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- DescriptionSometimes even to live is an act of courage. Seneca composed the Consolations while in exile on Corsica during 40-44 AD and used each opportunity to show off in writing his trendy Stoic ideas about life and the universe. His three letters of condolences De Consolatione ad Marciam, De Consolatione ad Polybium and De Consolatione ad Helviam caused a sensation in Rome when they were circulated and before long the disgraced aristocrat was recalled from banishment and given the plum appointment of tutor to the young future emperor Nero. In each work Seneca employs many of the rhetorical devices common to the consolatio tradition while incorporating his unique philosophy. His seemingly positive outlook on his own exile follows the Stoic principle that one should t be upset by uncontrollable events. This quote from De Consolatione ad Helviam, shows Seneca's presentation of his life as tolerable, and even spiritually enjoyable: I am joyous and cheerful, as if under the best of circumstances. And indeed, w they are the best, since my spirit, devoid of all other preoccupations, has room for its own activities, and either delights in easier studies or rises up eager for the truth, to the consideration of its own nature as well as that of the universe... De Consolatione ad Polybium is the definitive representation of the part of Seneca's life he spent in exile. He reaches out to Polybius, the Emperor's secretary, to console him on the death of his brother. The essay focuses on the inescapable reality of death. There are more philosophical abstractions concerning Stoic precepts of life and death in De Consolatione ad Marciam. Marcia actively mourned the death of her son Metilius for over three years. Seneca attempts to convince her that that the fate of her son, while tragic, should t have been a surprise. She knew many other mothers who had lost their sons; why should she expect her own son to survive her? The ackwledgement, even expectation, of the worst of all possible outcomes is a tenet of Seneca's Stoic philosophy. While Seneca sympathized with Marcia, he reminded her that we are born into a world of things which are all destined to die, and that if she could accept that one is guaranteed a just life (that is, one in which sons always outlive their mothers), she could finally end her mourning and live the rest of her life in peace. Like Letters From A Stoic (Epistulae Moralis Ad Lucilium), the Consolations are personal addresses but read more like essays than intimate letters. Both works are essential reading for students of Seneca and Stoicism in general. *Includes biographical essay 'Seneca The Stoic.'
- Author BiographyLucius Annaeus Seneca, statesman, philosopher, advocate and man of letters, was born at Cordoba in Spain around 4 BC. He rose to prominence in Rome, pursuing a career in the courts and political life, for which he had been trained, while also acquiring celebrity as an author of tragedies and essays. Falling foul of successive emperors (Caligula in AD 39 and Claudius in AD 41), he spent eight years in exile, allegedly for an affair with Caligula's sister. Recalled in AD 49, he was made praetor and was appointed tutor to the boy who was to become, in AD 54, the emperor Nero. On Nero's succession, Seneca acted for some eight years as an unofficial chief minister. The early part of this reign was remembered as a period of sound government, for which the main credit seems due to Seneca. His control over Nero declined as enemies turned the emperor against him with representations that his popularity made him a danger, or with accusations of immorality or excessive wealth. Retiring from public life he devoted his last three years to philosophy and writing, particularly the Letters to Lucilius. In AD 65 following the discovery of a plot against the emperor, in which he was thought to be implicated, he and many others were compelled by Nero to commit suicide. His fame as an essayist and dramatist lasted until two or three centuries ago, when he passed into literary oblivion, from which the twentieth century has seen a considerable recovery.
- PublisherCreatespace Independent Publishing Platform
- Date of Publication05/04/2015
- FormatPaperback / softback
- SubjectCoping with Problems & Illness
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintCreatespace Independent Publishing Platform
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight118 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine4 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US),Unsewn / adhesive bound
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