In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Stoicism

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Collections of Fragments and Testimonies of Hellenistic Stoicism
  • Collections of Works by Roman Stoics
  • Collections of Essays
  • Sources
  • Philosophy as a System and as an Art of Living
  • History and Structure of the School

Classics Stoicism
Thomas Bénatouïl, Gretchen Reydams-Schils
  • LAST REVIEWED: 27 November 2013
  • LAST MODIFIED: 27 November 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0091


Stoicism was a dominant philosophical movement in Antiquity from the end of the 4th century BCE (starting with Zeno of Citium) to the end of the 2nd century CE (Marcus Aurelius). From the Early Stoa, in the Hellenistic period, we have only fragments preserved, whereas we do have some complete texts for Stoicism in the Roman imperial era. Another major bibliographical tool, in addition to this article, is found in Long and Sedley 1987 (cited under Collections of Fragments and Testimonies of Hellenistic Stoicism), with updates provided in the French translation by Jacques Brunschwig and Pierre Pellegrin (Paris: Flammarion, 2001). Secondary literature on debates between Stoicism and other schools of thought have been included in this article, as well as studies addressing its reception history.

General Overviews

Algra, et al. 2005 provides a thematic approach to Hellenistic philosophy and Inwood 2003 to Stoicism. Ildefonse 2000, on the first Stoics, and Bénatouïl 2009, on imperial Stoicism, complement one another. Hossenfelder 1995 is a standard introduction, and Long 1974 provides a compact overview. Pohlenz 1948 is still a foundational study of Stoicism, and Isnardi Parente 1993 focuses on Stoicism of the Hellenistic era.

  • Algra, K., J. Barnes, J. Mansfeld, and M. Schofield, eds. 2005. The Cambridge history of Hellenistic philosophy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    A thorough, thematic approach to Hellenistic philosophy (Stoicism alongside the other Hellenistic schools) in handbook format.

  • Bénatouïl, T. 2009. Les Stoïciens III: Musonius, Épictète, Marc Aurèle. Paris: Les belles lettres.

    An introduction to key themes in the works of Musonius Rufus, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius.

  • Hossenfelder, M. 1995. Die Philosophie der Antike 3: Stoa, Epikureismus und Skepsis. Munich: C. H. Beck.

    Standard introduction to Stoicism, Epicureanism, and the skeptical tradition.

  • Ildefonse, F. 2000. Les Stoïciens I: Zénon, Cléanthe, Chrysippe. Paris: Les belles lettres.

    An introduction to key themes in the works of Zeno, Cleanthes, and Chrysippus.

  • Inwood, B., ed. 2003. The Cambridge companion to the Stoics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1017/CCOL052177005X

    Thematic overview in handbook format.

  • Isnardi Parente, M. 1993. Introduzione a lo Stoicismo ellenistico. Laterza, Italy: Bari.

    Focuses on Stoicism in the Hellenistic era and the contribution of each head of the school to Stoic doctrine and its evolution.

  • Long, A. A. 1974. Hellenistic philosophy: Stoics, Epicureans, Sceptics. London: Duckworth.

    Compact yet in-depth overview of the major Hellenistic schools.

  • Pohlenz, M. 1948. Die Stoa: Geschichte einer geistigen Bewegung. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

    Foundational study of Stoicism, its origins and development from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius, and its influence, which is still highly relevant for current scholarship.

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