupils there were Aristo of Chios, Sphaerus, and Cleanthes who succeeded Zeno as the head (scholarch) of the Stoic school in Athens.
Zeno is said to have declined Athenian citizenship when it was offered to him, fearing that he would appear unfaithful to his native land, where he was highly esteemed, and where he contributed to the restoration of its baths, after which his name was inscribed upon a pillar there as "Zeno the philosopher". We are also told that Zeno was of an earnest, gloomy disposition; that he preferred the company of the few to the many; that he was fond of burying himself in investigations; and that he disliked verbose and elaborate speeches. Diogenes Laërtius has preserved many clever and witty remarks by Zeno, although these anecdotes are generally considered unreliable.
Zeno died around 262 BC.[a] Laërtius reports about his death:
During his lifetime, Zeno received appreciation for his philosophical and pedagogical teachings. Among other things, Zeno was honored with the golden crown, and a tomb was built in honor of his moral influence on the youth of his era.
Following the ideas of the Old Academy, Zeno divided philosophy into three parts: logic (a wide subject including rhetoric, grammar, and the theories of perception and thought); physics (not just science, but the divine nature of the universe as well); and ethics, the end goal of which was to achieve eudaimonia through the right way of living according to Nature. Because Zeno's ideas were later expanded upon by Chrysippus and other Stoics it can be difficult to determine precisely what he thought. But his general views can be outlined as follows:
In his treatment of Logic, Zeno was influenced by Stilpo and the other Megarians. Zeno urged the need to lay down a basis for Logic because the wise person must know how to avoid deception. Cicero accused Zeno of being inferior to his philosophical predecessors in his treatment of Logic, and it seems true that a more exact treatment of the subject was laid down by his successors, including Chrysippus. Zeno divided true conceptions into the comprehensible and the incomprehensible, permitting for free-will the power of assent (sinkatathesis/συνκατάθεσις) in distinguishing between sense impressions. Zeno said that there were four stages in the process leading to true knowledge, which he illustrated with the example of the flat, extended hand, and the gradual closing of the fist:
Zeno stretched out his fingers, and showed the palm of his hand, – "Perception," – he said, – "is a thing like this."- Then, when he had closed his fingers a little, – "Assent is like this." – Afterwards, when he had completely closed his hand, and showed his fist, that, he said, was Comprehension. From which simile he also gave that state a new name, calling it katalepsis (κατάληψις). But when he brought his left hand against his right, and with it took a firm and tight hold of his fist: – "Knowledge" – he said, was of that character; and that was what none but a wise person possessed.
The Universe, in Zeno's view, is God: a divine reasoning entity, where all the parts belong to the whole. Into this pantheistic system he incorporated the physics of Heraclitus; the Universe contains a divine artisan-fire, which foresees everything, and extending throughout the Universe, must produce everything:
Zeno, then, defines nature by saying that it is artistically working fire, which advances by fixed methods to creation. For he maintains that it is the main function of art to create and produce, and that what the hand accomplishes in the productions of the arts we employ, is accomplished much more artistically by nature, that is, as I said, by artistically working fire, which is the master of the other arts.
This divine fire, or aether, is the basis for all activity in the Universe, operating on otherwise passive matter, which neither increases nor diminishes itself. The primary substance in the Universe comes from fire, passes through the stage of air, and then becomes water: the thicker portion becoming earth, and the thinner portion becoming air again, and then rarefying back into fire. Individual souls are part of the same fire as the world-soul of the Universe. Following Heraclitus, Zeno adopted the view that the Universe underwent regular cycles of formation and destruction.
The Nature of the Universe is such that it accomplishes what is right and prevents the opposite, and is identified with unconditional Fate, while allowing it the free-will attributed to it.
Like the Cynics, Zeno recognised a single, sole and simple good, which is the only goal to strive for. "Happiness is a good flow of life," said Zeno, and this can only be achieved through the use of right Reason coinciding with the Universal Reason (Logos), which governs everything. A bad feeling (pathos) "is a disturbance of the mind repugnant to Reason, and against Nature." This consistency of soul, out of which morally good actions spring, is Virtue, true good can only consist in Virtue.
