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Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters Paperback – September 17, 1968
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From the Back Cover
Representative selections from Seneca's writings offer the reader an excellent introduction to the range of his work. Translated and with and introduction by Moses Hadas.
About the Author
Moses Hadas was an American teacher, a classical scholar, and a translator of numerous works.
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This volume contains a very good selection of short letters and three long letters that are more than worthy for a person to use to guide their life: "On Providence," "On the Shortness of Life," and "On Tranquility." The other two long letters are a little more superfluous and I would have preferred his letter "On Anger," which is not included, over "Consolation of Helvia," but that is a minor complaint.
Seneca was a Stoic, and while I am not one, I find myself fed by this perspective on life. Seneca will help you focus on what is under your control, live with more equanimity, focus on the things that are of value, and live a rich and virtuous life.
I must be honest and tell you that it is not an easy read. Writers of that age did not believe in simple sentence structure. And unless you are a student of ancient history, there are lots of references whom you will not know. However the value is so great that I recommend you spend the time and effort and learn from a great thinker.
Thankfully we have moved to a democratic form of government. The rulers of that day generally ruled by brute force, eliminating those who opposed them. A large part of his writings were to teach people how to deal with the problems of the day.
While our problems are different in name, the underlying principles for dealing with them have not changed. We have learned more about the mind and how it works, so his discourse on the mind is a little dated.
Some examples of his insight:
"It is not that we have so little time but that we lose (waste) so much."
"Many people, I imagine could attain wisdom if they were not convinced they already had it, ..."
"...we are tormented alike by the future and the past. Our superiority brings us much distress; memory recalls the torment of fear, foresight anticipates it. No one confines his misery to the present."
His lessons are still very valuable today.
Most recent customer reviews
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