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Seneca Letters from a Stoic

Seneca Letters from a Stoic is an easy to read book containing many of Seneca's letters and they are translated into current modern day English. I copied some of the content that interested and inspired me to give you an idea of the content of the book.

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Notes and excerpts from seneca letters from a stoic


From the Introduction

"It is man's duty to live in conformity with the divine will, and this leans firstly, bringing his life into line with 'nature's laws' and, secondly, resigning himself completely and uncomplainingly to whatever fate may send him.

"Comforting thoughts (provided they are not of a discreditable kind( contribute to a person's cure; anything which raises his spirits benefits him physically as well."

"The search for happiness has brought with it much unhappiness."

"Indeed, the source of all our fears is the erroneous belief that happiness is somewhere else."

"the pursuit of happiness becomes the goal rather than happiness itself."

Seneca's Wikipedia page



"It is philosophy that has the duty of protecting us...without it no one can lead a life free of fear or worry."

For several years of his turbulent life, Seneca was the guiding hand of the Roman Empire. His inspired reasoning derived mainly from the Stoic principles, which had originally been developed some centuries earlier in Athens. This selection of Seneca's letters shows him upholding the austere 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.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.