aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Seneca, On Tranquillity of Mind 17.5

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Seneca uses a farming analogy to argue that we must not overwork.

danda est animis remissio: meliores acrioresque requieti surgent. ut fertilibus agris non est imperandum (cito enim illos exhauriet numquam intermissa fecunditas), ita animorum impetus assiduus labor franget; vires recipient paulum resoluti et remissi. nascitur ex assiduitate laborum animorum hebetatio quaedam et languor.

We must give our minds a break: they will rise up better and sharper after being rested. Just as fertile fields must not be forced to produce (for fruitfulness which is never allowed a break will quickly exhaust them), so unremitting work will diminish the vigour of our minds; they will regain their strength little by little if they have been unyoked and allowed to relax. From unbroken labours is born a certain dullness and languor in our minds.


Written by aleatorclassicus

September 20, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Seneca the Younger

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