“As things are, there is about wisdom a nobility and magnificence in the fact that she doesn’t just fall to a person’s lot, that each man owes her to his own efforts, that one doesn’t go to anyone other than oneself to find her. What would you have worth looking up to in philosophy if she were handed out free? Philosophy has the single task of discovering the truth about the divine and the human worlds. The religious conscience, the sense of duty, justice and all the rest of the close-knit, interdependent ‘company of virtues’, never leave her side. Philosophy has taught man to worship what is divine, to love what is human, telling us that with the gods belong authority, and among human beings fellowship.
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She shows us what are real and what are only apparent evils. She strips men’s minds of empty thinking, bestows a greatness that is solid and administers a check to greatness where it is puffed up and all an empty show… ”
– Seneca, in a letter to the boy who would become Emperor Nero