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Seneca

On the Shortness of Life

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Life is long if you know how to use it.

From the author of Letters From A Stoic (Epistulae Moralis), comes another brilliant, timeless guide to living well.

Written as a moral essay to his friend Paulinus, Seneca’s biting words still pack a powerful punch two thousand years later. With its brash rejection of materialism, conventional lifestyles and group-think, On The Shortness of Life is as relevant as ever. Seneca anticipates the modern world. It’s a unique expose of how people get caught up in the rat race and how for those stuck in this mindset, enough is never enough. The ‘busy’ individuals of Rome Seneca makes reference to, those people who are too preoccupied with their careers and maintaining social relationships to fully examine the quality of their lives, sound a lot like ourselves.

The message is simple: Life is long if you live it wisely. Don’t waste time worrying about how you look. Don’t be lazy. Don’t over indulge in entertainment and vice. Everything in moderation.

Seneca defends Nature and attacks the lazy. Materialism and a love of trivial knowledge are exposed as key time wasters, along with excess ambition, networking and worrying too much. In this new non-verbatim translation by Damian Stevenson, Seneca’s essay comes alive for the modern reader. Seneca’s formality of language has been preserved but the wording is more attuned to a contemporary ear. This is a rare treat for students of Stoicism and for anyone interested in seeking an answer to the eternal question, “How should I best use my time?”

Includes biographical sketch ‘Seneca The Stoic’ and Seneca image gallery.
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