Letters from a Stoic

Letters from a Stoic


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Letters from a Stoic by Seneca

The power and wealth which Seneca the Younger (c.4B.C.-A.D. 65) acquired as Nero's minister were in conflict with his Stoic beliefs. Nevertheless he was the outstanding figure of his age. The Stoic philosophy which Seneca professed in his writings, later supported by Marcus Aurelius, provided Rome with a passable bridge to Christianity. Seneca's major contribution to Stoicism was to spiritualize and humanize a system which could appear cold and unrealistic. Selected from the Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium, these letters illustrate the upright ideals admired by the Stoics and extol the good way of life as seen from their standpoint. They also reveal how far in advance of his time were many of Seneca's ideas -- his disgust at the shows in the arena or his criticism of the harsh treatment of slaves. Philosophical in tone and written in the 'pointed' style of the Latin Silver Age these 'essays in disguise' were clearly aimed by Seneca at posterity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140442106
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/28/1969
Series: Penguin Classics Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 48,763
Product dimensions: 5.05(w) x 7.78(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, statesman, philosopher, advocate and man of letters, was born at Cordoba in Spain around 4 BC. He rose to prominence in Rome, pursuing a career in the courts and political life, for which he had been trained, while also acquiring celebrity as an author of tragedies and essays. Falling foul of successive emperors (Caligula in AD 39 and Claudius in AD 41), he spent eight years in exile, allegedly for an affair with Caligula’s sister. Recalled in AD 49, he was made praetor and was appointed tutor to the boy who was to become, in AD 54, the emperor Nero. On Nero’s succession, Seneca acted for some eight years as an unofficial chief minister. The early part of this reign was remembered as a period of sound government, for which the main credit seems due to Seneca. His control over Nero declined as enemies turned the emperor against him with representations that his popularity made him a danger, or with accusations of immorality or excessive wealth. Retiring from public life he devoted his last three years to philosophy and writing, particularly the Letters to Lucilius. In AD 65 following the discovery of a plot against the emperor, in which he was thought to be implicated, he and many others were compelled by Nero to commit suicide. His fame as an essayist and dramatist lasted until two or three centuries ago, when he passed into literary oblivion, from which the twentieth century has seen a considerable recovery.

Table of Contents

Letters from a Stoic - Seneca Introduction
Seneca's Life
Seneca and Philosophy
Seneca and Literature: His letters and other writings; his style; his influence and appeal
Note on translation and text
Appendix: Tactitus' account of Seneca's death
Index of persons and places

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Letters from a Stoic 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the top five or ten books ever written on the subject of living well. What is true friendship? What is true wealth? Where do we find happiness? How do we recognize obstacles that we have created for ourselves? What is death? Is it really something to fear? What is "necessary" and what is "enough?" Is it better to read widely or well?This wonderful collection of letters can be picked up at any moment and opened to any page. But you will quickly find that these are lessons to be absorbed. The essays can be used in a series for your book club!Some people have objected to his views on death. Seneca suggests that we cannot live freely or fully if we live in fear. And our greatest fear is death. If we regard death with equanimity, if we regard all parts of life with equanimity, we can begin truly to live. 2000 years on Seneca remains a "must read."
StevePerry 6 months ago
Composed by Seneca the Younger during his retirement after he had worked for Nero for more than a decade, these letters to procurator of Sicily Lucilius Junior inspired Montaigne and a host of others with their practical wisdom, eclectic Stoicism, and varied rhetoric.
manirul01 More than 1 year ago
Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!
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She nodded.