Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales (Moral Letters from Seneca) (3 Volumes) Translated by Richard M. Gummere (1917)

Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales by Seneca (3 Volumes) 

Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales of Seneca (3 Volumes)

 

The Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium (Latin for "Moral Letters to Lucilius"), also known as the Moral Epistles and Letters from a Stoic, is a collection of 124 letters that Seneca the Younger wrote at the end of his life, during his retirement, after he had worked for Emperor Nero for more than ten years. 


They are addressed to Lucilius, the then procurator of Sicily, who is known only through Seneca's writings. Regardless of how Seneca and Lucilius actually corresponded, it is clear that Seneca crafted the letters with a broad readership in mind. The letters often begin with an observation on daily life, and then proceed to an issue or principle abstracted from that observation. The result is like a diary or handbook of philosophical meditations. The letters focus on many traditional themes of Stoic philosophy such as the contempt of death, the stout-heartedness of the sage, and virtue as the supreme good.
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Among the personalities of the early Roman Empire, there are few who offer to the readers of today such dramatic interest as does Lucius Annaeus Seneca, the author of the Epistles which are translated in this volume. Born in a province, educated at Rome, prominent at the bar, a distinguished exile, a trusted minister of State, and a doomed victim of a capricious emperor, Seneca is so linked with the age in which he lived that in reading his works we read those of a true representative of the most thrilling period of Roman history. 

Excerpt
Seneca was born in the year 4 B.C., a time of great opportunity, at Corduba, in Spain, son of the talented rhetorician, Annaeus Seneca. We gather that the family moved to Rome during the boyhood of Lucius, that he was educated for the bar, and that he was soon attracted by the Stoic philosophy, the stern nurse of heroes during the first century of the Empire. That his social connexions were distinguished we infer from the prominence and refinement of his brother Gallio,—the Gallio of the New Testament,—from the fact that he himself was noticed and almost condemned to death by Emperor Caligula soon after he began to speak in public.
 
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