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Panaetius (c.185–c.110 BC)

DOI
10.4324/9780415249126-A078-1
DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-A078-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 15, 2019, from https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/biographical/panaetius-c-185-c-110-bc/v-1

Article Summary

Panaetius, a Greek philosopher from Rhodes, brought new vitality to Stoicism in the second century bc by shifting the focus of its ethical theory from the idealized sage to the practical problems of ordinary people. Working a century after Chrysippus had systematized Stoicism, Panaetius is often labelled the founder of ‘Middle Stoicism’ for defending new and generally more moderate positions on several issues. Because none of his writings survive, his influence is hard to gauge precisely and easily underrated. But his impact, especially in Rome where he was closely associated with many in the ruling elite, was profound. His emphasis on public service and the obligations imposed by power and high station probably helped shape the ideology of Roman imperialism. Through Cicero, whose writings preserve many of his ideas, he had lasting influence, especially on early modern moral and political thought.

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Citing this article:
White, Stephen A.. Panaetius (c.185–c.110 BC), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-A078-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis, https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/biographical/panaetius-c-185-c-110-bc/v-1.
Copyright © 1998-2019 Routledge.

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