Letters from a Stoic Read Online Free - The power and wealth which Seneca the Younger (c.4 B.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.
|Title||:||Letters from a Stoic|
|Number of Pages||:||256 pages|
April 11, 2017
These letters of Roman philosopher Seneca are a treasure chest for anybody wishing to incorporate philosophic wisdom into their day-to-day living. By way of example, below are a few Seneca gems along with my brief comments:
“Each day acquire something which will help you to face poverty, or death,...
July 05, 2012
I tore this book to pieces. My copy is overflowing with tabbed pages and highlighted lines and notes in the margins. Seneca of course, is a fascinating figure. Gregory Hays once said about Marcus Aurelius that "not being a tyrant was something he had to work at one day at a time" and often, Senec...
June 15, 2016
Philosophy is good advice; and no one can give advice at the top of his lungs.
One of the most persistent criticisms made of modern philosophy is that it isn’t useful. The critics have a point. Modern philosophy largely concerns itself with a variety of theoretical problems. Even though many of...
August 08, 2015
I have to admit, I started this book with some hesitations.
I had read Marcus Aurelius' Meditations (easily one of my favourite books) and Epictetus' Discourses, the other two big pillars of Stoic philosophy. I also knew, from gossip girl Suetonius, how Seneca was a Stoic more in name than in pra...
August 20, 2015
No man’s good by accident. Virtue has to be learnt. Pleasure is a poor and petty thing. No value should be set on it: it’s something we share with dumb animals – the minutest, most insignificance creatures scutter after it. Glory’s an empty changeable thing, as fickle as the weather. Poverty’s no...
September 13, 2012
Along with his tragedies, treatises and longer dialogues, the philosopher Seneca wrote 124 letters addressed to his friend Lucilius. Whether these letters were actually sent is unknown, but their style indicates that they were intended for publication at some point. These letters are really mini-...
April 09, 2017
This book was quite good. One would think that a collection of letters would have much material that is of little utility to those outside the correspondents, but that isn't the case.
Seneca was a notable later Stoic. Very little of the first generation of Stoics survive, and we are left with mai...
August 14, 2012
Seneca you wastrel! To teach of stoicism while living in such opulence. Eh-gads! Fabulous writing, I think I blushed unbeckoned during the blushing scene, and stop trying to get us all to give up oysters, they are both erotic and have the potential to profit a pearl or two. Unacceptable I say!
August 09, 2017
It’s an interesting exercise to read Seneca’s letters and Homer’s Iliad at the same time: you get a sense for how arbitrary our categories are. Both of these ostensibly belong to “classical literature,” though eight hundred years separate them. Seneca and we are divided by a gulf of history more...
June 18, 2011
One of the most profound books I've read. Seneca defines philosophy not as a system of logical rules for old men to argue about and rearrange, but as a means to prescribe a way of life. He sees a philosopher as a wise doctor who provides advice on the optimal way to live so as to be as happy as p...