13 Anger Management Tips From Ancient Philosophers

Seneca asserts that people with red hair have active, restless blood, which leads to anger. His advice? Redheads and people with fiery temperaments should avoid wine and overeating, get enough exercise, and play games to relax. FromDe Ira:


Seneca elucidates his view that good men should seek revenge on people who have seriously hurt them. So, a good man should avenge the murder of his father, but he shouldnt let anger and bloodlust compel him to seek revenge. Instead, good men should act out of a sense of duty to retaliate against people who have hurt their families, as he discusses inDe Ira:

In 1902, Baum collaborated on a stage version calledThe Wizard of Ozthat ran on Broadway for two years and toured until 1911. The plot was decidedly different from the book, with Toto being replaced by a cow and more people from Kansas traveling to Oz along with Dorothy. Because of the success of the play and subsequent Oscar-winningmovie, the book has often been published without wonderful in the title.

For just as with the flesh a swelling results from a great blow, so with the weakest souls the inclination to inflict a hurt produces a flaring up of temper as great as the souls infirmity is great. That is also the reason why women are more prone to anger than men, and sick persons than healthy, and old men than men in their prime, and the unfortunate than the prosperous.

The best course, therefore, is for us to compose ourselves, or else to run away and conceal ourselves, and anchor ourselves in a calm harbor, as though we perceived a fit of epilepsy coming on, so that we may not fall, or rather may not fall upon others; and we are especially likely to fall most often upon our friends.

In 1882, Baum married Maud Gage, daughter of the noted feminist and suffragistMatilda Joslyn Gage. He had a warm relationship with his mother-in-law, who, along with his new wife, helped him become a lifelong suffragist and feminist. According to biographer Katharine M. Rogers,Baum wasa secure man who did not worry about asserting his masculine authority. In fact, most of his books had girls as the heroes. Matilda Gage was the person who convinced Baum to write for children, having listened to him tell his children the stories that he created.

For anger does not always have great and powerful beginnings; on the contrary, even a jest, a playful word, a burst of laughter or a nod on the part of somebody, and many things of the kind, rouse many persons to anger.

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Around 100 CE, Plutarch wroteDe Cohibenda Ira(On Controlling Anger). A historian, philosopher, and writer, Plutarch was born in Greece but later became a Roman citizen. He structures his essay as adialoguebetween two friends, named Sulla and Fundanus. According to Plutarch, preventing angry outbursts is important because were most likely to lash out at those closest to us, such as our friends and family. If we cant compose ourselves before we let anger overtake us, we should get away from the situation, as he explains inDe Cohibenda Ira:


Baums health began to fail in 1917, and he died two years later after suffering a stroke. Just before he passed, he had some interesting last words for his wife. In his books, the land of Oz is cut off from the rest of the world by impassable wastelands, including a desert called the Shifting Sands. As Baum lay dying, he supposedly referenced the work that made his legacy: Now we can cross the Shifting Sands.

People have contemplated angerand how best to deal with itfor thousands of years. While typical anger management techniques include breathing deeply and taking a walk to calm down, ancient Greek and Roman philosophers offered their own take on the topic. Some, though not all, of their advice remains surprisingly useful. The next time youre stuck in traffic or waiting in a long line, consider these anger management tips from Seneca and Plutarch.

When Hannibal saw a trench flowing with human blood, he is said to have exclaimed, O beauteous sight! How much more beautiful would it have seemed to him if the blood had filled some river or lake!…Only recently Volesus, governor of Asia under the deified Augustus, beheaded three hundred persons in one day, and as he strutted among the corpses with the proud air of one who had done some glorious deed worth beholding, he cried out in Greek, What a kingly act! But what would he have done if he had been a king? No, this was not anger, but an evil still greater and incurable.


Baum continued writingOz books14 in totaluntil the end of his life, with a new book usually coming out in time for Christmas. In his later years, he answered childrens letters on letterhead that proclaimed him as the Royal Historian of Oz. He often used suggestions from children when creating the Oz books. The series was continued after his death by Ruth Plumly Thompson, who wrote an additional 19 Oz books, and several other authors who added seven more.

