The imperial Rome is the frame to the post-modern hero who shuns the clamors of his triumphs: having abandoned the auto-celebrative armor, he refuses his role in planned history. Evidence is the proof that the superhero, like Śākyamuni inside a cave and Simeon Stylites on the top of a column, he can free himself from the burden of myth choosing the human uncertainty: on his knees, faceless, the arms open like a yogi, Superman meditates. Only his athletic body remains of his extraordinary physical capabilities: the horrors of history overcome any desire for power. What identity to confer to this supernatural being? Maybe a mediator for peace, a traveler in history, a prophet of man, the humanoid intelligence that gathers converging cultures. In his genetic code the mythical heroes of the past: Tammuz, Gilgamesh, David, Rama, Ulysses, Alexander the Great, Julius Cesar have become the shadow to expand knowledge and awareness.
Starting from the I century BCE , this is one of the philosophical currents that gains the most political influence in Rome. The supporters, senators and political authorities make of Stoicism a critical weapon to use against emperors, sometimes at the cost of their life, even though towards the end of the 1st century the situation changes to the point that the Emperor Marcus Aurelius professes stoicism himself. Physics, logic, ethics are dominant aspects of stoicism, even though in Rome the interest towards a political renovation places the accent mostly on ethics. Seneca, Epitteto, Musonio Rufo are among the prominent figures of the roman stoicism. Supporting the linguistic identity of Latin to express the philosophical thought, Seneca affirms that the diffusion of philosophy should be made in Latin and not in Greek. Total intellectual, he writes theater (tragedies and comedies), physics, politics, literature, philosophy, yet his main concern remains ethic. Kindness, harmony, love, respect, philanthropy, humanity and equality are the qualities that society must pursue in relation to individuals. The social responsibility is raised as an absolute principle of the human action and the force that must instill in the political action.
Runar M. Thorsteinsson, Roman Christianity & Roman Stoicism. A Comparative Study of Ancient Morality, New York 2010