Reading Seneca

Have bought some books by Seneca and Cicero. Have started on Seneca and his ‘Dialogues and Letters’ which is a great piece of writing. Originally I had seen them mentioned in a book review by an author who was talking about their influence on Shakespeare including Ovid which I am yet to look into. I realised that I have barely read any Roman literature at least that I can remember anyway. Sometimes Roman writers are less popular due to Roman society borrowing so much from Greek thought. Seneca is a Stoic thinker…

 

Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BC”

 

…and he uses their philosophy for his general arguments. So even though it isn’t original thinking it is very well written and at times I felt his arguments were well thought out which is what makes his writing so interesting. Admittedly sometimes the arguments can seem a little dated but then he carries the ideas so well that it can be worth it until the very closing argument. Of course the ideas are dated and they are antiquitous but they are still relevant even now. I found myself laughing aloud at times with his delivery of moralisms but I was really enjoying it at the same time.

 

Seneca can really put a convincing argument together and you can see why his writing has lasted through many ups and downs in popularity over countless centuries. The translator has pointed out that the original Latin prose is far more expressive than English and a lot gets lost in translation yet the logical structure of Seneca’s thought is still so strong. He seems to wind up his argument with bends and twists that in the end become quite clear.

My feature image is Marcus Aurelius, he came up in my 
Stoic searches on Google images.

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