Since embarking on her first career as a teen fashion model, Barbie has had a handful of other jobs, including: a fashion editor, a flight attendant, a ballerina, a tennis pro, an executive, a candy striper, an astronaut, a surgeon, Miss America, a gold medal gymnast, an actress, an aerobics instructor, a reporter, a rock star, a UNICEF ambassador, an army officer, a rapper, a chef, a police officer, a Rockette, a baseball player, a SCUBA diver, a U.S. Air Force Thunderbird Squadron Leader, a paleontologist, a NASCAR driver, a pilot, a sign language teacher, a presidential candidate, anAmerican Idolwinner, a zoologist, a Space Camp instructor, and a fashion magazine intern. And this list is by no means exhaustive; shes had more than 100 careers so far.

Unspoiled kids are less likely to be hotheads, Seneca writes inDe Ira.Giving his advice on child rearing, Seneca tells parents to be firm and to not give in to their kids temper tantrums:


Seneca, a Roman writer and Stoic philosopher, explored what anger is and how to control it in his essayDe Ira(On Anger), writtenaround 41 CE. Addressing the essay to his politician brother Novatus, Seneca begins by defining what anger is, explaining that anger is the most hideous emotion and that angry people are temporarily insane. InDe Ira, he writes:

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With the mindif it plunges into anger, love, or the other passions, it has no power to check its impetus; its very weight and the downward tendency of vice needs must hurry it on, and drive it to the bottom. The best course is to reject at once the first incitement to anger, to resist even its small beginnings, and to take pains to avoid falling into anger. For if it begins to lead us astray, the return to the safe path is difficult, since, if once we admit the emotion and by our own free will grant it any authority, reason becomes of no avail.

In 2019, Barbie will celebrate the big 6-0. How she looks so good for being nearly six decades old, well probably never know. But we do have the other fun Barbie factoids.

In 1897, at the age of 41, Baum published his first book for children,Mother Goose in Prose, with illustrations by Maxfield Parrish (his first big commission; Parrish went on to become a top illustrator for books and magazines). It was a success. Baum followed it up in 1899 withFather Goose: His Book, which also sold very well. He then wrote two alphabet books, and publishers began to consider him an important childrens author.

In 1914, Baum started a film company. The Oz Film Manufacturing Company lasted only for a few years, but it produced several Oz-related movies, includingHis Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz. For once, Baum didnt lose any money on this business venture.

Certain wise men, therefore, have claimed that anger is temporary madness. For it is equally devoid of self-control, forgetful of decency, unmindful of ties, persistent and diligent in whatever it begins, closed to reason and counsel, excited by trifling causes, unfit to discern the right and true But you have only to behold the expressions of those possessed by anger to know that they are insane.

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Seneca argues that just as climates may be hot, cold, dry, or moist, humans also have varying proportions of fiery or cold dispositions. Because drinking wine increases heat in the body, it leads to anger. According to Seneca, varying amounts of wine can make men angry, based on their differences in disposition. From


I try to get rid of my anger, if possible, by not depriving those who are to be punished of the right to speak in their defense, but by listening to their plea. For both the passage of time gives a pause to passion and a delay which dissolves it, and also the judgment discovers a suitable manner of punishment and an adequate amount.

Baums original title for the book was The Emerald City, but publishers had a superstition that a jewel in a book title was bad luck and asked Baum to change it. Baum got the name for his fairy country off a drawer onfile cabinetthat was marked O-Z. He named his plucky Dorothy Gale after an infant niece named Dorothy Louise Gage who died while he was writing the book.

13 Anger Management Tips From Ancient Philosophers

Mattel makes Barbie at a 1/6 scale, which is standard scale for action figures. This would make Barbies measurements38-18-28(reports vary based on versions of dolls).

Baums first ambition as a young man was to be an actor and playwright. He wrote several plays, includingThe Maid of Arran, which was successfully produced and in which he acted. The only time that Baum was known to have been in Kansas was when he toured in this play in 1882. However, his love of and involvement with the theater lasted throughout his life.

After several financial reversesBaum failed as an actor, as a salesman, and in other careershe moved his family in 1888 to Aberdeen, Dakota Territory, in what is now South Dakota. He opened a store (which failed) and a newspaper (which failed, too). In his newspaper, he strongly supported womens suffrage, but he is also thought to have written two racistcalling for extermination of Native Americans. (In 2006, two of Baums descendants apologized to the Sioux Nation for the editorials.) In 1891, Baum lost the newspaper and he and his family moved to Chicago.

This rather is what you should thinkthat no one should be angry at the mistakes of men. For tell me, should one be angry with those who move with stumbling footsteps in the dark? With those who do not heed commands because they are deaf? With children because forgetting the observance of their duties they watch the games and foolish sports of their playmates? Would you want to be angry with those who become weary because they are sick or growing old? … That you may not be angry with individuals, you must forgive mankind at large, you must grant indulgence to the human race.

