Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a Roman writer, moralist, dramatist, and Stoic.  As a way of life, Stoicism predates Zeno of Citium and has a continuous history up to the present day.  In The Courage To Be (1952), Paul Tillich described Stoicism as "a basic religious attitude" and one that is "the only real alternative to Christianity in the western world."  According to Seneca, the wise man's understanding of and possession of the good results in essential self-sufficiency.  If the only good is moral good, then the sage has all he needs within him.  Thus, the wise man, said Seneca, is like Stilpo, who, "when his home town was captured and he emerged from the general conflagration, his children lost, his wife lost, alone and nonetheless a happy man, was questioned by Demetrius. . . .  Asked whether he had lost anything he replied, 'I have all my valuables with me'."
Seneca's writings, like those of Philo Judaeus, have a Neoplatonic tendency as well.  Within Seneca's philosophical works, the best written and most compelling are his Epistulae Morales.  These 124 brilliant essays on Stoic philosophy treat a range of moral problems not easily reduced to a single formula.  His tragedies were intended for playreadings rather than public presentation.  The pitch is a high monotone, and emphasis is placed on the lurid and the supernatural.  Seneca died in 65.