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Cartas morales a Lucilio: Jaime Bofill y Ferro – Lucius Annaeus Seneca – Google Books

The Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium Latin for “Moral Letters to Lucilius “also known as the Moral Epistles and Letters from a Stoicis a collection of letters which were written by Seneca the Younger at the end of his life, during his retirement, and written after he had worked for the Emperor Nero for more than ten years.

They are addressed to Luciliusthe then procurator of Sicilyalthough he 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 before proceeding to an issue or principle that is abstracted from it.

The result is 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. The Letters were probably written in the last three years of Seneca’s life. It is generally agreed that the letters are arranged in the order in which they were written.


Letter 23 cartws to a cold spring, presumably in The letters are arranged in twenty manuscript volumes, but the collection is not complete.

Collectively the letters constitute Seneca’s longest work. These letters all start with the phrase ” Seneca Lucilio suo salutem ” “Seneca greets his Lucilius” and end with the word ” Vale ” “Farewell”. In these letters, Seneca gives Lucilius advice on how to become a more devoted Stoic. Some of the letters include “On Noise” and “Asthma”.

Others include letters on “the influence of the masses” and “how to deal with one’s slaves”.

Although they deal with Seneca’s personal style of Stoic philosophy, they also give us valuable insights into daily life in ancient Rome. There is a general tendency throughout the letters to open proceedings with an observation of a specific and usually rather minor incident, which then digresses to a far wider exploration of an issue or principle that is abstracted from it. Seneca’s letters are focused on the inner-life, and the joy which comes from wisdom.

Underlying a large number of the letters moralse a concern with death on the one hand a central topic of Stoic philosophy, and one embodied in Seneca’s observation that we are “dying every day” and suicide licilio the other, a key consideration given Seneca’s deteriorating political position and the common use of forced suicide as a method of elimination of figures deemed to be oppositional to the Emperor’s power and rule. Early letters often conclude with a maxim to meditate on, although this strategy is over by the thirtieth letter.

The language and style of the letters is quite varied, and this reflects the fact that they are a mixture of private conversation and literary fiction. As an example, there is a mix of different vocabulary, incorporating technical terms in fields such as medicine, law and navigation as well as colloquial terms and philosophical ones.


In addition there are neologisms and hapax legomena.

The oldest manuscripts of the letters date from the ninth-century. Michel mlrales Montaigne was influenced by his reading of Seneca’s letters, [21] and he modelled his Essays on them. There have been several full translations of the letters ever since Thomas Lodge included a translation in his complete works of There have been many selected and abridged translations of Seneca’s letters. The work is also the source for the phrase non scholae sed vitae: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium luciluo illuminated manuscript, Laurentian Library. The Wall Street Lucilik. Retrieved 27 June Stoicism categories logic passions physics Neostoicism.

Letters to Lucilius Essays: Retrieved from ” https: Philosophical works by Seneca the Younger Ethics literature. Views Read Edit View history.

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