By Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BCE–65 CE) used to be a Roman Stoic thinker, dramatist, statesman, and adviser to the emperor Nero, all through the Silver Age of Latin literature. the total Works of Lucius Annaeus Seneca is a clean and compelling sequence of recent English-language translations of his works in 8 available volumes. Edited via world-renowned classicists Elizabeth Asmis, Shadi Bartsch, and Martha C. Nussbaum, this attractive assortment restores Seneca—whose works were hugely praised by means of glossy authors from Desiderius Erasmus to Ralph Waldo Emerson—to his rightful position one of the classical writers most generally studied within the humanities.
Anger, Mercy, Revenge comprises 3 key writings: the ethical essays On Anger and On Clemency—which have been penned as suggestion for the then younger emperor, Nero—and the Apocolocyntosis, a super satire lampooning the tip of the reign of Claudius. good friend and show, in addition to thinker, Seneca welcomed the age of Nero in tones alternately critical, poetic, and comic—making Anger, Mercy, Revenge a piece simply as advanced, astute, and bold as its author.
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Additional info for Anger, mercy, revenge
Were that not the case, if they knew love and hate, they would also know friendship and animosity, disagreement and harmony. And though some traces of these things exist even in animals, they’re the proper possession—for good and ill alike—of human hearts. (7) Only the human being has been allotted practical wisdom, foresight, scrupulousness, deliberation: animals are barred not only from human virtues, but also from human vices. Their entire constitution, inside and out, is unlike the human: their ruling principle59 is differently fashioned.
To be sure, we can appropriately prefer health to sickness and do what we reasonably can to acquire what we prefer. But we must never mistake what we prefer for what is good in itself, or seek what we prefer as though it were an end in itself. That the unique good is also uniquely in our control is fundamentally good news, and in that respect Stoicism is fundamentally optimistic. But for virtually all of us there is, as I have noted, a difficulty: because our intellectual development is incomplete, and because that development tends to be debased or misdirected by our upbringing and by broader cultural influences, we almost certainly on anger 6 will misidentify external objects as genuine goods or evils, and we will therefore make choices—at least very regularly, and in most cases almost always—unmindful of what is truly good.
As madmen exhibit specific symptoms—a bold and threatening expression, a knitted brow, a fierce set of the features, a quickened step, restless hands, a changed complexion, frequent, very forceful sighing—so do angry people show the same symptoms: (4) their eyes blaze and flicker, their faces flush deeply as the blood surges up from the depths of the heart,37 their lips quiver and their teeth grind, their hair bristles and stands on end, their breathing is forced and ragged, their joints crack as they’re wrenched,38 they groan and bellow, their speech is inarticulate and halting, they repeatedly clap their hands together and stamp the ground, their entire bodies are aroused as they “act out anger’s massive menace,”39 they have the repellent and terrifying features of people who are deformed and bloated—it would be hard to say whether the vice is more abhorrent or disfiguring.
Anger, mercy, revenge by Lucius Annaeus Seneca