Seneca Moral Essay

ISBN-10: 0674992806
ISBN-13: 9780674992801
Edition: 1932 (Revised)
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Description: Seneca, Lucius Annaeus, born at Corduba (Cordova) ca. 4 BC, of a prominent and wealthy family, spent an ailing childhood and youth at Rome in an aunt's care. He became famous in rhetoric, philosophy, money-making, and imperial service. After some  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.00
Copyright year: 1932
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 1/1/1932
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 508
Size: 4.75" wide x 6.75" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 0.682

Seneca, Lucius Annaeus, born at Corduba (Cordova) ca. 4 BC, of a prominent and wealthy family, spent an ailing childhood and youth at Rome in an aunt's care. He became famous in rhetoric, philosophy, money-making, and imperial service. After some disgrace during Claudius' reign he became tutor and then, in AD 54, advising minister to Nero, some of whose worst misdeeds he did not prevent. Involved (innocently?) in a conspiracy, he killed himself by order in 65. Wealthy, he preached indifference to wealth; evader of pain and death, he preached scorn of both; and there were other contrasts between practice and principle. We have Seneca's philosophical or moral essays (ten of them traditionally called Dialogues)-on providence, steadfastness, the happy life, anger, leisure, tranquility, the brevity of life, gift-giving, forgiveness- and treatises on natural phenomena. Also extant are 124 epistles, in which he writes in a relaxed style about moral and ethical questions, relating them to personal experiences; a skit on the official deification of Claudius, Apocolocyntosis (in Loeb number 15); and nine rhetorical tragedies on ancient Greek themes. Many epistles and all his speeches are lost. His moral essays are collected in Volumes I-III of the Loeb Classical Library's ten-volume edition of Seneca.

Seneca was born in Spain of a wealthy Italian family. His father, Lucius Annaeus Seneca (see Vol. 4), wrote the well-known Controversaie (Controversies) and Suasoriae (Persuasions), which are collections of arguments used in rhetorical training, and his nephew Lucan was the epic poet of the civil war. Educated in rhetoric and philosophy in Rome, he found the Stoic doctrine especially compatible. The younger Seneca became famous as an orator but was exiled by the Emperor Claudius. He was recalled by the Empress Agrippina to become the tutor of her son, the young Nero. After the first five years of Nero's reign, Agrippina was murdered and three years later Octavia, Nero's wife, was exiled. Seneca retired as much as possible from public life and devoted himself to philosophy, writing many treatises at this time. But in 65 he was accused of conspiracy and, by imperial order, committed suicide by opening his veins. He was a Stoic philosopher and met his death with Stoic calm. Seneca's grisly tragedies fascinated the Renaissance and have been successfully performed in recent years. All ten tragedies are believed genuine, with the exception of Octavia, which is now considered to be by a later writer. Translations of the tragedies influenced English dramatists such as Jonson (see Vol. 1), Marlowe (see Vol. 1), and Shakespeare (see Vol. 1), who all imitated Seneca's scenes of horror and his characters---the ghost, nurse, and villain.

Introduction De Consolatione Ad Marciam De Vita Beata De Otio De
Tranquillitate Animi De Brevitate Vitae De Consolatione Ad Polybium De Consolatione Ad Helviam
Index Of Names

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