De Vita Beata or On the Happy Life is a dialogue written by Seneca the Younger around the year 58 AD. It was intended for his older brother Gallio, to whom Seneca also dedicated his dialogue entitled De Ira (On Anger). It is divided into 28 chapters that present the moral thoughts of Seneca at their most mature. Seneca explains that the pursuit of happiness is the pursuit of reason - reason meant t only using logic, but also understanding the processes of nature. This new edition of On the Happy Life from Enhanced Media includes an introduction by William Smith.
Lucius 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. Sir William Smith (20 May 1813 - 7 October 1893) was an English lexicographer. Translator Aubrey Stewart (1844-1918) M. A., was a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.