Musonius Rufus, Caius

Musonius Rufus, Caius a Stoic philosopher of the 1st century of the Christian aera, is mentioned with praise by Tacitus (Ann. 14:59), and also by Pliny the younger, Philostratus, Themistius, and others. He was a native of Volsinii, in Etruria, and belonged to the equestrian order. He was a friend of Thrasea Psetus, Barea Soranus, Rubellius Plautus, and other Stoics, who were the victims of Nero's suspicion and cruelty. Musonius was banished to the island of Gyaros in A.D. 66, where he is said to have been visited by many Greeks for the purpose of listening to his lessons. Being recalled by Galba after Nero's death, he lived at Rome under Vespasian, who excepted him from the sentence of exile pronounced by that prince against the Stoic philosophers. This scanty information is all that we have concerning the biography of Musonius Rufus (Nieuwland, Dissertatio de Musonio Rufo, Philosopho Stoico). The time of his death is not mentioned, but he was not alive in the reign of Trajan, when Pliny speaks of his son, — Artemidorus. Musonius wrote various philosophical works, which are spoken of by Suidas as λόγοι διάφοροι φιλοσοφιας ἐχόμενοι. He reduced philosophy to the simplest moral teachings. One of his finest sayings is: "If thou doest good painfully, thy pain is transient, but the good will endure; if thou doest evil with pleasure, the pleasure will be transient, but the evil will endure." Fragments of his works are found in Stobaeus, and have been collected and published, with the above dissertation and copious notes, under the title of C. Musonnii Ruft, Philosophi Stoici, Reliquiae, et Apophtheymata, cum Annotatione, edidit T. Venhuizen Peerlkamp, Conrector Gymnasii Harlemensis (Haarlem, 1822, 8vo). These fragments of Musonius are full of the purest morality and wisdom. See Fabricius, Bibl. Graeca, 3:566 sq.; Ritter and Preller, Historia Philosophia, pages 438-441; Ueberweg, Hist. Philosoph. 1:185, 190; English Cyclop. s.v.; Smith, Dict. of Gr. and Rom. Biogr. and Mythol. s.v. Rufus; Lardner, Works (see Index in volume 10).

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.