Letters from a Stoic: The Ancient Classic (Capstone Classics)

by Seneca

Hardcover, 2021

Status

Available

Call number

188

Publication

Capstone (2021), Edition: 1, 416 pages

Description

HarperCollins is proud to present its incredible range of best-loved, essential classics. No man can live a happy life, or even a supportable life, without the study of wisdom Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC-AD 65) is one of the most famous Roman philosophers. Instrumental in guiding the Roman Empire under emperor Nero, Seneca influenced him from a young age with his Stoic principles. Later in life, he wrote Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium, or Letters from a Stoic, detailing these principles in full. Seneca's letters read like a diary, or a handbook of philosophical meditations. Often beginning with observations on daily life, the letters focus on many traditional themes of Stoic philosophy, such as the contempt of death, the value of friendship and virtue as the supreme good. Using Gummere's translation from the early twentieth century, this selection of Seneca's letters shows his belief in the austere, ethical ideals of Stoicism - teachings we can still learn from today. Competition: Discourses and Selected Writings;The Republic;Meditations. Cicero;Cornutus;Marcus Aurelius;Epictetus;Plato.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member mysterymax
Lyrical, poetic, easy flowing story of a woman's life in Iran during one of it's most turbulent times. But it falls very short. She is almost an observer, if even that, of what was really going on. Her husband is active in the efforts to get nuclear arms banned, but even with that cause she mostly
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views his activity as time away from her. Even when she is challenged on the street because a little of her hair is showing, it seems to be brushed over when friends manage to talk her way out of the situation. A situation that could easily have gotten very serious. Three stars for the writing. Two stars for the story.
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LibraryThing member madepercy
The Letters is regarded as one of the three key Stoic works, along with Marcus Aurelius' Meditations and Epictetus' Discourses. My initial thoughts were that Seneca's letters provided gems of genius amid banal everyday topics. Indeed, one critic compared Seneca's style with a boar taking a whiz
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(provided in the detailed notes to the letters). But the moments of genius continue to resonate as if Seneca showed me, empirically, a primal instinct. There is so much of the source of contemporary social norms in this work. I am often surprised how modern complaints were "old hat" even in the time of the classics. For example, Seneca despises those who follow the crowd and let the majority following determine right and wrong. Further, he complains about the modern conveniences and how people suffer from what we might today term "affluenza". Maybe this does not bode well for the present state of affairs. I have learnt a great deal from this book, as I did with Meditations, and I am eager to delve into Discourses.
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LibraryThing member roblong
Series of letters from an ageing Stoic philosopher, writing in 64AD on topics from travel to disease to death. Enjoyable stuff, I'm fond of the Stoics as a rare variety of philosopher I find useful as well as interesting, although my engagement did vary from letter to letter. No Marcus Aurelius,
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but one I would return to.
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LibraryThing member GPMacD
This book might be an interesting read for a neophyte exploring stoic philosophy and it's definitely an acceptable introduction to rhetoric. However, I think it is far more enlightening from a social and historical perspective. Seneca has a rather sardonic sense of humour and talks at length about
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societal phenomenons that were present in his time, yet they seem like new realities today. Indeed, King Solomon was right when he wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes,"There is nothing new under the sun." It's just great to witness it first hand from the past!
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LibraryThing member GPMacD
This book might be an interesting read for a neophyte exploring stoic philosophy and it's definitely an acceptable introduction to rhetoric. However, I think it is far more enlightening from a social and historical perspective. Seneca has a rather sardonic sense of humour and talks at length about
Show More
societal phenomenons that were present in his time, yet they seem like new realities today. Indeed, King Solomon was right when he wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes,"There is nothing new under the sun." It's just great to witness it first hand from the past!
Show Less
LibraryThing member GPMacD
This book might be an interesting read for a neophyte exploring stoic philosophy and it's definitely an acceptable introduction to rhetoric. However, I think it is far more enlightening from a social and historical perspective. Seneca has a rather sardonic sense of humour and talks at length about
Show More
societal phenomenons that were present in his time, yet they seem like new realities today. Indeed, King Solomon was right when he wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes,"There is nothing new under the sun." It's just great to witness it first hand from the past!
Show Less
LibraryThing member StevenJohnTait
So much to learn from this book. I'll re-read it someday. Definitely has made me a better person.
LibraryThing member soylentgreen23
It took me a while to read Seneca's letters - they're not to be binged, but to be dipped into and savoured. His advice boils down essentially to this - life is difficult, and you must reconcile yourself to difficulties. The letters present this same sentiment from a number of angles, all of which
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adds up to a forceful, well-reasoned whole. For a text written so very long ago, this modern translation shows just how readable Seneca has remained - and how little life, and people, have changed through history.
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LibraryThing member steve02476
Read the first 25 of the 125 “letters.” Some good advice in there I’m sure, but nothing that captivated me or seemed very different from other stoic/epicurean type writing I’ve seen over the years in bits and pieces.

Language

Original language

English

Original publication date

65 CE

Physical description

416 p.; 7.6 inches

ISBN

1119751357 / 9781119751359
Page: 0.2389 seconds