What does stoic mean and Where does the word “stoicism” come from?

About three centuries before Christ, the Greek philosopher Zeno founded a new sect.

Various principles were expounded by the founder, but the supreme duty of the wise man, he maintained, was complete and serene submission to divine will.

The doctrines were taught by Zeno in the corridor on the north side of the market place in Athens, a place usually referred to as Stoa Poikile, “the Painted Porch,” from the frescoes representing scenes of the Trojan War which adorned it. (See also INK.)

Consequently, from the place where lectures on the new philosophy were given, the “Stoa”, the followers of this school became known as Stoics.

And through the fact that the most notable of the doctrines was that true wisdom is superior to passion, joy, or grief, both stoic and stoicism came to be regarded as indifference to feelings of pleasure and pain.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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