Zeno deviated from the Cynics in saying that things that are morally adiaphora (indifferent) could nevertheless have value. Things have a relative value in proportion to how they aid the natural instinct for self-preservation. That which is to be preferred is a "fitting action" (kathêkon/καθῆκον), a designation Zeno first introduced. Self-preservation, and the things that contribute towards it, has only a conditional value; it does not aid happiness, which depends only on moral actions.
Just as Virtue can only exist within the dominion of Reason, so Vice can only exist with the rejection of Reason. Virtue is absolutely opposed to Vice, the two cannot exist in the same thing together, and cannot be increased or decreased; no one moral action is more virtuous than another. All actions are either good or bad, since impulses and desires rest upon free consent, and hence even passive mental states or emotions that are not guided by reason are immoral, and produce immoral actions. Zeno distinguished four negative emotions: desire, fear, pleasure and sorrow (epithumia, phobos, hêdonê, lupê / ἐπιθυμία, φόβος, ἡδονή, λύπη), and he was probably responsible for distinguishing the three corresponding positive emotions: will, caution, and joy (boulêsis, eulabeia, chara / βούλησις, εὐλάβεια, χαρά), with no corresponding rational equivalent for pain. All errors must be rooted out, not merely set aside, and replaced with right reason.
None of Zeno's writings have survived except as fragmentary quotations preserved by later writers. However, the titles of many of Zeno's writings are known and are as follows:
The most famous of these works was Zeno's Republic, a work written in conscious imitation of (or opposition to) Plato's Republic. Although it has not survived, more is known about it than any of his other works. It outlined Zeno's vision of the ideal Stoic society.
|First|| Leader of the Stoic school
Athenodorus of Soli (Greek: Ἀθηνόδωρος ὁ Σολεύς) was a Stoic philosopher, and disciple of Zeno of Citium, who lived in the 3rd century BC.
He was the son of Athenodorus, and was born in the town of Soli, Cilicia, and was the compatriot of another disciple of Zeno, Chrysippus. Athenodorus was the brother of the poet Aratus of Soli, the author of the long didactic poem, Phaenomena. Both brothers followed the teachings of Zeno.
He is mentioned in the list given by Diogenes Laërtius as the disciple of Zeno. He may be the dedicatee of the work On Definite Propositions (Greek: Περὶ τῶν ϰαταγορευτιϰῶν) written by Chrysippus.Bryson of Achaea
Bryson of Achaea (or Bryson the Achaean; Greek: Βρύσων ὁ Ἀχαιός, gen.: Βρύσωνος; fl. 330 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher.
Very little information is known about him. He was said to have been a pupil of Stilpo and Clinomachus, which would mean that he was a philosopher of the Megarian school. He was said to have taught Crates the Cynic, Pyrrho the Skeptic, and Theodorus the Atheist. Diogenes Laërtius includes him among a list of philosophers who left no writings.He is probably not the same person as Bryson of Heraclea, the sophist and mathematician who seems to have lived in the time of Socrates. The Suda, in its entry on Socrates, may be confusing the two Brysons when it refers to Bryson of Heraclea:
Bryson of Heraclea introduced eristic dialectic after Euclides, whereas Clinomachus augmented it, and whereas many came on account of it, it came to an end with Zeno of Citium, for he gave it the name Stoic, after its location, this having occurred in the 105th Olympiad; but some [say that] Bryson was a student not of Socrates but of EuclidesCleanthes
Cleanthes (; Greek: Κλεάνθης Kleanthēs; c. 330 BC – c. 230 BC), of Assos, was a Greek Stoic philosopher and successor to Zeno of Citium as the second head (scholarch) of the Stoic school in Athens. Originally a boxer, he came to Athens where he took up philosophy, listening to Zeno's lectures. He supported himself by working as a water-carrier at night. After the death of Zeno, c. 262 BC, he became the head of the school, a post he held for the next 32 years. Cleanthes successfully preserved and developed Zeno's doctrines. He originated new ideas in Stoic physics, and developed Stoicism in accordance with the principles of materialism and pantheism. Among the fragments of Cleanthes' writings which have come down to us, the largest is a Hymn to Zeus. His pupil was Chrysippus who became one of the most important Stoic thinkers.Crates of Thebes
