Stoic Stories: A Heroic Account of Stoicism
by Neel Burton
Acheron Press

"Those who are unwilling to check their anger… are like wasps in a beehive, gorging on the honey of others without making any of their own."

Derived from Socrates' principles, Burton's text revolves around the ancient philosophy of stoicism. Using a slew of intriguing narratives to provide a pathway to the inner mind, the work is a way to think that allows for higher awareness, yielding strength of resilience in contrast to suffering. The prevalence of stoicism at the soul level can be seen in a variety of environments, as depicted in the numerous stories that stem from the first stoic, Zeno, and his account of a shipwreck.

Over the course of the many short stories, Burton effectively demonstrates that remnants of stoicism are apparent in all aspects of the material world, from physics and astronomy to cosmology and theology. In a simple to understand manner, complex topics of ethics and logic, among others, are explored through katalepsis, the Greek word for grasping that results in the pursuit and attainment of "truth and knowledge." References from a range of iconic philosophers, including but not limited to Aristotle, Cicero, and Diogenes of Babylon, add a layer of familiarity that, when combined with the selected narrative, is certain to pique the reader's curiosity.

Interestingly, the story "Porcia's Trial" speaks to society's misogynistic tendencies and the duality dilemma between expectations and passions. Overall, for audiences to gain exposure to some of the most recognized literature like the Aeneid and Julius Caesar through the eyes of stoic philosophy is nothing short of unique. Audiences will simultaneously find Burton's text to be one that entertains as well as educates about the stoic school of thought.

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