Dialogues and Essays (Oxford World's Classics) by Seneca, Tobias Reinhardt PDF

By Seneca, Tobias Reinhardt

ISBN-10: 0192807145

ISBN-13: 9780192807144

Alain de Botton's bestselling The Consolations of Philosophy--later made right into a six-part television series--has helped popularize old philosophy and particularly the paintings of Seneca. This excellent quantity bargains the best translation of Seneca's dialogues and essays in print, taking pictures the complete variety of his philosophical pursuits. the following the Stoic thinker outlines his options on tips on how to reside in a afflicted global. instruct to the younger emperor Nero, Seneca wrote routines in useful philosophy that draw upon modern Roman existence and light up the highbrow issues of the day. in addition they have a lot to assert to the trendy reader, as Seneca levels commonly throughout topics corresponding to the shortness of existence, tranquility of brain, anger, mercy, happiness, and grief on the lack of a family member. Seneca's obtainable, aphoristic variety makes his writing specifically appealing as an advent to Stoic philosophy, and belies its attractiveness for austerity and dogmatism. This version combines a transparent and smooth translation by means of John Davies with Tobias Reinhardt's interesting creation to Seneca's profession, literary kind, and impression, together with an outstanding precis of Stoic philosophy and Seneca's interpretation of it. The book's notes are the fullest of any similar variation.

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About the Author

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Additional resources for Dialogues and Essays (Oxford World's Classics)

Example text

Take into account the further fact that it is to everyone’s benefit that all the best men become soldiers, so to speak, and do service. God’s purpose, and the wise man’s, too, is to show that what ordinary men desire, and what they fear, are not either goods or evils; but it will appear that there are goods, if these are granted only to good men, and that there are evils, if these penalize only bad men. Blindness will earn men’s curses if no one loses his eyes except the man who merits having them ripped out; therefore let an Appius and a Metellus* be denied the daylight.

His skin is pierced by nails, and wherever he rests his exhausted frame he lies upon a wound; his eyes stare out in unending sleeplessness: yet On Providence 9 the greater his torture is, the greater will be his fame. Do you wish to know how little he regrets that he set virtue at such a price? Set him free from the cross and send him back to the senate: he will state the same opinion. Do you, then, consider Maecenas a more fortunate man, who, distressed by affairs of the heart and lamenting the daily rebuffs of a cantankerous wife,* would seek sleep by means of harmonious music playing softly at a distance?

Fortune lays into us with the whip and tears our flesh: let us endure it. It is not cruelty but a contest, and the more often we engage in it, the stronger our hearts will be: the sturdiest part of the body is the one that is kept in constant use. We must offer ourselves to Fortune so that in struggling with her we may be hardened by her: little by little she will make us a match for her, and constant exposure to risk will make us despise dangers. So the bodies of mariners are tough from the buffeting of the sea, the hands of farmers calloused, the muscles of soldiers strong to enable them to hurl the javelin, the legs of athletes agile: in each case the part of the body exercised is the strongest.

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Dialogues and Essays (Oxford World's Classics) by Seneca, Tobias Reinhardt

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