Seneca's Dialogues?as his epistolary essays have traditionally been known? capture the full range of the Roman thinker?s philosophical interests, in particular Stoicism and his unique interpretation of it. Seneca?s writings on subjects such as the shortness of life, anger, tranquility of mind, and consolations for grief on the loss of a loved one, are strikingly applicable to our modern world. The Complete Dialogues are collected here: On the Shortness of Life (De Brevitate Vitae), Of a Happy Life (De Vita Beata), Of Providence (De Providentia), On the Firmness of the Wise Man (De Constantia Sapientis), Of Anger (De Ira), Of Leisure (De Otio), Of Peace of Mind (De Tranquillitate Animi) and Of Clemency (De Clementia).
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About the Author
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, statesman, philosopher, advocate and man of letters, was born at Cordoba in Spain around 4 BC. He rose to prominence in Rome, pursuing a career in the courts and political life, for which he had been trained, while also acquiring celebrity as an author of tragedies and essays. Falling foul of successive emperors (Caligula in AD 39 and Claudius in AD 41), he spent eight years in exile, allegedly for an affair with Caligula's sister. Recalled in AD 49, he was made praetor and was appointed tutor to the boy who was to become, in AD 54, the emperor Nero. On Nero's succession, Seneca acted for some eight years as an unofficial chief minister. The early part of this reign was remembered as a period of sound government, for which the main credit seems due to Seneca. His control over Nero declined as enemies turned the emperor against him with representations that his popularity made him a danger, or with accusations of immorality or excessive wealth. Retiring from public life he devoted his last three years to philosophy and writing, particularly the Letters to Lucilius. In AD 65 following the discovery of a plot against the emperor, in which he was thought to be implicated, he and many others were compelled by Nero to commit suicide. His fame as an essayist and dramatist lasted until two or three centuries ago, when he passed into literary oblivion, from which the twentieth century has seen a considerable recovery.