Scholarch’s Recommended Readings

Updated by Chris Fisher: January 3, 2022

Basic Stoic Texts:

The surviving Stoic texts are essential reading. The order is a matter of preference. However, I recommend reading the Handbook (Encheiridion) and the lectures of Musonius Rufus after you have a basic understanding of Stoicism. The translations listed are those I use and they all include helpful notes.


  • Seneca, L. A. (2015). Letters on Ethics: To Lucilius (M. Graver & A. A. Long, Trans.). University Of Chicago Press.
  • Seneca, L. A. (2014). Hardship and Happiness (E. Fantham, H. M. Hine, J. Ker, & G. D. Williams, Trans.). University Of Chicago Press.
  • Seneca, L. A. (2011). On Benefits (M. Griffin & B. Inwood, Trans.). University Of Chicago Press.
  • Seneca, L. A. (2010). Anger, Mercy, Revenge (R. A. Kaster & M. C. Nussbaum, Trans.; First Edition edition). University Of Chicago Press.
  • Seneca, L. A. (2010). Natural Questions (H. M. Hine, Trans.). University Of Chicago Press.

Epictetus, Discourses and Handbook

  • Epictetus. (2014). Discourses, Fragments, Handbook (R. Hard, Trans). Oxford University Press.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

  • Aurelius, M. (2011). Marcus Aurelius Meditations: With selected correspondence (R. Hard, Trans.). Oxford University Press.
  • Aurelius, M. (2021). Meditations: The Annotated Edition (R. Waterfield, trans). Basic Books.

Musonius Rufus, Lectures

  • Rufus, M. (2010). Musonius Rufus: Lectures and Sayings (C. King, Trans.; Revised edition). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Diogenes Laertius

This is not a Stoic text. However, Diogenes Laertius was a biographer of Greek philosophers during the early third century (CE). His writings contain a great deal of important information about Stoicism. Any version will suffice; this version contains only the portions related to the Stoics.

  • Seddon, K., & Yonge, C. D. (2007). A Summary of Stoic Philosophy: Zeno of Citium in Diogenes Laertius Book Seven (Revised ed. edition). Lulu.

Introductions to Stoicism:

For an easy-to-read introduction to Stoicism, I recommend the following:

  • Whiting, K., & Konstantakos, L. (2021). Being Better: Stoicism for a World Worth Living In. New World Library.

For an easy-to-read introduction to Stoicism through the life and writing of Seneca, I recommend the following:

  • Fideler, D. (2021). Breakfast with Seneca: A Stoic Guide to the Art of Living. W. W. Norton & Company.

Keith Seddon’s book was created as a standalone Stoic theory and practice course. It also provides an excellent introduction.

  • Seddon, K. (2006). Stoic Serenity: A Practical Course on Finding Inner Peace. Lulu. John Sellars’ excellent book is more academic and not as easy to read as those above. Nevertheless, I highly recommend it to all who are comfortable with its academic approach.
  • Sellars, J. (2006). Stoicism. University of California Press.

A.A. Long is one of several outstanding modern scholars of Stoicism. This book provides a great introduction to all the Hellenistic schools, which allows the reader to compare them. The section on Stoicism is worth the cost of the book.

  • Long, A. A. (1974). Hellenistic philosophy; Stoics, Epicureans, Sceptics. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Stoicism as a Way of Life:

  • Brennan, T. (2005). The Stoic Life: emotions, duties, and fate. Oxford University Press.
  • Buzaré, E. (2011). Stoic Spiritual Exercises. Raleigh, N.C.:
  • Hadot, P. (1995). Philosophy as a Way of Life: spiritual exercises from Socrates to Foucault. (A. I. Davidson, Ed.). New York: Blackwell.
  • Hadot, P. (1998). The Inner Citadel: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
  • Hadot, P. (2002). What Is Ancient Philosophy? (New Ed edition). Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press.
  • Long, A. A. (2002). Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life. Oxford University Press.
  • Sellars, J. (2003). The Art of Living: The Stoics on the Nature and Function of Philosophy (2nd edition). Bristol Classical Press.
  • Sellars, J. (2020). Lessons in Stoicism: What Ancient Philosophers Teach Us about How to Live. Penguin.

Advanced Stoic Commentaries:

General Stoic Topics

  • Boys-Stones, G. (2019). L. Annaeus Cornutus: Greek Theology, Fragments, and Testimonia (1st edition). SBL Press.
  • Christensen, J. (2013). An Essay on the Unity of Stoic Philosophy (2nd edition). Museum Tusculanum Press.
  • Gill, C. (2006). The Structured Self in Hellenistic and Roman Thought. Oxford University Press.
  • Gould, J. B. (1970). Philosophy of Chrysippus. State University of New York Press.
  • Graver, M. (2007). Stoicism and Emotion. University of Chicago Press.
  • Hahm, D. E. (1977). The Origins of Stoic Cosmology. Ohio State University Press.
  • Inwood, B. (Ed.). (2003). The Cambridge Companion to the Stoics. Cambridge University Press.
  • Jedan, C. (2009). Stoic Virtues: Chrysippus and the Religious Character of Stoic Ethics. Bloomsbury Academic.
  • Long, A. A. (1996). Stoic Studies. University of California Press.
  • Long, A. A. (2002). Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life. Oxford University Press.
  • Ramelli, I. (2009). Hierocles the Stoic: Elements of Ethics, Fragments, and Excerpts. Sanderson Books Limited.
  • Reydams-Schils, G. (2005). The Roman Stoics: Self, Responsibility, and Affection. University Of Chicago Press.
  • Salles, R. (2009). God and Cosmos in Stoicism. Oxford University Press.
  • Sambursky, S. (1959). Physics of the Stoics. Princeton University Press.
  • Thom, J. (2005). Cleanthes’ Hymn to Zeus: Text, Translation, and Commentary. Mohr Siebeck.


  • Inwood, B. (2005). Reading Seneca: Stoic Philosophy at Rome. Oxford University Press.
  • Williams, G. D. (2012). The Cosmic Viewpoint: A Study of Seneca’s Natural Questions. Oxford University Press.


  • Brittain, C., & Brennan, T. (2002a). Simplicius: On Epictetus Handbook 1-26. Cornell University Press.
  • Brittain, C., & Brennan, T. (2002b). Simplicius: On Epictetus Handbook 27-53. Cornell University Press.
  • Dobbin, R. (1998). Epictetus: Discourses, Book 1. Oxford University Press.
  • Long, A. A. (2002). Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Scaltsas, T., & Mason, A. S. (2007). The Philosophy of Epictetus. Oxford University Press.
  • Seddon, K. (2005). Epictetus’ Handbook and the Tablet of Cebes: Guides to Stoic Living. New York: Routledge.

Marcus Aurelius

  • van Ackeren, M. (Ed.). (2012). A Companion to Marcus Aurelius. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Gill, C. (2013). Marcus Aurelius Meditations, Books 1-6. Oxford University Press.
  • Rutherford, R. B. (1989). The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius: A Study. Clarendon Press.