By Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Aubrey Stewart
Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BCE65 CE) used to be a Roman Stoic thinker, dramatist, statesman, and consultant to the emperor Nero, all through the Silver Age of Latin literature. the full Works of Lucius Annaeus Seneca is a clean and compelling sequence of latest English-language translations of his works in 8 obtainable volumes. Edited via world-renowned classicists Elizabeth Asmis, Shadi Bartsch, and Martha C. Nussbaum, this attractive assortment restores Senecawhose works were hugely praised by way of sleek authors from Desiderius Erasmus to Ralph Waldo Emersonto his rightful position one of the classical writers most generally studied within the humanities.
On Benefits, written among fifty six and sixty four CE, is a treatise addressed to Seneca’s shut pal Aebutius Liberalis. The longest of Seneca’s works facing a unmarried subjecthow to offer and obtain merits and the way to precise gratitude appropriatelyOn merits is the one whole paintings on what we now name gift trade” to outlive from antiquity. advantages have been of significant own importance to Seneca, who remarked in a single of his later letters that philosophy teaches, certainly else, to owe and pay off advantages well.
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17. 13 is all that is left of it), which seems to have contained a quaestio about the magnitude of beneﬁts received, Seneca raises a new and ﬁnal issue that brings into sharper focus a central question raised previously in various ways throughout the treatise. 1), Seneca goes to the heart of his central claims: that one’s attitude and sincere endeavor are what makes any action what it is. External and tangible success is not required, but true eﬀorts are. 3–5). Here as elsewhere in the treatise, Seneca is careful to distinguish ﬁnancial obligation, where best eﬀorts are not suﬃcient, from the obligation to repay a favor, which operates on a diﬀerent level even though the language of giving and receiving, owing and repaying is so deceptively similar.
6) But suppose that someone is so dedicated to the Greeks that he thinks these questions are vital. Even so, no one will think it matters what names Hesiod gave the Graces. He called the eldest Aglaea, the middle one Euphrosyne, and the youngest Thalia. Each authority twists the interpretation of these names as it suits him, trying to reduce them to some orderly plan; in fact, though, Hesiod just assigned to the girls the names that he felt like giving them. I could ﬁnd you another poet who portrays the Graces as tightly girded, and as going about in thick Phryxian wool garments.
And so we are tempted to wish misfortune on those who have aided us, just so that we can ﬁnally repay them. 25–43). By now Seneca’s solution is evident to the reader: that we repay beneﬁt with our good will and intangible assistance, not necessarily with material goods. We should be content to remain in the debt of our benefactors, prepared to do something for them as soon as possible, relaxed and conﬁdent about the good will of both parties involved. The point is driven home with a characteristic range of historical examples from Roman and Greek culture and history.
On benefits by Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Aubrey Stewart