Translated by Elaine Fantham
|Oxford University Press
|Oxford World\'s Classics
Stoic philosopher and tragedian Seneca's letters to his friend Lucilius are powerful moral essays that are equally illuminating about Seneca's personal life and the turbulent times in which he lived. This is the largest selection of his letters
Elaine Fantham's new translation is accurate and readable. Short headnotes to each letter summarize its themes and parallels with other letters.
The wide-ranging selection includes letters with literary, social, and political content.
The Introduction discusses Seneca's family and political career, his many and varied writings, the nature of the letters as genuine epistles or fiction, their philosophical concerns and social and cultural aspects.
Full explanatory notes gloss customs and persons mentioned and other allusions.
Separate indexes of Persons and of Places and Things.
'You ask what is the proper measure of wealth? The best measure is to have what is necessary, and next best, to have enough. Keep well!'
The letters written by the Stoic philosopher and tragedian Seneca to his friend Lucilius are in effect moral essays, whose purpose is to reinforce Lucilius' struggle to achieve wisdom and serenity, uninfluenced by worldly emotions. Seneca advises his
friend on how to do without what is superfluous, whether on the subject of happiness, riches, reputation, or the emotions. The letters include literary critical discussions, moral exhortation, exemplary heroes and episodes from Roman history, and a lurid
picture of contemporary luxury. We learn about Seneca's household and estates and about life in the time of Nero