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Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters Paperback – September 17, 1968
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From the Back Cover
About the Author
AESCHYLUS: A complete fifth-century Athenian, he was the creator of her proudest artistic achievement, tragedy. By using more than one actor he changed the form of plays from recited poetry to true dramatic dialogue, thereby making possible the sweeping grandeur of his great trilogy, THE ORESTEIA.<br><br>SOPHOCLES: The most popular tragedian of the Golden Age, he expanded the scope of classic drama by his technical innovations and lyric intensity, leaving the world such masterpieces as ANTIGONE and OEDIPUS THE KING, the play Aristotle called the perfect model of Greek tragedy.<br><br>EURIPIDES: A prolific author, Euripides wrote some one hundred plays. In contrast to his contemporaries, he brought an exciting-and, to the Greeks, a stunning-realism to the "pure and noble" form of tragedy. His influence altered drama forever, and he is regarded today as the originator of modern dramatic sensibility.<br><br>ARISTOPHANES: The most famous comic playwright of ancient Greece, he wrote what are now the only extant representative of Greek Old Comedy. His three outstanding characteristics-gross obscenity, exquisite lyricism, and a serious concern for decency and morality-may seem a strange combination to the modern reader. Aristophanes is still regarded by modern audiences as a master of risqué wit and brilliant comic invention.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
He was in search of some answers on life
"True happiness is to enjoy the present,
to understand our duties toward God and Man,
not to be amused with either hopes or fears, but to rest content.
For he that is so wants nothing, for what he has is abundantly sufficient,
the great blessings of mankind are in us, and within our reach,
yet we rush around like people in the dark, and fall foul of the very thing we are looking for without finding it.
There must be a sound mind to make a happy man,
there must be a constancy in all conditions
Tranquility is a state of mind which no condition of fortune can elevate or depress
and there is no cheerfulness, like the resolution of a great mind not to be elevated or depressed with good or ill-fortune
True Joy is serene, the seat of it is within,
a wise man is content with his lot whatever it may be,
without anxiously wishing for what he has not"
Great Book---Wisdom for our times and ancient times.
Seneca is one of my favorites
I have thought for some time (since first reading Antifragile) that I probably had a lot in common with the Stoics. Because of that I decided to buy this book about Seneca's Stoic philosophy and find out for myself. While it left the idea of stoicism less sharply defined than I was hoping for, I found every part of this book a total joy to read.
There is a lot of wisdom here and each section is put forth in such a way that it is very easy to understand and the context of Roman life is very illuminating. I honestly do not know if Moses Hadas (the translator) is any good at translating Latin or not. All I know is I think he did a wonderful job with this material. This is an easy book to read and enjoy and I highly recommend it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Prior to reading this book I had read a variety of other works of Western philosophy, but in a mechanical way. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Daniel & Kara Jordan
I have read many of the Seneca translations and I think Moses Hadas best captures the subtle prose and beauty of the text. I wish this edition were available for the Kindle!Published 4 months ago by LongTimeAmazonUser
If you are a stoic, or wish to study stoicism, start here. The author provides rigorous introduction (worth reading) and translation. Read morePublished 7 months ago by treygilbert
Seneca is a KEY philosopher, and I agree w/all the other reviewers who highly recommend reading him in as close to the original as possible (as opposed to contemporary glosses... Read morePublished 7 months ago by White Rabbit
This book is filled with wisdom. I find myself sharing passages with my wife. She even typed up a Seneca passage and has it on her desk at work. Read morePublished 12 months ago by endofthedial
I did not know what to expect from this as it was recommended by a friend. It was brilliant. One of the best I have ever read. Read morePublished 18 months ago by DocWellness
The product came in a timely manner & was just what I had intended on getting. In good shapePublished on April 19, 2010 by K. Smith