A philosophy that saw self-possession as the key to an existence lived 'in accordance with nature', Stoicism called for the restraint of animal instincts and the severing of emotional ties. These beliefs were formulated by the Athenian followers of Zeno in the fourth century BC, but it was in Seneca (c. 4 BC- AD 65) that the Stoics found their most eloquent advocate. Stoicism, as expressed in the Letters, helped ease pagan Rome's transition to Christianity, for it upholds upright ethical ideals and extols virtuous living, as well as expressing disgust for the harsh treatment of slaves and the inhumane slaughters witnessed in the Roman arenas. Seneca's major contribution to a seemingly unsympathetic creed was to transform it into a powerfully moving and inspiring declaration of the dignity of the individual mind.
A major writer and a leading figure in the public life of Rome, Seneca (c. 4BC-AD 65) ranks among the most eloquent and influential masters of Latin prose. This selection explores his thoughts on philosophy and the trials of life. In the Consolation to Helvia he strives to offer solace to his mother, following his exile in AD 41, while On the Shortness of Life and On Tranquillity of Mind are lucid and compelling explorations of Stoic thought. Witty and self-critical, the Letters - written to his young friend Lucilius - explore Seneca's struggle to acquire philosophical wisdom. A fascinating insight into one of the greatest minds of Ancient Rome, these works inspired writers and thinkers including Montaigne, Rousseau, and Bacon, and continue to intrigue and enlighten.
Epictetus, a Greek stoic and freed slave, ran a thriving philosophy school in Nicropolis in the early second century AD. His animated discussions were celebrated for their rhetorical wizardry and were written down by Arrian, his most famous pupil. Together with the Enchiridion, a manual of his main ideas, and the fragments collected here, The Discourses argue that happiness lies in learning to perceive exactly what is in our power to change and what is not, and in embracing our fate to live in harmony with god and nature. In this personal, practical guide to the ethics of stoicism and moral self-improvement, Epictetus tackles questions of freedom and imprisonment, illness and fear, family, friendship and love, and leaves an intriguing document of daily life in the classical world.
Seeing self-possession as the key to an existence lived 'in accordance with nature', the Stoic philosophy called for the restraint of animal instincts and the importance of upright ethical ideals and virtuous living. Seneca's writings are a profound, powerfully moving and inspiring declaration of the dignity of the individual mind.
'You ask what is the proper measure of wealth? The best measure is to have what is necessary, and next best, to have enough. Keep well!' The letters written by the Stoic philosopher and tragedian Seneca to his friend Lucilius are in effect moral essays, whose purpose is to reinforce Lucilius' struggle to achieve wisdom and serenity, uninfluenced by worldly emotions. Seneca advises his friend on how to do without what is superfluous, whether on the subject of happiness, riches, reputation, or the emotions. The letters include literary critical discussions, moral exhortation, exemplary heroes and episodes from Roman history, and a lurid picture of contemporary luxury. We learn about Seneca's household and estates and about life in the time of Nero; the topic of death is never far away. This readable new translation is the largest selection of Seneca's letters currently available. Accompanied by an invaluable introduction and notes, it opens a window on to Seneca's world. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range 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, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Readers who enter upon this practical course in the Stoic art of living will learn how Stoic principles are linked to real life, and how to enjoy the 'smooth flow of life' of the Stoic Sage who follows nature and holds to virtue, finding fearlessness, inner peace, and freedom from troubles. Readers will gain maximum advantage from the course if they acquire copies of Seneca's Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Books), and the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (the Robin Hard translation from Wordsworth Editions is recommended). The text expands on a correspondence course previously made available by the Stoic Foundation. One student commented: 'I believe this course has changed my life, and I cannot thank you enough' -- DN, Australia. The book is illustrated with pen and ink drawings.
'No man is crushed by misfortune unless he has first been deceived by prosperity.' In these dialogues and essays the Stoic philosopher Seneca outlines his thoughts on how to live in a troubled world. Tutor to the young emperor Nero, Seneca wrote exercises in practical philosophy that draw upon contemporary Roman life and illuminate the intellectual concerns of the day. They also have much to say to the modern reader, as Seneca ranges widely across subjects such as the shortness of life, tranquillity of mind, anger, mercy, happiness, and grief at the loss of a loved one. Seneca's accessible, aphoristic style makes his writing especially attractive as an introduction to Stoic philosophy, and belies its reputation for austerity and dogmatism. This edition combines a clear and modern translation with an introduction to Seneca's life and philosophical interests, and helpful notes. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range 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, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Author: The Younger Pliny
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2003-12-04
Genre: Literary Collections
A prominent lawyer and administrator, Pliny (c. AD 61-113) was also a prolific letter-writer, who numbered among his correspondents such eminent figures as Tacitus, Suetonius and the Emperor Trajan, as well as a wide circle of friends and family. His lively and very personal letters address an astonishing range of topics, from a deeply moving account of his uncle's death in the eruption that engulfed Pompeii, to observations on the early Christians - 'a desperate sort of cult carried to extravagant lengths' - from descriptions of everyday life in Rome, with its scandals and court cases, to Pliny's life in the country.
