Seneca: Selected Philosophical Letters: Translated with Introduction and Commentary

Seneca: Selected Philosophical Letters: Translated with Introduction and Commentary

Paperback Clarendon Later Ancient Philosophers

By (author) Brad Inwood

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 448 pages
  • Dimensions: 138mm x 214mm x 26mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 20 May 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199575622
  • ISBN 13: 9780199575626
  • Sales rank: 487,776

Product description

Seneca's Letters to Lucilius are a rich source of information about ancient Stoicism, an influential work for early modern philosophers, and a fascinating philosophical document in their own right. This selection of the letters aims to include those which are of greatest philosophical interest, especially those which highlight the debates between Stoics and Platonists or Aristotelians in the first century AD, and the issue, still important today, of how technical philosophical enquiry is related to the various purposes for which philosophy is practised. In addition to examining the philosophical content of each letter, Brad Inwood's commentary discusses the literary and historical background of the letters and their relationship with other prose works by Seneca. Seneca is the earliest Stoic author for whom we have access to a large number of complete works, and these works were highly influential in later centuries. He was also a politically influential advisor to the Roman emperor Nero and a celebrated author of prose and verse. His philosophical acuity and independence of mind make his works exciting and challenging for the modern reader. CLARENDON LATER ANCIENT PHILOSOPHERS General Editors: Jonathan Barnes and A. A. Long This series is designed to encourage philosophers and students of philosophy to explore the fertile terrain of later ancient philosophy. The texts range in date from the first century BC to the fifth century AD, and will cover all the parts and all the schools of philosophy. Each volume contains a substantial introduction, an English translation, and a critical commentary on the philosophical claims and arguments of the text. The translations aim primarily at accuracy and fidelity; but they are also readable and accompanied by notes on textual problems that affect the philosophical interpretation. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is assumed.

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Author information

Brad Inwood is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto.

Review quote

Review from previous edition Inwood offers far more than masterful translations ... He also writes a passionate defense of Seneca as a philosopher. The book... provides much needed, modern translations of the highest quality, detailed and utterly helpful commentary, and an on-going argument against the view that Seneca is "merely" a spiritual guide...his commentaries are of the greatest help to students and scholars of ancient philosophy...With the help of Inwood's book, Seneca's philosophical texts turn out to be most fruitfully studied in the context of the wider study of ancient philosophy... we need to read Seneca as students of ancient philosophy, interpreting Seneca's arguments with a view to those theories that Seneca knew and considered relevant. Inwood's new book is of the greatest help for that, and is likely to be the starting-point for future philosophical engagement with the selected letters. Katja Maria Vogt, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews this volume will be of precious assistance to all people who - also being philologists - intend to tackle reading Seneca's Epistles. Francesco Citti, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Table of contents

Introduction ; Translation ; Commentary ; Bibliography ; Index