Volume VI: Epistles, Volume III: Epistles 93-124 (Loeb Classical Library)

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Overview

Seneca, Lucius Annaeus, born at Corduba (Cordova) ca. 4 BCE, of a prominent and wealthy family, spent an ailing childhood and youth at Rome in an aunt's care. He became famous in rhetoric, philosophy, money-making, and imperial service. After some disgrace during Claudius' reign he became tutor and then, in 54 CE, advising minister to Nero, some of whose worst misdeeds he did not prevent. Involved (innocently?) in a conspiracy, he killed himself by order in 65. Wealthy, he preached indifference to wealth; evader ...

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Seneca: Letters from a Stoic

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Overview

Seneca, Lucius Annaeus, born at Corduba (Cordova) ca. 4 BCE, of a prominent and wealthy family, spent an ailing childhood and youth at Rome in an aunt's care. He became famous in rhetoric, philosophy, money-making, and imperial service. After some disgrace during Claudius' reign he became tutor and then, in 54 CE, advising minister to Nero, some of whose worst misdeeds he did not prevent. Involved (innocently?) in a conspiracy, he killed himself by order in 65. Wealthy, he preached indifference to wealth; evader of pain and death, he preached scorn of both; and there were other contrasts between practice and principle.

We have Seneca's philosophical or moral essays (ten of them traditionally called Dialogues)—on providence, steadfastness, the happy life, anger, leisure, tranquility, the brevity of life, gift-giving, forgiveness—and treatises on natural phenomena. Also extant are 124 epistles, in which he writes in a relaxed style about moral and ethical questions, relating them to personal experiences; a skit on the official deification of Claudius, Apocolocyntosis (in Loeb number 15); and nine rhetorical tragedies on ancient Greek themes. Many epistles and all his speeches are lost.

The 124 epistles are collected in Volumes IV—VI of the Loeb Classical Library's ten-volume edition of Seneca.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674990869
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1925
  • Language: Latin
  • Series: Loeb Classical Library Series , #77
  • Edition description: 6th printing/1st pub.1925
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 1,010,482
  • Product dimensions: 4.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Letters—

XCIII. On the Quality, as Contrasted with the Length, of Life

XCIV. On the Value of Advice

XCV. On the Usefulness of Basic Principles

XCVI. On Facing Hardships

XCVII. On the Degeneracy of the Age

XCVIII. On the Fickleness of Fortune

XCIV. On Consolation to the Bereaved

C. On the Writings of Fabianus

CI. On the Futility of Planning Ahead

CII. On the Intimations of Our Immortality

CIII. On the Dangers of Association with Our Fellow Men

CIV. On Care of Health and Peace of Mind

CV. On Facing the World with Confidence

CVI. On the Corporeality of Virtue

CVII. On the Obedience to the Universal Will

CVIII. On the Approaches to Philosophy

CIX. On the Fellowship of Wise Men

CX. On True and False Riches

CXI. On the Vanity of Mental Gymnastics

CXII. On Reforming Hardened Sinners

CXIII. On the Vitality of the Soul and Its Attributes

CXIV. On Style as a Mirror Of Character

CXV. On the Superficial Blessings

CXVI. On Self-Control

CXVII. On Real Ethics as Superior to Syllogistic Subtleties

CXVIII. On the Vanity of Place-Seeking

CXIX. On Nature as Our Best Provider

CXX. More about Virtue

CXXI. On Instinct in Animals

CXXII. On Darkness as a Veil for Wickedness

CXXIII. On the Conflict Between Pleasure and Virtue

CXXIV. On the True Good as Attained by Reason

Appendix A

Appendix B

Index of Proper Names

Subject Index

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 7, 2014

    Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!

    Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2011

    Letters from a Stoic Review

    I bought this book after countless recommendations from two blogs I frequent (Tim Ferris's 4HWW blog and The Art of Manliness).

    This book, along with stoicism in general is great for any entrepreneur, leader, or anyone who finds themselves oftentimes facing difficult decisions. The sections I personally got the most from had to do with developing unbiased thinking and self control.

    At the end of the day its never a bad thing to read a little philosophy and see how you can apply it to your life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2011

    Stoicism Primer

    The first time I read this book I was amazed and excited, and entering middle age. Seneca's thoughts on the human condition seemed like they could have been written today. Except for some dated Roman references, here is a man trying to define how to live, in what we today would call "the secular society." The series of letters reads like a personal guidebook to ethics. It still speaks to us across the centuries. Seneca was priveleged, ego centric, and all too aware of the fleeting nature of life. He was also a tutor of Nero, a dramatist, philosopher, slave owner, etc. But his essay-like letters - by turns glib and medatative - reveal a man struggling to make sense of a world of power, wealth and abundance, oestensibly ruled by reason, suffused with uncertainty and enveloped in paganism. He was also no doubt polishing his image for future generations. Nonetheless, he talks of god and spirituality, and the early Christians were said to have valued his wisdom. I've read this two or three times. Each time I've given it away to a friend. Once you read it, you'll go back to it again and again. His maxims are famous. His commonsense advice still rings true.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2011

    Great intro to stoicism

    This was recommended by author Tim Ferris as a way to get started in studying stoicism. I took his advice and found these letters to be great.

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