Saturday, March 18, 2006 03/24/06-Seneca

In today's excerpt, the philosophy of Seneca (4BC-AD65):

"...the scion of an established family, he was sent to Rome to be educated, and he remained there to pursue a career in government.

The Emperor Claudius banished him to the island of Corsica...mistakenly believing that Seneca had committed adultery with his own niece. Eventually, Seneca was restored to his position at the imperial court...and amassed great riches, under...the infamous Nero.

...Seneca was ordered to kill himself when the paranoid Nero (wrongly) suspected him of treachery.

...Faced with impossible moral dilemmas, Seneca took refuge in the Stoic values of detachment and indifference, and found that those values could bring him happiness even in circumstances more dreadful than he could have imagined...Emboldened by the Stoic belief that happiness is independent of mere circumstance, he accepted the 'blessings of fortune' without embarrassment or shame, yet remained fully prepared to relinquish them at a moment's notice..."

Independent Extra, 17 March, 2006, p. IV


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