Seneca analyzes the differences between reason and anger, concluding that anger that arises automatically, against our will, is impossible to fight with reason. Just as we cant control that we shiver when cold, we cant use reason to control anger that instinctively rises up in us. Seneca advises, therefore, that we must devote our energy to preventing this type of anger before it gets out of control:

In 1900, Baum publishedThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz, with illustrations by William Wallace Denslow. It was an instant hit. Although there have been many theories on how the book is an allusion to the politics of the United States in the late 1800s, there is no conclusive proof that Baum intended any such connections. But Baum did create the Land of Oz as a distinctly American utopia, making it the first truly American fairytale.

Baum created a stage show in 1908 called The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays that combined a lecture by him with live actors, a movie, and projected slides. Critics and audiences loved it, but it cost more to produce than it brought in. Baum declared bankruptcy, which caused him to lose his royalty rights to his earlier books, includingThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Only adding to that whole twin sibling mystery: Tutti mysteriously disappeared in 1971, so we can only assume that Stacie (introduced in 1992) is Tutti reincarnated.

Barbie Pink, which the Mattel website pointed out is Pantone colorPMS 219.

Jack Ryanthe so-called Father of Barbiehelped design Barbie as well as Chatty Cathy, but began his career making missiles for the Pentagon. In an unrelated fact, he was Zsa Zsa Gabors sixth husband (out of nine): Rumor has it that when their marriage started going downhill (which was quick, since they were married for less than two years), he oncedisassembledher Rolls Royce, piece by piece, and refused to put it back together.

Though Ryan designed Barbie, the concept came from Mattel co-founder Ruth Handler. Handler was traveling through Europe with her kids when she came across the Germany-born Bild Lilli doll, who was anythingbutkid-friendly:Lilliwas a high-class call girl who began her life as a comic and was sold in smoke shops, adult toy stores, and other not-kid-friendly places. But Handler, who had mentioned the idea of an adult doll to her Mattel exec husband before, liked what she saw. Though her husband had initially balked at the idea, the Lilli dolls sold him on the concept, too. Though Bild Lillis manufacturer initiallysuedMattel for patent infringement, the case was eventually dismissed and Mattel officially bought the rights to the doll for $21,600.

All photos via iStock unless otherwise noted.

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Seneca makes a distinction between men who are merely angry and men who are truly evil. Using Hannibal and Volesus as examples, Seneca describes how Hannibal loved seeing a trench filled with human blood and how Volesus proudly beheaded 300 people in one day. Arguing that cruelty is much worse than anger, Seneca writes that evil, unlike anger, is unable to be cured:

According to Plutarch, weak people are more likely than strong people to have bad tempers and want to get revenge on people who wronged them. As he explains inDe Cohibenda Ira, the weakest people are women, the sick, the elderly, and the poor:

Fight against yourself! If you will to conquer anger, it cannot conquer you. If it is kept out of sight, if it is given no outlet, you begin to conquer. Let us conceal the signs, and so far as it is possible let us keep it hidden and secret It should be kept hidden in the deepest depths of the heart and it should not drive, but be driven; and more, all symptoms of it let us change into just the opposite. Let the countenance be unruffled, let the voice be very gentle, the step very slow; gradually the inner man conforms itself to the outer.

What then? you ask; will the good man not be angry if his father is murdered, his mother outraged before his eyes? No, he will not be angry, but he will avenge them, will protect them My father is being murderedI will defend him; he is slainI will avenge him, not because I grieve, but because it is my duty For a man to stand forth as the defender of parents, children, friends, and fellow citizens, led merely by his sense of duty, acting voluntarily, using judgment, using foresight, moved neither by impulse nor by furythis is noble and becoming.

As Plutarch shares, one way to get over anger is to listen to what the other person is saying. Instead of getting angry with someone and lashing out at him, take a little time to cool your jets. Stopping to think can even make you realize that youre not angry anymore, as Plutarch writes in

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Lyman Frank Baum was born on May 15, 1856 in Chittenango, New York, to a wealthy family and raised on an estate called Rose Lawn in Mattydale, New York, just outside Syracuse. In honor of Baum, Chittenango holds an annual festival of all things Oz calledOz-Stavaganza.

