You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

Seneca and Stoicism

2. What is Love?

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

  • Description
  • Cite

About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the Stoic view of love, focusing in particular on: (i) the two different kinds of emotion in the Stoic worldview – passions (Greek: pathē) and good emotions (Greek: eupatheiai); (ii) the four general types of passion – distress, fear, appetite and pleasure – and the reasons why they are bad; (iii) the three general types of good emotion – i.e. caution, volition and joy – and the reasons why are good; and (iv) the extent to which love fits into this framework.


In this course, Dr Liz Gloyn (Royal Holloway, University of London) thinks about Seneca's attitudes towards love and relationships in a course designed for the 'Love and Relationships' option for OCR A Level Classical Civilization (H408/32). in the first module, we think about the figure of Seneca and the key principles of Stoicism. After, we think about the Stoic view of love, before turning in the third module to consider Seneca's attitude to marriage. In the fourth module, we think about Seneca's attitude to homosexual love, before turning in the fifth module to consider how Seneca's views on love and relationships might have been received in contemporary Roman society. To what extent, in other words, do Seneca's views on love and relationships represent prevailing attitudes at the time?

Further details on all the topics discussed in this course, including English translations of the surviving fragments Seneca's On Marriage, can be found on Dr Gloyn's blog Classically Inclined.


Dr Liz Gloyn is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Classics at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research focuses on the intersections between Latin literature, ancient philosophy and gender studies, with a particular focus on Seneca the Younger and his approach to Stoicism and family. Her previous publications include The Ethics of the Family in Seneca (2017), while her current book project explores the way that contemporary popular culture imagines and uses classical monsters, and will be published 2019.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Gloyn, L. (2021, February 21). Seneca and Stoicism - What is Love? [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Gloyn, L. "Seneca and Stoicism – What is Love?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 21 Feb 2021,

Get instant access to over 7,300 lectures