Crates (Greek: Κράτης ὁ Θηβαῖος; c. 365 – c. 285 BC) of Thebes was a Cynic philosopher. Crates gave away his money to live a life of poverty on the streets of Athens. He married Hipparchia of Maroneia who lived in the same manner that he did. Respected by the people of Athens, he is remembered for being the teacher of Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoicism. Various fragments of Crates' teachings survive, including his description of the ideal Cynic state.Dionysius the Renegade
Dionysius the Renegade (Greek: Διονύσιος ὁ Μεταθέμενος; c. 330 BC – c. 250 BC), also known as Dionysius of Heraclea, was a Stoic philosopher and pupil of Zeno of Citium who, late in life, abandoned Stoicism when he became afflicted by terrible pain.GSZ Stadium
GSZ Stadium or Gymnastic Club Zenon Stadium (Greek: Γυμναστικός Σύλλογος Ζήνων; Γ.Σ.Ζ., Greek pronunciation: [ɣasiˈzi]) is a multi-purpose stadium in Larnaca, Cyprus. Usually it is referred to as the 'neo GSZ Stadium' to distinguish it from the old GSZ Stadium, which it replaced. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home ground of AEK Larnaca FC. The stadium holds 13,032 people. Its owner is the Gymnastic Club Zeno which took its name from the native philosopher of Larnaca Zeno of Citium. Before the merge of Pezoporikos and EPA Larnaca into the new football club AEK Larnaca FC, it was also the home of those two clubs.
In 2006 it hosted the Cypriot Cup final between APOEL and AEK Larnaca FC, where APOEL won 3-2. However the greatest event that was hosted in the Larnaca Stadium was the final for the 1998 UEFA European Under-18 Football Championship between Republic of Ireland and Germany where they tied 1-1. The Republic of Ireland beat Germany 4-3 on penalties and won the trophy. During the same day, the Third Position final playoff was played for the same tournament and in that match Portugal beat Croatia 5-4 on penalties as well while the match ended 0-0.Hellenistic philosophy
Hellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy that was developed in the Hellenistic period following Aristotle and ending with the beginning of Neoplatonism.Herillus
Herillus (; also Erillus ; Greek: Ἥριλλος Herillos; fl. 3rd century BC) of Chalcedon (or Carthage), was a Stoic philosopher and a pupil of Zeno of Citium.Kathekon
Kathēkon (Greek: καθῆκον) (plural: kathēkonta Greek: καθήκοντα) is a Greek concept, forged by the founder of Stoicism, Zeno of Citium. It may be translated as "appropriate behaviour", "befitting actions", or "convenient action for nature", or also "proper function". Kathekon was translated in Latin by Cicero as officium, and by Seneca as convenentia. Kathēkonta are contrasted, in Stoic ethics, with katorthōma (κατόρθωμα; plural: katorthōmata), roughly "perfect action". According to Stoic philosophy, humans (and all living beings) must act in accordance with Nature, which is the primary sense of kathēkon.Kition
Kition (Greek: Κίτιον, Kítion; Punic: 𐤊𐤕, KT, or 𐤊𐤕𐤉, KTY), also known by its Latin name Citium, was a city-kingdom on the southern coast of Cyprus (in present-day Larnaca). It was established in the 13th century BC.Its most famous, and probably only known, resident was Zeno of Citium, born c. 334 BC in Citium and founder of the Stoic school of philosophy which he taught in Athens from about 300 BC.Oikeiôsis
In Stoic ethics, oikeiôsis (Ancient Greek: οἰκείωσις, Latin: conciliatio) is a technical term variously translated as "appropriation," "orientation," "familiarization," "affinity," "affiliation," and "endearment." Oikeiôsis signifies the perception of something as one’s own, as belonging to oneself. The theory of oikeiôsis can be traced back to the work of the first Stoic philosopher, Zeno of Citium.The Stoic philosopher Hierocles saw it as the basis for all animal impulses as well as human ethical action. According to Porphyry, "those who followed Zeno stated that oikeiôsis is the beginning of justice".Persaeus
Persaeus (Greek: Περσαῖος; 307/6–243 BC) of Citium, son of Demetrius, was a Greek Stoic philosopher, and a friend and favourite student of Zeno of Citium.Republic (Zeno)
