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Dialogues and Letters

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  99 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
A major writer and a leading figure in the public life of Rome, Seneca (c. 4BC-AD 65) ranks among the most eloquent and influential masters of Latin prose. This selection explores his thoughts on philosophy and the trials of life. In the Consolation to Helvia he strives to offer solace to his mother, following his exile in AD 41, while On the Shortness of Life and On Tranq ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 29th 1997 by Penguin Classics
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Jan 14, 2011 Jesse rated it it was amazing
These are philosophical essays that reconcile one to life in a chauvinistic, racist, sexist, imperialist, jingoist, anti-intellectual, metaphysically capitalist society like the one we in the U.S. have to put up with. To the degree that these give comfort, I think they are worthwhile, especially for those who wish to get involved in networking, organizing and alternative institution-building because that is work desperately needed right now and with it comes many emotional and spiritual adversit ...more
Mary Catelli
Some treastises, some letters. . . reflections on life, and philosophy. Also views of ancient Roman life. It's interesting to read an account of a philosopher who scorns to look for a runaway slave on the grounds that if the slave can live without him, it's disgraceful that he can't live without the slave.
Jason Kirk
Feb 24, 2014 Jason Kirk rated it really liked it
Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, contemporary of Jesus, and the original antifragilist (see also: Nassim Nicholas Taleb's Antifragile ).

Dialogues and Letters collects "On the Shortness of Life," "On Tranquility of Mind," and extracts from "Natural Questions," and it served as my introduction to a mind that I'll probably continue to study for the duration of my days.

Although no English translation of Seneca's writings holds a candle to the University o
Care to read the thoughts of a man chosen to tutor an emperor? Seneca the Younger lived in the opening century of the Roman Empire, and was such an accomplished author that even the early Roman Church tried to claim him. I've previously read a collection of his letters (Letters from a Stoic), part of an exchange between Seneca and his friend Lucilius, but Analogs and Essays is far more sharply focused. The theme of the letters ran toward the general; here, Seneca writes on particular topics, beg ...more
Christian Jespersen
Mar 25, 2016 Christian Jespersen rated it really liked it
I have read Meditations and The art of Living. Both of them I enjoyed more than these books/letters.

I simply found that there was too long between those truly inspiring and timeless guidings, which Meditations was full of.
The last book is still unread, but I needed a break from this kind of reading.
Sep 17, 2012 Kevin rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
Stoic thought in the format of dialogues to mother and some friends & letters recording travels and advice. Liked the dialogue with Serenus on tranquility of mind which deals with questions of moral purpose. Good intro to stoicism via this Roman statesman. Hope to keep reading this genre more with time.
Apr 14, 2015 Marcella rated it liked it
This book did not meet my expectations, but party it is my fault. I should have gone for Letter to a Stoic, by the same author as I was more interested in Seneca's philosophical thought and not his literature. Obviously, I did find some his philosophy but maybe not at the extend I had expected it.
Brian Darvell
Jan 14, 2015 Brian Darvell rated it liked it
Good introduction to Seneca but I think his "Letters from a Stoic" or Marcus Aurelius' Meditations would be better first choices to Stoicism. Also, this book has such a density of thought to it that multiple readings are required for even moderate understanding of his messages.
Nov 14, 2015 Richard rated it really liked it
An excellent collection of works of Lucius Annaeus Seneca. Politician, Lawyer, philosopher, and tutor to the man who would become the emperor Nero.

A must read author!
Aug 06, 2010 Ibis3 marked it as to-read
Bilingual edition preferred.
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Lucius Annaeus Seneca (often known simply as Seneca) (ca. 4 BC – 65 AD) was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He was tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero. While he was later forced to commit suicide for alleged complicity in the Pisonian conspiracy to assassinate Nero, the last of the Julio-Claudian emperors, he may ...more
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“No man is crushed by misfortune unless he has first been deceived by prosperity” 32 likes
“Според вас, стоиците, храбрият ще се излага на опасности." Ни най-малко; той не ще се бои от тях, но ще ги избягва. Предпазливостта му подхожда, страхът не. "Какво тогава? Той няма да се уплаши от смъртта, от оковите, от огъня, от другите удари на съдбата, така ли?" Няма. Той знае, че те не са беди, а само изглеждат. Смята ги за празни страхове на човешкия живот. Опиши му плен, камшици, окови, бедност, телесни терзания било от болест, било от неправда. Прибави каквото и да е - той ще го причисли към страховете на лудия. От тези неща могат да се страхуват страхливците. Да не би да смяташ за беда това, до което някой ден ще трябва да прибегнем сами?
Питаш какво е беда. Да отстъпваш пред нещата, наречени беди, и да им жертваш свободата си, заради която трябва да се изтърпява всичко. Свободата изчезва, ако не презрем всичко, което ни надява хомот. Нямаше да се чудят какво подобава на храбрия, ако знаеха какво е храброст...
Сенека, До Серен за твърдостта на мъдрия в: Избрани диалози”
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