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The Daily Stoic
The Daily Stoic

In the early years, there was an excuse. Nero was just a teenager when Seneca started tutoring him. The boy was timid and coddled. He had experienced tragedy and his childhood had been strange. Besides, for Seneca, the alternative to taking the job was going back to his unfair and lonely exile in the middle of the ocean.

But the viability of Seneca’s excuse fell apart pretty quickly. The famous Barrón González, Eduardo statue captures how disinterested Nero was in learning from Seneca. Nero wanted the perks of being emperor but none of the responsibilities. He was not competent, which was fine as long he was content to let others make the decisions. When Nero started asserting control, bad things started happening. Plus there was the fact that he kept killing people…including his own mother.


If you want to do more reading on these topics, we highly recommend Dying Everyday by James Romm (and we have a podcast with him on this topic). Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe is a great modern read on one of the biggest crimes of the 20th/21st centuries. And for more on the life of Seneca and Thrasea and some Stoics who did resist Nero, check out Lives of the Stoics (signed copies here).

In today's Daily Stoic Journal reading, Ryan reminds us thats its easier to leave other peoples mistakes to their makers, that looking inward instead of outward and giving people a chance to make their own mistakes makes for a better way of life.

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