Seneca (Opera: Naturalium Quaestionum Libri), Do not quarrel with your own good advantage, and, until you shall have made your way to the truth, keep alive this hope in your minds, be willing to receive the news of a better life, and encourage it by your admiration and your prayers; it is to the interest of the commonwealth of mankind that there should be someone who is unconquered, someone against whom fortune has no power. Seneca (On The Shortness of Life – Chapter VI), The time will come when diligent research over periods will bring to light things which now lie hidden…Many discoveries are reserved for ages still to come, when memories of us will have been effaced.
Another beginning awaits us, another status. The only harbour safe from the seething storms of this life is scorn of the future, a firm stand, a readiness to receive Fortune’s missiles full in the breast, neither skulking nor turning the back. The shortest way to wealth is through the contempt of wealth. Whatever happens, he says: “I knew it.”. Whatever fortune he finds, he will accomplish therefrom something noteworthy. Socrates is reported to have replied, when a certain person complained of having received no benefit from his travels: “It serves you right!
“It is nothing—a trifling matter at most; keep a stout heart and it will soon cease”; then in thinking it slight, you will make it slight. Gregory K. Ericksen, (1999), [Seneca] would have denounced the opinion to which most philosophers, tacitly or otherwise, have come round in the last half-century, that it is no part of the business of philosophy to turn people into better persons, as tantamount to desertion or, Robin Campbell, introduction to Seneca's Letters.
It was a great deed to conquer Carthage, but a greater deed to conquer death.
This page was last edited on 18 October 2020, at 20:43. Seneca (On the Happy Life), Men learn while they teach.
Whether we believe the Greek poet, "it is sometimes even pleasant to be mad", or. You are taking pains to no purpose.
Seneca, Ad Lucilium epistulae morales, transl. To whom that ever tried have these tasks proved false? I have passed through all the ills and dangers of the flesh; but nothing seems to me more troublesome than this.
Because in the army the most hazardous services are assigned to the bravest soldiers: a general sends his choicest troops to attack the enemy in a midnight ambuscade, to.
[Mucius] might have accomplished something more successful in that camp, but never anything more brave. What then?
Seneca's virtue shows forth so live and vigorous in his writings, and the defense is so clear there against some of these imputations, as that of his wealth and excessive spending, that I would not believe any testimony to the contrary. Seneca (Natural Questions), That man lives badly who does not know how to die well.
Without philosophy the mind is sickly.
When a person spends all his time in foreign travel, he ends by having many acquaintances, but no.
If weaker, spare him; if stronger, spare thyself.
Seneca, Everyone hurries his life on and suffers from a yearning for the future and a weariness of the present. Seneca (Of Anger – Book II), Ignorance is the cause of fear. Do you seek Alcides' equal?
The point is, not how long you live, but how nobly you live.
Great also are the souls of the defenders—men who know that, as long as the path to death lies open, the blockade is not complete, men who breathe their last in the arms of liberty. It is the quality of a great soul to scorn great things and to prefer that which is ordinary rather than that which is too great. No man has ever been so far advanced by Fortune that she did not threaten him as greatly as she had previously indulged him. For when hastening after wisdom, we must endure even hunger.
Seneca (Thyestes), The part of life we really live is small. And you surely have a right to ask; for it is true that no kind is unknown to me.
Just as we must not force fertile fields (for uninterrupted production will quickly exhaust them), so continual labor will break the power of our minds. A good judge condemns wrongful acts, but does not hate them.
Impurity is caused by attitude, not events.
Tell me what to avoid, what to seek, by what studies to strengthen my tottering mind, how I may rebuff the waves that strike me abeam and drive me from my course, by what means I may be able to cope with all my evils, and by what means I can be rid of the calamities that have plunged in upon me and those into which I myself have plunged. The process is mutual; for. Has been attributed to Seneca since the 1990s (eg. Now make good for me such a course of treatment that I may despise pleasure and glory. They would add to the opening words of a letter: "If you are well, it is well; I also am well." Show me that the good in life does not depend upon life’s length, but upon the use we make of it; also, that it is possible, or rather usual, for a man who has lived long to have lived too little. It comes, then, not as a help to virtue, but as a substitute for it. You assured me that I should be unterrified though swords were flashing round me, though the point of the blade were grazing my throat; you assured me that I should be at ease though fires were blazing round me, or though a sudden whirlwind should snatch up my ship and carry it over all the sea. I shall show you how men can prove their words to be their own: it is by doing what they have been talking about. What profit is there in crossing the sea and in going from one city to another?
Two elements must therefore be rooted out once for all—the fear of future suffering, and the recollection of past suffering; since the latter no longer concerns me, and the former concerns me not yet. There is no sorrow in the world, when we have escaped from the fear of death. We ought not to fly into a rage even when the injury appears to be open and distinct: for some false things bear the semblance of truth. Why should I not regard this as desirable—not because the fire, burns me, but because it does not overcome me?
Seneca (Letters from a Stoic – Letter LXI: On Meeting Death Cheerfully), Good men are at peace among themselves; bad ones are equally mischievous to the good and to one another.
