Stoicism, a Hellenistic philosophy school, founded in Athens, by Zeno of Citium during the early 3rd century BCE. Zeno, from Citium, Cyprus was a Greek thinker of a possible Phoenician descent, as well as the founder of the Stoic school of philosophy, as stated before. Based off of what Diogenes Laertius preserved in his “lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers”, it was said that Zeno was a merchant. He had managed to survive a shipwreck, later on wandering into a book shop of sorts in Athens only to become attracted by some writings of Socrates. It is said that he, after reading Xenophon Memorabilia, Zeno abandoned the merchant life to study philosophy. He began studying under Crate’s, a disciple of a student under Antisthenes (who was a student of Socrates’ as well as founder of the Cynic School).
Zeno, is described as a fatigued, tanned man who may have practiced self-discipline, possibly for religious reasons. It is stated that happened alongside the influences of the Cynical teachings, as well as continued in his Stoic philosophy. Zeno was unable to rid himself of his shamefulness, from the first day he became Crate’s pupil and through that Crate’s held an increasing desire to cure that part of him. Zeno also studied under philosophers of the Megarian school, including Stilpo, and the dialecticians Diodorus Cronus, and Philo as well as under the guide of Xenocrates, and Polemo
Zeno started his teachings at Stoa Poikile, in a colonnade in Agora of Athens within 301 BC. Initially his disciples were referred to as Zenonians, but after time they were to be called Stoics, which was a name poets’ who gathered in Stoa Poikile were called. It is said that Zeno had declined even a King’s invite as well as Athenian citizenship, though the citizenship was in regards to that he felt it would make him seem unfaithful to his native land of which he was of high esteem.
“The greatest fault in life lay in saying ‘yes’ to quickly too any request and one should avoid doing so in order to live a tranquil life” one of the many things Zeno learned from each of the philosophers he studied under. That in particular from Stilpo; that in particular I feel I can relate to, most times I say yes to something before I even know what it will involve and so as follows I tend to get the “short end of the stick” so to say. Resulting from speaking before thinking I tend to get into situations that become in no way possible beneficial to myself, so most times I end up disrupting my life, throwing it off of a more content lifestyle.
It is said that none of Zeno’s own works have survived to modern times that only quotations and anecdotes from him are known from the works of his followers and critics. Though his works and ideas were stacked upon other Stoics, the most known being Chrysippus of Soli and that of Epictetus, so it’s become difficult to truly tell to a precise note what Zeno’s own thoughts and teaching were.
Quite similar to the Cynics, Zeno had seen a single “good” in which was only available in Virtue. As such he preached “man conquers the world by conquering self”, which I believe details that if someone has control over self they can separate themselves from the majority and be a true individual, which can result in being more