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Letters from a Stoic Paperback – Jul 30 1969

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (July 30 1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140442103
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140442106
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 186 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (c.4BC-AD65) was born in Cordoba, Spain, where he was brought up studying the traditional virtues of republican Roman life. He became a teacher of rhetoric but attracted attention for his incisive style of writing. Closely linked to Nero, his death was ordered by the emperor in AD65. Seneca committed suicide. 

Robin Campbell is a well-known translator.


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Format: Paperback
Freethinkers, Deists, Humanists and others who have thrown off the yoke of theism & dogma will find much food for thought here. Especially new freethinkers who are still being warned by well intentioned "true believers" that an ethical, moral life is only possible with a personal deity. Lookng back to the classical pagan world of stoicism, we find Seneca, a philosopher that continues to illuminate the world with insights into conducting ones life according to reason and the affirmation to all that life has to offer without resorting to false piety and religious apologetics. These are views from the real world.
Of interest to anyone examining the classical world of ancient Rome will discover, the intellectuals of the time possessed both a religion and a philosophy to guide their lives. Religion was merely the outward exoteric public display of sentiment (much like our calendar holidays today) and then there was your philosophy, the inner esoteric moral compass that guided deep seated morality and ethical choices. Which can result in a well lived life of fullfillment & happiness. Qualities all too often absent from modern life. Especially for those still trying to juggle and make sense of repressive monotheisms. Read Seneca & celebrate life's rich offerings.
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Format: Paperback
Seneca is one of many of the ancient classical writers that present timeless wisdom that is applicable to any age or geographical situation. His work speaks about honor and principle under both difficult situations and under the everyday questions of living that we all face. There is a lot of timeless advice about what it means to carry oneself in a principled manner and not be subject to the whims and fancies of ego and the materiality that have existed in all times, not just our own. Seneca is one of the classic writers that have stood the test of time. His work is still around and popular for a reason. There is much sound advice and material that provokes thought on a personal level. It also speaks to the eternal values that not only made ancient Rome one of the most influential and formative precursors of western culture but have shaped and formed the thought and political structures of modern society. It is ancient in origin, but it is modern in much of its message. Read Seneca, it will show you how the essentials of people never really change. We still have the same concerns on a personal level, only the scenery and the accoutrements have changed.
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Format: Paperback
The first time I read this book I was amazed and excited, and entering middle age. Seneca's thoughts on the human condition seemed like they could have been written today. Except for some dated Roman references, here is a man trying to define how to live, in what we today would call "the secular society." The series of letters reads like a personal guidebook to ethics. It still speaks to us across the centuries. Seneca was priveleged, ego centric, and all too aware of the fleeting nature of life. He was also a tutor of Nero, a dramatist, philosopher, slave owner, etc. But his essay-like letters - by turns glib and medatative - reveal a man struggling to make sense of a world of power, wealth and abundance, oestensibly ruled by reason, suffused with uncertainty and enveloped in paganism. He was also no doubt polishing his image for future generations. Nonetheless, he talks of god and spirituality, and the early Christians were said to have valued his wisdom. I've read this two or three times. Each time I've given it away to a friend. Once you read it, you'll go back to it again and again. His maxims are famous. His commonsense advice still rings true.
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This book is a very thought-provoking and enjoyable to read. Seneca pours over all kinds of different situations, that people manage to get themselves into. He looks at society, and attempts to guide his friend through the difficult conditions. Sure there are a few subject areas, that only apply to the Roman time frame. However, for the most part this book offers timeless advice on all sorts of social situations. There is even some advice on how to handle the month long December holiday celebrations. At the time the holiday was called Saturnalia instead of Christmas. In fact most of the material comes across, as if it was written in 2011.

Seneca is a Stoic Philosopher, but do not feel you need a background in philosophy to appreciate the book. The content is very straight forward, and there is a great flow to the book.
I give this book very high marks, and my highest recommendation.
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Format: Paperback
In this great book Seneca answers several of the questions we face in todays world. His answers seem to be as revelant today as they were in the 4th Century B.C. The reviews on the back cover are perfectly accurate in suggesting the Seneca can be credited with "... spiritualizing and humanising..." a system that can be sometimes viewed as harsh. A must read, to help resolve some of the inevitable conflicts that modern man/society are faced with.
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Format: Paperback
Probably the best manual on how to live well that I have ever read. As informative today as the day it was written. this book is a series of letters written by Seneca to a dear friend. It offers practical advice on the art of living well as well as dealing with loss, fear of death, surviving sickness (Seneca suffered from severe asthma)and friendship. It should be required reading for all High School students.
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