Imagine that nature is saying to us: “Those things of which you complain are the same for all. You see that man can endure toil: Cato, on foot, led an army through African deserts.
Our luxuries have condemned us to weakness; we have ceased to be able to do that which we have long declined to do. I forbid you to be cast down or depressed.
No man expects such exact fidelity as a traitor.
He invites his brother back to the kingdom to ostensibly bury the hatchet but his true intentions are altogether more dark and murderous.
Associate with those who will make a better man of you. But how much more highly do I think of these men!
No one is so ignorant as not to know that we must at some time die; nevertheless, when one draws near death, one turns to flight, trembles, and laments. • It is superior to all, monarch of all it surveys; hence it should be subservient to nothing, finding no task too heavy, and nothing strong enough to weigh down the shoulders of a man. For this reason those who are tossed about at sea, who proceed uphill and downhill over toilsome crags and heights, who go on campaigns that bring the greatest danger, are heroes and front-rank fighters; but persons who live in rotten luxury and ease while others toil, are mere turtle-doves safe only because men despise them. In this line, Seneca adapts a well-known saying. Indeed, have you already advised yourself, already corrected your own faults? Cloudflare Ray ID: 5ecc33db8b330672
Before he became a member of the Senate in Rome, he lived with his aunt in Egypt for a couple years, mainly due to health reasons. It is all the same; you will not be, and you were not. 181-182.
Seneca (On The Shortness of Life – Chapter XV), We are all chained to fortune: the chain of one is made of gold, and wide, while that of another is short and rusty.
He knows his own strength; he knows that he was born to carry burdens. Seneca (Letter to Serenus – On Tranquility of the Mind), Before I became old I tried to live well; now that I am old, I shall try to die well; but dying well means dying gladly. Nay, of a surety, there is something else which plays a part: it is because we are in love with our vices; we uphold them and prefer to make excuses for them rather than shake them off.
Would you know what makes men greedy for the future? For who can be “great” in that which is puny?
Seneca (Letters from a Stoic), Life is divided into three periods – that which has been, that which is, that which will be. By equanimity.
Let words proceed as they please, provided only your soul keeps its own sure order, provided your soul is great and holds unruffled to its ideals, pleased with itself on account of the very things which displease others, a soul that makes life the test of its progress, and believes that its knowledge is in exact proportion to its freedom from desire and its freedom from fear. We mortals have been endowed with sufficient strength by nature, if only we use this strength, if only we concentrate our powers and rouse them all to help us or at least not to hinder us.
Do you desire another case? And this is the vote which [Cato] casts concerning them both: “If Caesar wins, I slay myself; if Pompey, I go into exile.” What was there for a man to fear who, whether in defeat or in victory, had assigned to himself a doom which might have been assigned to him by his enemies in their utmost rage? So the wise man will develop virtue, if he may, in the midst of wealth, or, if not, in poverty; if possible, in his own country—if not, in exile; if possible, as a commander—if not, as a common soldier; if possible, in sound health—if not, enfeebled. How much greater is the promise of the prize of everlasting liberty, and the assurance that we need fear neither God nor man! To what man did they not seem easier in the doing? Most men ebb and flow in wretchedness between the fear of death and the hardships of life; they are unwilling to live, and yet they do not know how to die. “What progress, you ask, have I made? It is not enough if you do not shrink from work; ask for it. Men who have made these discoveries before us are not our masters, but our guides. 1, Letter XIX: On worldliness and retirement, Letter XXII: On the futility of half-way measures, Letter XXVIII: On travel as a cure for discontent, Letter LXVI: On Various Aspects of Virtue, Letter LXVII: On Ill-Health and Endurance of Suffering, Letter LXX: On the proper time to slip the cable, Letter LXXIV: On Virtue as a Refuge From Worldly Distractions, Letter LXXVI: On Learning Wisdom in Old Age, Letter LXXVIII: On the Healing Power of the Mind, Letter LXXXII: On the Natural Fear of Death, Letter LXXXVII: Some arguments in favor of the simple life, Letter LXXXVIII: On liberal and vocational studies, Letter XC: On the Part Played by Philosophy in the Progress of Man, Letter XCI: On the Lesson to be Drawn From the Burning of Lyons, Letter XCV: On the usefulness of basic principles, Letter XCVIII: On the Fickleness of Fortune, Letter XCIX: On Consolation to the Bereaved, Letter CI: On the Futility of Planning Ahead, Letter CIV: On Care of Health and Peace of Mind, Letter CV: On Facing the World With Confidence, Letter CVI: On the corporeality of virtue, Letter CVII: On Obedience to the Universal Will, Letter CVIII: On the Approaches to Philosophy, Letter CIX: On the Fellowship of Wise Men, Letter CXVI: On Real Ethics as Superior to Syllogistic Subtleties, Letter CXXIII: On the conflict between pleasure and virtue, Marcus Calpurnius Flamma, a Roman general in the First Punic War, Seneca's essays in English (at Stoics.com), Original texts of Seneca's works at The Latin Library, https://en.wikiquote.org/w/index.php?title=Seneca_the_Younger&oldid=2879649, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
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