Letters from a Stoic: Volume I (Volume 1)

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9781523905102: Letters from a Stoic: Volume I (Volume 1)

"Sometimes even to live is an act of courage."

- Seneca.

Written over two thousand years ago, Seneca’s moral letters to his friend Lucilius – aka Letters from a Stoic - still holds the power to enthrall. For a new generation of Stoic students and practitioners (and the merely curious), this lively, timeless guide to living the good life is essential reading. The epistles were written by Seneca at the end of his life, during his retirement, after he had worked for the Emperor Nero for fifteen years. They are addressed to Lucilius, the then procurator of Sicily, although he is known only through Seneca's writings. Whether or not Seneca and Lucilius actually corresponded, or whether in fact Seneca created the work as a form of fiction, is not clear from the historical record.

This is the first volume of the Letters, Epistles I-LXV.

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About the Author:

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.

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