Letter 14: On the reasons for withdrawing from the world

I confess that we all have an inborn affection for our body; I confess that we are entrusted with its guardianship. I do not maintain that the body is not to be indulged at all; but I maintain that we must not be slaves to it. He will have many masters who makes his body […]

Letter 13: On Groundless Fears

Podcast: Play in new window | EmbedI know that you have plenty of spirit; for even before you began to equip yourself with maxims which were wholesome and potent to overcome obstacles, you were taking pride in your contest with Fortune; and this is all the more true, now that you have grappled with Fortune […]

Letter 12: On Old Age

Podcast: Play in new window | EmbedWherever I turn, I see evidences of my advancing years. I visited lately my country-place, and protested against the money which was spent on the tumble-down building. My bailiff maintained that the flaws were not due to his own carelessness; “he was doing everything possible, but the house was […]

Letter 11: On the Blush of Modesty

Podcast: Play in new window | Embed Your friend and I have had a conversation. He is a man of ability; his very first words showed what spirit and understanding he  possesses, and what progress  he  has  already made. He  gave  me  a foretaste, and he will not fail to answer thereto. For he spoke […]

Letter 10: On Living to Oneself

Podcast: Play in new window | EmbedYes, I do not change my opinion: avoid the many, avoid the few, avoid even the individual. I know of no one with whom I should be willing to have you shared. And see what an opinion of you I have; for I dare to trust you with your […]

Letter 9: On Philosophy and Friendship

Podcast: Play in new window | EmbedYou desire to know whether Epicurus is right when, in one of his letters, he rebukes those who hold that the wise man is self-sufficient and for that reason does not stand in need of friendships. This is the objection raised by Epicurus against Stilbo and those who believe […]

Letter 8: On the Philosopher’s Seclusion

Podcast: Play in new window | Embed“Do you bid me,” you say, “shun the throng, and withdraw from men, and be content with my own conscience? Where are the counsels of your school, which order a man to die in the midst of active work?” As to the course which I seem to you to […]

Letter 7: On Crowds

Podcast: Play in new window | EmbedDo you ask me what you should regard as especially to be avoided? I say, crowds; for as yet you cannot trust yourself to them with safety. I shall admit my own weakness, at any rate; for I never bring back home the same character that I took abroad […]

Letter 6: On Sharing Knowledge

Podcast: Play in new window | EmbedI feel, my dear Lucilius, that I am being not only reformed, but transformed. I do not yet, however, assure myself, or indulge the hope, that there are no elements left in me which need to be changed. Of course there are many that should be made more compact, […]

Letter 5: On The Philosopher’s Mean

Podcast: Play in new window | EmbedBy Lucius Annaeus Seneca I commend you and rejoice in the fact that you are persistent in your studies, and that, putting all else aside, you make it each day your endeavour to become a better man. I do not merely exhort you to keep at it; I actually beg […]