ATARAXIA is ‘tranquility’. The equivalent Latin word is <tranquillitas>. Anyway, here we mean freedom from all the worldly disturbances. It is the final psychological condition of our philosophy, the goal of the philosophical trainings (<askesis>). Then, our final mental condition is wisdom.
In Roman mythology <tranquillitas> is the goddess personificating tranquility, security, calmness. She seems to refer to Annona (the goddess of the corn harvest from Egypt) and <securitas> implying reference to the peaceful security of the Roman Empire.
Let us make it clear that <ataraxia> does not refer to immobility, lifelessness, inanimation or other conditions of no vitality. In fact, a big stone lacks passions and emotions but it is not in a state of <ataraxia>. Actually, a stone is just inanimate, while <ataraxia> is ascribable to real, vital, human beings. Also, let us make it clear that <ataraxia> is not the absence of menaces and risks. One could still be under attack but feel free from all disturbances. This is imperturbability or a very high level of self-control. On the other side, there are the agitations we usually suffer because of millions of actions and reactions.
<Ataraxia> is ‘tranquility’. But of course a person in a coma is only technically experiencing freedom from passions. Hence, such a condition is far from our desires. The ideal is a vital state with the capacity of keeping worries under control. In short, we need to feel emotions (otherwise we would be vegetative). But we need to govern the same emotions in order to be in power of ourselves.
In conclusion, let’s mention De Tranquillitate Animi (On the tranquility of the mind). It is a dialogue by the Stoic philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC–65 AD). It regards Seneca’s friend Annaeus Serenus, who is in constant anxiety, worry and disgust with life.