Author: Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2015-11-20
The Roman statesman and philosopher Seneca (4 BCE–65 CE) recorded his moral philosophy and reflections on life as a highly original kind of correspondence. Letters on Ethics includes vivid descriptions of town and country life in Nero’s Italy, discussions of poetry and oratory, and philosophical training for Seneca’s friend Lucilius. This volume, the first complete English translation in nearly a century, makes the Letters more accessible than ever before. Written as much for a general audience as for Lucilius, these engaging letters offer advice on how to deal with everything from nosy neighbors to sickness, pain, and death. Seneca uses the informal format of the letter to present the central ideas of Stoicism, for centuries the most influential philosophical system in the Mediterranean world. His lively and at times humorous expositions have made the Letters his most popular work and an enduring classic. Including an introduction and explanatory notes by Margaret Graver and A. A. Long, this authoritative edition will captivate a new generation of readers.
For the great Roman orator and statesman Cicero, 'the good life' was at once a life of contentment and one of moral virtue - and the two were inescapably intertwined. This volume brings together a wide range of his reflections upon the importance of moral integrity in the search for happiness. In essays that are articulate, meditative and inspirational, Cicero presents his views upon the significance of friendship and duty to state and family, and outlines a clear system of practical ethics that is at once simple and universal. These works offer a timeless reflection upon the human condition, and a fascinating insight into the mind of one of the greatest thinkers of Ancient Rome.
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2005-02-24
Based on the legends used in Greek drama, Seneca's plays are notable for the exuberant ruthlessness with which disastrous events are foretold and then pursued to their tragic and often bloodthirsty ends. Thyestes depicts the menace of an ancestral curse hanging over two feuding brothers, while Phaedra portrays a woman tormented by fatal passion for her stepson. In The Trojan Women, the widowed Hecuba and Andromache await their fates at the hands of the conquering Greeks, and Oedipus follows the downfall of the royal House of Thebes. Octavia is a grim commentary on Nero's tyrannical rule and the execution of his wife, with Seneca himself appearing as an ineffective counsellor attempting to curb the atrocities of the emperor.
How to Live a Happy Life, One Stoic Moment at a Time It's not how much you make, it's how you live. Letters from a Stoic is a first-person look into how an experienced Stoic applies philosophy to ordinary life and the world around him. From it you not only learn the core tenets of Stoicism, but get to witness the intellectual practice of someone who's who's wholly devoted to cultivating his mind, mastering philosophy, and achieving long-lasting happiness. The Stoics are not out to banish the emotions; they are out to reduce, to the extent possible, negative emotions, such as feelings of anger or grief that will disrupt our tranquillity. They value positive emotions, with feelings of joy being at the top of their list. ""Your greatest difficulty is with yourself; you are your own stumbling-block."" In his Letters we discover how to remove that stumbling block with the wisdom of this remarkable man. Scroll up and get your copy now.
The brilliant writings of a highly influential Greek philosopher, with a foreword by Daniel Klein, author of Travels with Epicurus The teachings of Epicurus—about life and death, religion and science, physical sensation, happiness, morality, and friendship—attracted legions of adherents throughout the ancient Mediterranean world and deeply influenced later European thought. Though Epicurus faced hostile opposition for centuries after his death, he counts among his many admirers Thomas Hobbes, Thomas Jefferson, Karl Marx, and Isaac Newton. This volume includes all of his extant writings—his letters, doctrines, and Vatican sayings—alongside parallel passages from the greatest exponent of his philosophy, Lucretius, extracts from Diogenes Laertius' Life of Epicurus, a lucid introductory essay about Epicurean philosophy, and a foreword by Daniel Klein, author of Travels with Epicurus and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar. For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2005-05-26
Livy (c. 59 BC-AD 17) dedicated most of his life to writing some 142 volumes of history, the first five of which comprise The Early History of Rome. With stylistic brilliance, he chronicles nearly 400 years of history, from the founding of Rome (traditionally dated to 757 BC) to the Gallic invasion in 386 BC - an era which witnessed the reign of seven kings, the establishment of the Republic, civil strife and brutal conflict. Bringing compelling characters to life, and re-presenting familiar tales - including the tragedy of Coriolanus and the story of Romulus and Remus - The Early History is a truly epic work, and a passionate warning that Rome should learn from its history.