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.
Author: Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 1969
Genre: Literary Collections
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.
'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.
'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.
Author: Mary Beard
Publisher: Profile Books
Release Date: 2013-03-07
Mary Beard is one of the world's best-known classicists - a brilliant academic, with a rare gift for communicating with a wide audience both though her TV presenting and her books. In a series of sparkling essays, she explores our rich classical heritage - from Greek drama to Roman jokes, introducing some larger-than-life characters of classical history, such as Alexander the Great, Nero and Boudicca. She invites you into the places where Greeks and Romans lived and died, from the palace at Knossos to Cleopatra's Alexandria - and reveals the often hidden world of slaves. She takes a fresh look at both scholarly controversies and popular interpretations of the ancient world, from The Golden Bough to Asterix. The fruit of over thirty years in the world of classical scholarship, Confronting the Classics captures the world of antiquity and its modern significance with wit, verve and scholarly expertise.
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.
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2011-08-25
Living in Rome under Caligula and later a tutor to Nero, Seneca witnessed the extremes of human behaviour. His shocking and bloodthirsty plays not only reflect a brutal period of history but also show how guilt, sorrow, anger and desire lead individuals to violence. The hero of Hercules Insane saves his own family from slaughter, only to commit further atrocities when he goes mad. The horrifying death of Astyanax is recounted in Trojan Women, and Phaedra deals with forbidden love. In Oedipus a nervous man discovers himself, while Thyestes recounts the bitter family struggle for a crown. Of uncertain authorship, Octavia dramatizes Nero's divorce from his wife and her deportation. The only Latin tragedies to have survived complete, these plays are masterpieces of vibrant, muscular language and psychological insight.
Author: Ryan Holiday
Release Date: 2016-10-18
Genre: Business & Economics
From the team that brought you The Obstacle Is the Way and Ego Is the Enemy, a beautiful daily devotional of Stoic meditations—an instant Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestseller. Why have history's greatest minds—from George Washington to Frederick the Great to Ralph Waldo Emerson, along with today's top performers from Super Bowl-winning football coaches to CEOs and celebrities—embraced the wisdom of the ancient Stoics? Because they realize that the most valuable wisdom is timeless and that philosophy is for living a better life, not a classroom exercise. The Daily Stoic offers 366 days of Stoic insights and exercises, featuring all-new translations from the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the playwright Seneca, or slave-turned-philosopher Epictetus, as well as lesser-known luminaries like Zeno, Cleanthes, and Musonius Rufus. Every day of the year you'll find one of their pithy, powerful quotations, as well as historical anecdotes, provocative commentary, and a helpful glossary of Greek terms. By following these teachings over the course of a year (and, indeed, for years to come) you'll find the serenity, self-knowledge, and resilience you need to live well. From the Hardcover edition.
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.
Fragments of wisdom from the ancient world In the sixth century b.c.-twenty-five hundred years before Einstein-Heraclitus of Ephesus declared that energy is the essence of matter, that everything becomes energy in flux, in relativity. His great book, On Nature, the world's first coherent philosophical treatise and touchstone for Plato, Aristotle, and Marcus Aurelius, has long been lost to history-but its surviving fragments have for thousands of years tantalized our greatest thinkers, from Montaigne to Nietzsche, Heidegger to Jung. Now, acclaimed poet Brooks Haxton presents a powerful free-verse translation of all 130 surviving fragments of the teachings of Heraclitus, with the ancient Greek originals beautifully reproduced en face. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 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.
Author: Arthur Schopenhauer
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2004-08-26
One of the greatest philosophers of the nineteenth century, Schopenhauer (1788-1860) believed that human action is determined not by reason but by 'will' - the blind and irrational desire for physical existence. This selection of his writings on religion, ethics, politics, women, suicide, books and many other themes is taken from Schopenhauer's last work, Parerga and Paralipomena, which he published in 1851. These pieces depict humanity as locked in a struggle beyond good and evil, and each individual absolutely free within a Godless world, in which art, morality and self-awareness are our only salvation. This innovative - and pessimistic - view has proved powerfully influential upon philosophy and art, directly affecting the work of Nietzsche, Wittgenstein and Wagner among others.