And given the concerns of the present, there are understandably many gaps in the matters on which Stoic authors provide helpful advice or useful guidelines.Seneca doesn’t know smartphones or dating apps, for example.

One interesting example, particularly germane to Stoicism, comes from Arius Didymus’ For the erotic person is also spoken of in two senses.

In one sense [the person is called “erotic”] with regard to virtue as being a type of worthwhile person, in the other with regard to vice as a reproach, as in the case of the person mad from erotic love. [T]hey also say that the person who has good sense will fall in love.

Valentine’s Day is coming up in just a few days, a holiday devoted in principle to all things romantic.

For many the time leading up to the day – or more often, the evening – can involve a heady and confused mixture of emotions, expectations, imaginations, plans, capped off by elation or disappointment.

Were they brought into our present day – after they recovered from massive culture shock!

– these authors would likely have a lot to tell us, derived from the same basic principles and practices their works teach us, but adapted to new situations, conditions, and challenges.We can survey what ancient Stoics had to say about erotic love and desire, relationships, the body, and sexuality (which I plan to do here, at least in part).But a good bit of that is arguably dependent upon taking cultural assumptions made by those ancient writers as constants of nature (at least nature).Epictetus didn’t discuss blind dates or workplace romances.That is not to say, of course, that these classic Stoic thinkers don’t have anything useful to contribute.(5b9, 10c, 11s) This likely sounds odd to modern ears in some respects, but familiar in others.