Paperback ¾ Selected Letters Kindle å

Paperback ¾ Selected Letters Kindle å

Selected Letters ➪ Selected Letters Read ➲ Author Seneca – Seneca's letters to his friend Lucilius are powerful moral essays that also yield illuminating insight into Seneca's personal life and the truly turbulent times in which he lived One of the great Stoi Seneca's letters to his friend Lucilius are powerful moral essays that also yield illuminating insight into Seneca's personal life and the truly turbulent times in which he lived One of the great Stoic philosophers Seneca here guides Lucilius' struggle to achieve wisdom and serenity uninfluenced by worldly emotions He advises his friend on how to do without what is superfluous whether in terms of happiness riches reputation or the emotions The letters include literary discussions moral exhortation exemplary heroes and episodes from Roman history and a lurid picture of contemporary luxury And under Nero's chaotic reign the topic of death is never far away This marvelous new translation by eminent scholar Elaine Fantham offers the largest selection of Seneca's letters currently available Fantham's invaluable introduction discusses Seneca's family and political career his many and varied writings the nature of the letters as genuine epistles or fiction their philosophical concerns and other social and cultural aspects Short head notes to each letter summarize its themes and parallels with other letters opening a window on to Seneca's worldAbout the Series For over years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features including expert introductions by leading authorities voluminous notes to clarify the text up to date bibliographies for further study and much.

About the Author: Seneca

Sêneca; ca BC – AD was a Roman Stoic philosopher statesman dramatist and in one work humorist of the Silver Age of Latin literature He was tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero While he was later forced to commit suicide for alleged complicity in the Pisonian conspiracy to assassinate Nero the last of the Julio Claudian emperors he may have been innocent.

10 thoughts on “Selected Letters

  1. Scriptor Ignotus Scriptor Ignotus says:

    Seneca’s an amiable fellow He’s friendly he’s unpretentious and his idiosyncrasies are of the endearing sort During his asthma attacks he reminds himself that he could take his final breath at any moment that every hour of our past has already been claimed by death; that we’re dying every day He lives above a noisy gymnasium for a while and uses the opportunity to improve his concentration and make himself less susceptible to outside distractions Then he decides to find another place to live; because after all who the hell wants to live above a gym? He plunders nuggets of wisdom from the rival Epicureans because a philosopher takes everything that’s true and makes it his own And now two thousand years later we’re still plundering him though we tend not to share many of his philosophical presuppositions I doubt he would have mindedTo understand a man you have to understand what he worships Seneca’s religion is a curious amalgamation of naturalistic pantheistic and henotheistic elements which are all allowed to hang together If Stoic ethical teachings can be summarized in one sentence it would be “live according to nature”; but nature for a Stoic is always infused with divinity to the point that nature and the supernatural paradoxically fold together On top of this Stoics like Seneca had no trouble believing in the traditional Greco Roman pantheon though they devoted themselves primarily to the worship of Jupiter the king of the gods who they believed to exist outside of space and time and to sustain the being of the world in a manner approximating monotheism They believed that the cosmos was periodically consumed in fire and that the gods themselves sans Jupiter were stacked on top of each other and sueezed into a pinpoint of space sort of like clothes in those vacuum storage bags Then the cosmos started over In one letter Seneca expresses a belief in something like reincarnation he says that as the seasons disappear only to return again the next year so people live and die but are reconstituted with no memory of their past existence To be a Stoic for Seneca is to be a natural man; and to be a natural man is to be like the creator of men the old thunder thrower himself Jupiter is free because he doesn’t need anything He exists and acts for its own sake He relies on nothing and fears nothing and so a natural man should be the same way Fear and hope are the great tyrants of mankind; by submitting to them we make ourselves hostage to fortune and our stability comes to rely upon externalities making us something less than natural But fortunately for us nature’s god gave us the means with which to liberate ourselves from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune including its blackest dart which is death This means is called logos; the principle of reason which pervades all things and encapsulates the nature of god and by extension the true nature of man Through reason we can recognize our hopes and fears for what they are irrational phantom images that lie below the level of existence; which is the same thing as to say that they are unnatural which is the same thing as to say that they are ungodly It’s an interesting way of thinking; and to some extent I find it an appealing one In the American religion—wherein the pope is Oprah Winfrey the holy spirit is legal tender and God wants nothing than for you to indulge in every impulse—theodicy is a subject of much consternation When disaster strikes; when the calamitous nature of being alive manifests itself above the din of our frivolous chatterings we’ve a mind to cast aspersions on a god who greets evil with indifference Seneca would reply that god is indeed indifferent to the ups and downs of life; and with a little practice you could be too Keep well

  2. Sehar Moughal Sehar Moughal says:

    We did not realize how many things were superfluous until they began to run out we made use of them not because we were obliged to but because we had them What a lot of goods we accumulate because others have accumulated them because they are in most people's possession Among the causes of our misfortunes is that we live by the models we copy and are not ordered by reason but misled by habit I was fighting to stay alive and so I read Seneca I believe he has given me the ammunition to stay alive enough to ease my burden

  3. Dvdlynch Dvdlynch says:

    Phewthis one was uite a slog I found the language in this one uite difficult to get to grips with I'm not sure if that is Seneca's fault or the translators A comparison with other translations may cause me to revise my opinion I'm giving this one three stars due to the uality of the introduction and notes which are up to the usual Oxford World's Classics standard

  4. Carolyn Carolyn says:

    A very unintimidating stoic classic The translator makes benevolent notes before each letter But the introduction ruins it all Seneca the stoic becomes Seneca the hypocrite These letters seem preachy and feigned especially coming from a man of such wealth and indulgence in his later years I suspect they were not written to a real life subject and am supported by many in my suspicions

  5. l. l. says:

    The notes in this are great Very informative

  6. David David says:

    Can be enlightening but also very pessimistic Life was cruel and yet he dealt with things stoically

  7. Kaspars Peisenieks Kaspars Peisenieks says:

    Too few letters too much commentary

  8. Jaidyn Jaidyn says:

    Seneca is personally my favorite writers of the Stoic classicsThis particular translation was pretty good but defintiely not my favorite I understand the reasoning given as to why it was only a selection of the letters of Seneca MUCH than the overly hyped Penguin Classics edition I think double the number of letters but I feel that he wrote 124 letters for a reason that we know ofhave available And even if there may be some repitition or similar topics covered from others all 124 need to be included That said I still gave the book a fair shot It was much better of a translation that the Penguin Classics version but not as good as the much older edition done by Gummere which to me is odd A book from the early 1900's is an easier read than a much recent edition? That is indeed the case at least for me I freuently found myself going back and forth among the two and often than not being uite amazed that I prefer the older for its readability YMMV however For what it is it is NOT a bad booktranslation If you were given this or this was all you could find to buy it will do you well It's just not my first choice

  9. Katy Katy says:

    Good translation The notes for each letter are clear and give an overview of the themes Seneca writes about Thought provoking and some of them give an insight into the workings of Roman times A book borrowed from the library and one which I intend to buy for my own collection

  10. Booker Booker says:

    I find this to be the weakest of the original Stoic writings along perhaps Musonius Rufus extant lectures I prefer Seneca's selected essays also from the same Oxford collection as they are focused

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