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If you strip Stoicism of its paradoxes and its wilful misuse of language, what is left is simply the moral philosophy of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, dashed with the physics of Heraclitus. Stoicism was not so much a new doctrine as the form under which the old Greek philosophy finally presented itself to the world at large. It owed its popularity in some measure to its extravagance. A great deal might be said about Stoicism as a religion and about the part it played in the formation of Christianity but these subjects were excluded by the plan of this volume which was to present a sketch of the Stoic doctrine based on the original authorities. Among the Greeks and Romans of the classical age philosophy occupied the place taken by religion among ourselves. Their appeal was to reason not to revelation. To what, asks Cicero in his Offices, are we to look for training in virtue, if not to philosophy? Now, if truth is believed to rest upon authority it is natural that it should be impressed upon the mind from the earliest age, since the essential thing is that it should be believed, but a truth which makes its appeal to reason must be content to wait till reason is developed. We are born into the Eastern, Western or Anglican communion or some other denomination, but it was of his own free choice that the serious minded young Greek or Roman embraced the tenets of one of the great sects which divided the world of philosophy. The motive which led him to do so in the first instance may have been merely the influence of a friend or a discourse from some eloquent speaker, but the choice once made was his own choice, and he adhered to it as such. Conversions from one sect to another were of quite rare occurrence. A certain Dionysius of Heraclea, who went over from the Stoics to the Cyrenaics, was ever afterward known as “the deserter.”