Stoic agnosticisms about death

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Chapter ten breaks the chronological borders of Greek literature moving the discussion to the Roman Stoics and in particular Marcus Aurelius. Absent here is much of the mythological focus so characteristic of treatments of death and the afterlife in earlier chapters. However, emphasis of traditional accounts is found in a continuing, if not increased insistence on the soul, although a concern for its post-mortem existence has been redirected from a focus on the Underworld to an understanding of the cosmos it inhabits. While Socrates saw death and the afterlife as ideas about which mortals must remain ignorant, these matters are now thought of as discernible through rational reflection. Long considers the agnosticisms of the Roman Stoics, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius, concerning the continuity of the soul after death, and its relationship to the living person.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAspects of death and the afterlife in Greek literature
EditorsGeorge Alexander Gazis, Anthony Hooper
Place of PublicationLiverpool
PublisherLiverpool University Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781800852495
ISBN (Print)9781789621495
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021


  • Greek literature
  • Stoics
  • Marcus Aurelius
  • Soul
  • Underworld
  • Cosmos
  • Socrates
  • Seneca


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