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Seneca, Thyestes 344-349

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regem non faciunt opes,
non vestis Tyriae color,
non frontis nota regia,
non auro nitidae fores;
rex est qui posuit metus
et diri mala pectoris.

Riches do not make a king, nor clothing of Tyrian hue, nor the mark of royalty on the brow, nor doors gleaming with gold. A king is he who has put aside fear and the evil desires of an ill-boding heart.

Written by aleatorclassicus

September 22, 2013 at 12:00 PM

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Seneca the Younger, Phaedra 469-473

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The disasters that would happen without the power of Love.

excedat agedum rebus humanis Venus,
quae supplet ac restituit exhaustum genus:
orbis iacebit squalido turpis situ,
vacuum sine ullis piscibus stabit mare,
alesque caelo derit et silvis fera,
solis et aer pervius ventis fuit.

Come, let Venus depart from human affairs, she who makes good and restores the worn-out race; the world will lie foul in neglected squalor; the sea will stand empty, without any fish; the sky will be without birds, the woods without beasts, and the sky will be a path only for the winds.

Written by aleatorclassicus

August 13, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Seneca the Younger

Seneca the Younger, On Anger 1.1.2

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quidam itaque e sapientibus viris iram dixerunt brevem insaniam.

So some of the wise men have said that anger is a ‘brief madness’.

Written by aleatorclassicus

April 12, 2013 at 12:00 PM

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Seneca, Letters to Lucilius 55.1

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a gestatione cum maxime venio, non minus fatigatus quam si tantum ambulassem quantum sedi; labor est enim et diu ferri, ac nescio an eo maior quia contra naturam est, quae pedes dedit ut per nos ambularemus, oculos ut per nos videremus. debilitatem nobis indixere deliciae, et quod diu noluimus posse desimus.

When I get home from being carried in my sedan chair, I am no less tired than if I had walked the same distance that I had sat down for; it’s hard work to be carried for a long time, perhaps all the more so in that it is contrary to nature, which gave us feet so that we could walk for ourselves, just as it gave us eyes so that we could see for ourselves. Our luxuriousness has inflicted this infirmity upon us, and we have become unable to do what we have long been unwilling to do.

These philosophical considerations don’t seem to have encouraged Seneca to actually do some walking of his own though…

Written by aleatorclassicus

December 4, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Seneca the Younger

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius 75.1

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minus tibi accuratas a me epistulas mitti quereris. quis enim accurate loquitur nisi qui vult putide loqui?

You complain that the letters I send to you are less carefully written than they might be. Well, yes they are, but who speaks carefully, apart from someone who wants to speak in an affected way?

Written by aleatorclassicus

November 1, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Seneca the Younger

Seneca, On the Constancy of a Wise Man 17.1

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in senatu flentem vidimus Fidum Cornelium, Nasonis Ovidi generum, cum illum Corbulo struthocamelum depilatum dixisset.

We have seen Cornelius Fidus,¬†the son-in-law of Ovid, weeping in the Senate when Corbulo had called him a ‘plucked ostrich’.

Written by aleatorclassicus

August 31, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Seneca the Younger

Seneca the Younger, Letters to Lucilius 2.6

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quis sit divitiarum modus quaeris? primus habere quod necesse est, proximus quod sat est.

Do you ask what is the right amount of wealth? It is, first, to have what is necessary, then to have what is enough.

 

Written by aleatorclassicus

August 4, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Seneca the Younger

Seneca, Mad Hercules 178

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dum fata sinunt vivite laeti.

While the fates allow it, live happily.

Written by aleatorclassicus

April 22, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Seneca the Younger

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius 58.1

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Seneca makes the familiar complaint of philosophical Romans that the Latin language just isn’t up to expressing the ideas of Greek philosophers.

quanta verborum nobis paupertas, immo egestas sit, numquam magis quam hodierno die intellexi. mille res inciderunt, cum forte de Platone loqueremur, quae nomina desiderarent nec haberent, quaedam vero <quae> cum habuissent fastidio nostro perdidissent. quis autem ferat in egestate fastidium?

Never have I understood more than today how great is the poverty – or rather destitution! – of our vocabulary. When we happened to be conversing about Plato, a¬†thousand things cropped up which needed names but didn’t have them; indeed there were some which, although they did used to have names, had lost them through our fastidiousness. But who would put up with fastidiousness in destitution?

Written by aleatorclassicus

February 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Seneca the Younger

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius 70.4

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non enim vivere bonum est, sed bene vivere. itaque sapiens vivet quantum debet, non quantum potest.

For what is good is not to be alive, but to live well. Therefore the wise man will live for as long as he ought, not for as long as he can.

Written by aleatorclassicus

April 30, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Seneca the Younger