That One Should Disdain Hardships The Teachings of a Roman Stoic Musonius Rufus, Cora E. Lutz, Gretchen Reydams-Schils

Publication date:
14 Apr 2020
Yale University Press
160 pages: 178 x 121mm

The Stoic philosopher Musonius Rufus was one of the most influential teachers of his era, imperial Rome, and his message still resonates with startling clarity today. Alongside Stoics like Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius, he emphasized ethics in action, displayed in all aspects of life. Merely learning philosophical doctrine and listening to lectures, they believed, will not do one any good unless one manages to interiorize the teachings and apply them to daily life.

In Musonius Rufus’s words, “Philosophy is nothing else than to search out by reason what is right and proper and by deeds to put it into practice.” At a time of renewed interest in Stoicism, this collection of Musonius Rufus’s lectures and sayings, beautifully translated by Cora E. Lutz and introduced by Gretchen Reydams-Schils, offers readers access to the thought of one of history’s most influential and remarkable Stoic thinkers.

Musonius Rufus was a Roman Stoic philosopher from the first century CE. Cora E. Lutz was a translator, whose 1947 translations of Musonius are considered by many to be the best versions available in English. Gretchen Reydams-Schils is professor in the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame and holds concurrent appointments in classics, philosophy, and theology.