Tag Archives: morals

Of Seneca’s Writings

When my son asked me to find and record something by the philospher Lucius Annaeus Seneca, I found his extant writings to be too interesting and specific to record just one; but this introductory article gave me a satisfying overview of his popular quotes from his books that are lost.

I had great fun untangling translator’s Sir Roger L’Estrange’s convoluted language, the way that I learned to with Shakespeare and poetry. I recorded his article true to his wording, and hoped that my phrasing illuminated the meaning for you. Let me know?

I was amused by the list of criticisms against Seneca, including his “tinkling” sentences; but even his critics commended him for his moralizing.

My favorite quick quotes from this article:
“They worship the images of the God…and yet…they have no regard at all to the workman that made it.”
“Philosophers… make me think of gallipots in an apothecary’s shop, that have remedies without and poison within.”
“There is no escaping from our keeper…There is no dividing us from ourselves…He that has a conscience gives evidence against himself.”
“Once in a year people may be allowed to be mad.”

The author of this article was the translator for the book titled, “Seneca’s Morals of a Happy Life, Benefits, Anger and Clemency”. This article was included in that book. You can listen to the article as part of a short nonfiction collection at LibriVox or find the entire book at Gutenberg.

The cover image, text, and recording are in the Public Domain.