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By Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BCE–65 CE) was once a Roman Stoic thinker, dramatist, statesman, and adviser to the emperor Nero, all throughout the Silver Age of Latin literature. the full Works of Lucius Annaeus Seneca is a clean and compelling sequence of latest English-language translations of his works in 8 obtainable volumes. Edited by means of world-renowned classicists Elizabeth Asmis, Shadi Bartsch, and Martha C. Nussbaum, this attractive assortment restores Seneca—whose works were hugely praised by way of sleek authors from Desiderius Erasmus to Ralph Waldo Emerson—to his rightful position one of the classical writers most generally studied within the humanities.

Anger, Mercy, Revenge comprises 3 key writings: the ethical essays On Anger and On Clemency—which have been penned as recommendation for the then younger emperor, Nero—and the Apocolocyntosis, a super satire lampooning the tip of the reign of Claudius. good friend and show, in addition to thinker, Seneca welcomed the age of Nero in tones alternately severe, poetic, and comic—making Anger, Mercy, Revenge a piece simply as advanced, astute, and bold as its author.

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Sample text

But the good man will regard their advantage without indignation, just as he will regard their crimes without anger: a good judge condemns things worthy of reproof, he doesn’t hate them. 105 For as Zeno says, in the wise man’s mind too the scar will 29 on anger remain even when the wound has healed. He will therefore feel some hints and shadows of the passions, but he will be free of the passions themselves. 106 That would be true if, like the arms of war, they could be taken up and put off at the judgment of the one who dons them.

At times, killing is the best sort of pity. (4) If I had entered an army’s infirmary or a rich man’s house as a medical expert,102 I would not have prescribed the same remedy for all those suffering from diverse ailments. Now I’ve been recruited to heal the community, I see that so many minds offer a range of vices. Medication should be sought according to each individual’s illness: let this man be healed by a modest sense of restraint, that man by some time spent abroad, another by pain, yet another by deprivation, and this one by the sword.

Then, in the balance of the book, Seneca offers advice on ways to avoid anger (we will consider the nature of the advice below). 1). But matters are not so straightforward. 10–38). 2). 39–40), that our attention is reclaimed by cure, properly so-called, now aided by the detachment that is possible when the sufferer is not oneself. 4), there really should be no cure, beyond the slender hope of grabbing some random outcropping just as you go over the chasm’s rim. If prevention, then, is vastly the more important goal of Seneca’s “therapy,” we should consider the main lines of the advice he gives and, in particular, the way that advice responds to the critical elements of anger’s syllogism: A: Seeking what is good for me is appropriate.

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