The Republic (Greek: Πολιτεία) was a work written by Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoic philosophy at the beginning of the 3rd century BC. Although it has not survived, it was his most famous work, and various quotes and paraphrases were preserved by later writers. The purpose of the work was to outline the ideal society based on Stoic principles, where virtuous men and women would live a life of simple asceticism in an equal society.Sphaerus
Sphaerus (Greek: Σφαῖρος; c. 285 BC – c. 210 BC) of Borysthenes or the Bosphorus, was a Stoic philosopher.Stilpo
Stilpo (or Stilpon; Greek: Στίλπων, gen.: Στίλπωνος; c. 360 – c. 280 BC) was a Greek philosopher of the Megarian school. He was a contemporary of Theophrastus, Diodorus Cronus, and Crates of Thebes. None of his writings survive, he was interested in logic and dialectic, and he argued that the universal is fundamentally separated from the individual and concrete. His ethical teachings approached that of the Cynics and Stoics. His most important followers were Pyrrho, the founder of Pyrrhonism, and Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoicism.Stoa Poikile
The Stoa Poikile (Ancient Greek: ἡ ποικίλη στοά) or Painted Porch, originally called the Porch of Peisianax (Ancient Greek: ἡ Πεισιανάκτειος στοά), was erected during the 5th century BC and was located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. The Stoa Poikile was one of the most famous sites in ancient Athens, owing its fame to the paintings and loot from wars displayed in it. The Stoa was the location from which Zeno of Citium taught Stoicism. The philosophical school of Stoicism takes its name from having first been expounded here, and was derived from the Greek word stoa. Zeno taught and lectured to his followers from this porch. Excavations carried out by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens over the past two decades have revealed much of the foundations and some lower elements of the stoa on the north side of the Athenian Agora; it had a Doric columnar facade and an Ionic interior colonnade.The Stoa Poikile was decorated by fresco painter and sculptor Micon of Athens in collaboration with Polygnotos of Thasos; both artists worked around the mid-5th century BC. The paintings were most probably hung on the inner wall of the stoa. In the time of Pausanias (2nd century AD), the paintings in the Stoa included:
The Battle of Oenoe (author unknown)
Amazonomachy by Micon
The taking of Troy by Polygnotus
The Battle of Marathon by Panaenus (also ascribed to Micon and Polygnotus who may have assisted in the work)There is a contrast between the mythical and historical events portrayed: depictions of Theseus' victory over the Amazonians and the Fall of Troy are juxtaposed sharply with the portrayal of the historic Battle of Oenoe (conjectured to have occurred in the pentecontaetia at Oenoe, Attica on the Thriasian Plain near Eleutherae), the first important Athenian victory over Sparta, and the Battle of Marathon.
The Stoa Poikile stood in good repair for over six centuries, possibly gaining additional artwork over the centuries. It suffered when Athens was sacked in 267 AD by Herulians, although only easily looted items were taken at that time. The paintings were removed by a Roman governor shortly before 396 AD. The Stoa itself probably existed for another 50–100 years until it was demolished to gain building material for a city wall.Stoic categories
The term Stoic categories refers to Stoic ideas regarding categories of being: the most fundamental classes of being for all things. The Stoics believed there were four categories (substance, quality, disposition, relative disposition) which were the ultimate divisions. Since we do not now possess even a single complete work by Zeno of Citium, Cleanthes or Chrysippus what we do know must be pieced together from a number of sources: doxographies and the works of other philosophers who discuss the Stoics for their own purposes.Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta
Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta is a collection by Hans von Arnim of fragments and testimonia of the earlier Stoics, published in 1903–1905 as part of the Bibliotheca Teubneriana. It includes the fragments and testimonia of Zeno of Citium, Chrysippus and their immediate followers. At first the work consisted of three volumes, to which Maximilian Adler in 1924 added a fourth, containing general indices. Teubner reprinted the whole work in 1964.