One technique for squashing anger that Seneca offers is to use willpower to hide your anger. Its difficult to do, but if you focus all your energy on concealing your anger, you might just conquer it. Fake it til you make it! FromDe Ira:

Childhood, therefore, should be kept far from all contact with flattery; let a child hear the truth, sometimes even let him fear, let him be respectful always, let him rise before his elders. Let him gain no request by anger; when he is quiet let him be offered what was refused when he wept. Let him, moreover, have the sight but not the use of his parents wealth. When he has done wrong, let him be reproved Above all, let his food be simple, his clothing inexpensive, and his style of living like that of his companions. The boy will never be angry at some one being counted equal to himself, whom you have from the first treated as the equal of many.

Baum was a sickly child and his father indulged his hobbies, including buying him a small printing press that he used to produce a newspaper. Another hobby was raising fancy chickens called Hamburgs. At 23, he started his own chicken trade journal, which he soon sold to a rival. He stayed on as a column writer, and contributed a long, serialized article on breeding and rearing Hamburgs. Later, when Baum was 30, the magazine (supposedly without Baums knowledge)publishedthat original article in full, making it Baumsfirstpublished book.

Additional sources:The Making of the Wizard of OzThe Oz Scrapbook.

And the only reason why red-haired and ruddy people are extremely hot-tempered is that they have by nature the color which others are wont to assume in anger for their blood is active and restless  Neither should such men gorge themselves with food; for their bodies will be distended and their spirits will become swollen along with the body. They should get exercise in toil, stopping short of exhaustion, to the end that their heat may be reduced, but not used up, and that their excessive fever may subside. Games also will be beneficial; for pleasure in moderation relaxes the mind and gives it balance.

The fiery mind is by its nature most liable to wrath A fiery constitution of mind will produce wrathful men,for fire is active and stubborn; a mixture of cold makes cowards, for cold is sluggish and shrunken Wine kindles anger because it increases the heat; some boil over when they are drunk, others when they are simply tipsy, each according to his nature.


In 1900, L. Frank Baum publishedThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a book that has never been out of print and that has been produced as movies, theatrical plays and musicals, and led to further cultural phenomena likeThe WizandWicked. In honor of his 162nd birthday, here are 15 facts about the actual man behind the curtain.

When he was 12, Baum was sent to the Peekskill Military Academy in Peekskill, New York, for two years, where he was absolutely miserable. But it is also where he may have first seen ayellow brick roadat that time many of the streets of Peekskill were paved with yellow Dutch bricks. And for a young teen who just wanted to go home, the memory might have provided future inspiration. An alternative hypothesis is that when he was living in Syracuse, a plank road was installed made out of a yellow colored wood.

Barbie is named after the Handlers daughter, Barbara. Ken is named after their son, Kenneth. Her parents are apparently George and Margaret Roberts from Willows, Wisconsin. Other family members include her siblings: Skipper, Tutti, Todd, Stacie, Kelly, and Krissy. Tutti and Todd are twins … but so are Todd and Stacie, apparently (at least according to Todds box). She also has cousins named Francie and Jazzie.

In addition to the Oz series, Baum wrote other books for children and teenagers, including romances and science fiction, under an assortment of pen names. Under the name Edith Van Dyne, he wrote a successful series of books calledAunt Janes Niecesthat were as popular as the Oz books. Other pseudonyms included Laura Bancroft, Floyd Akers, Schuyler Staunton, and Capt. Hugh Fitzgerald.

Barbies official birthday represents herpublic debutat the 1959 American International Toy Fair in New York. Despite the fact that shes nearly 60 years old, Barbie just got her firstbelly buttonin 2000.

Investigating the causes of anger, Plutarch acknowledges that people can become angry for petty reasons. A simple joke or even laughter can make certain people angry, depending on the context, as he writes inDe Cohibenda Ira:

Making matters even worse was 1965s Slumber Party Barbie, who came with her very own How to Lose Weight book, which included tips like dont eat. She also came with a bathroom scale that put the 59 Barbie in at 110 pounds. Well, 59 if you consider the 1/6 scale, which makes Barbie about 35 pounds underweight.

Celebrity Barbies have included Twiggy (the first celebrity doll), Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Taylor, LeAnn Rimes, Cher, and Lindsay Lohan.

Seneca explains that because all of us are imperfect and flawed, no one should get mad when mistakes are made. Just as we shouldnt get angry at deaf people because they cant hear or elderly people because theyre aging, we shouldnt get mad at people who make mistakes. As he writes inDe Ira:

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