Letters from a Stoic.

Epistulae morales ad Lucilium (The Penguin classics L210)

254 pages

English language

Published Dec. 14, 1969 by Penguin.


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4 stars (8 reviews)

This selection of Seneca's letters shows him upholding the ethical ideals of Stoicism—the wisdom of the self-possessed person immune to overmastering emotions and life’s setbacks—while valuing friendship and the courage of ordinary men, and criticizing the harsh treatment of slaves and the cruelties in the gladiatorial arena. The humanity and wit revealed in Seneca’s interpretation of Stoicism is a moving and inspiring declaration of the dignity of the individual mind

3 editions

Interesting more from a historical perspective

4 stars

Definitely not as engaging as Meditations, but still interesting, as much for what it reveals about upper class Roman life as it does about Stoicism.

Heated tubs connected to the ocean, criticism of "night owls", debates about real locations of places mentioned in the Odyssey that we're still having today, and people gossiping about Sappho's sex life.

It really makes me feel like not much has changed between now and then other than the technology of distributing information.

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  • Ethics -- Early works to 1800
  • Conduct of life -- Early works to 1800