What have the Romans ever done for us? Well, obviously the roads – the roads go without saying. How about guidance for how to live in the 21st century? That seems less likely, but in fact the last few years have seen a flurry of interest in the work of three Roman Stoic philosophers who offered just that. They were Seneca, tutor to the Emperor Nero; Epictetus, a former slave; and Marcus Aurelius, himself emperor.

Admit not sleep into your tender eyelids till you have reckoned up each deed of the day—How have I erred, what done of left undone So start, and so review your acts, and then for the vile deeds chide yourself, for the good be glad.

—EpictetusDiscourses, III.10