On the Shortness of Life: Life Is Long if You Know How to Use It (Penguin Great Ideas) 1st Edition, Kindle Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0143036326
ISBN-10: 0143036327
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, statesman, philosopher, advocate and man of letters, was born in Spain around 4BC. He rose to prominence at Rome, pursuing a double career in the courts and political life, until Claudius sent him into exile exile on the island of Corsica for eight years. Recalled in AD49, he was appointed tutor to the boy who was to become, in AD54, the emperor Nero. Seneca acted for eight years as Nero's unofficial chief minister until Nero too turned against him and he retired from public life to devote himself to philosophy and writing. In AD65, following the discovery of a plot against the emperor, he and many others were compelled by Nero to commit suicide. C.D.N. Costa has spent most of his working life at Birmingham University, where he is Professor of Classics and Chairman of the School of Antiquity. Among other works, he has written commentaries on the works of Seneca, Letters, Dialogues and the tragedy Medea. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

On the Shortness of Life

Most human beings, Paulinus,* complain about the meanness of nature, because we are born for a brief span of life, and because this spell of time that has been given to us rushes by so swiftly and rapidly that with very few exceptions life ceases for the rest of us just when we are getting ready for it. Nor is it just the man in the street and the unthinking mass of people who groan over this - as they see it - universal evil: the same feeling lies behind complaints from even distinguished men. Hence the dictum of the greatest of doctors:† 'Life is short, art is long.' Hence too the grievance, most improper to a wise man, which Aristotle expressed when he was taking nature to task for indulging animals with such long existences that they can live through five or ten human lifetimes, while a far shorter limit is set for men who are born to a great and extensive destiny. It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested.

* A friend of Seneca’s.
† Hippocrates

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00BCU07LO
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin Books; 1st edition (September 6, 2005)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ September 6, 2005
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 447 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 111 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 1,150 ratings

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
1,150 global ratings
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Vit V.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and full of beautiful and useful insights!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 4, 2017
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StephenDS
4.0 out of 5 stars Seneca sets you thinking: how should I use my time on earth?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 10, 2020
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Kasey
5.0 out of 5 stars Stoicism 101 and the value of time
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 10, 2015
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Metamorpheus
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting.
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C Jennings
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 8, 2019
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