Dialogues and Essays, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


'No man is crushed by misfortune unless he has first been deceived by prosperity.' In these dialogues and essays the Stoic philosopher Seneca outlines his thoughts on how to live in a troubled world.

Tutor to the young emperor Nero, Seneca wrote exercises in practical philosophy that draw upon contemporary Roman life and illuminate the intellectual concerns of the day.

They also have much to say to the modern reader, as Seneca ranges widely across subjects such as the shortness of life, tranquillity of mind, anger, mercy, happiness, and grief at the loss of a loved one.

Seneca's accessible, aphoristic style makes his writing especially attractive as an introduction to Stoic philosophy, and belies its reputation for austerity and dogmatism.

This edition combines a clear and modern translation with an introduction to Seneca's life and philosophical interests, and helpful notes.

ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literary essays
  • ISBN: 9780199552405



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Unlike the conceptual analysis of metaphysics found in say, the writings of Plato, Seneca takes a much more practical approach to his essays. Mainly consisting of ways to deal with everyday life, Seneca was amongst a troublesome context in Roman times dealing with sickness and evil emperors (that he had to tutor) therefore was unsure if he would be alive the next day, this is best exemplified in my favorite essay here ‘On The Shortness of Life’ which is diabolically modern in its approach to enjoying life in the present, amor fati, similar to Buddhism but not expecting as much as they did, not asking you to give up everything just asking you to live a modest life, not get carried away in excess, control anger, and all the while using the finest of examples from his old world.

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