Anger, mercy, revenge by Lucius Annaeus Seneca

By Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BCE–65 CE) was once a Roman Stoic thinker, dramatist, statesman, and adviser to the emperor Nero, all in the course of 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 enticing assortment restores Seneca—whose works were hugely praised via smooth 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. buddy and show, in addition to thinker, Seneca welcomed the age of Nero in tones alternately severe, poetic, and comic—making Anger, Mercy, Revenge a piece simply as complex, astute, and bold as its author.

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3) Reason and passion, as I said, don’t have separate and distinct dwelling places but are the mind’s transformation to a better and worse condition. How then will a reason that has been seized and overwhelmed by vices resurrect itself once it has yielded to anger? Or how will it free itself from a murky state in which the admixture of baser elements predominates? ” Is it the case, then, that they do nothing that anger dictates, or something? If nothing, then clearly anger is not needed for getting things done—the reason that you were summoning its assistance, as though it had some capacity more robust than reason.

For when it has judged that something should be done, reason perseveres in doing it: because it’s going to find nothing better than itself that should cause it to change, it stands firm once it’s made its decisions. (4) Pity has often turned anger back because, being empty and swollen, it lacks a solid core. It enjoys a violent onset, just like onshore winds and those that arise over rivers and marshes, strong but short-lived:107 (5) after an initial massive assault it droops, prematurely wearied, and the anger that had contemplated nothing but cruelty and novel penalties is already broken and tamed when the punishment must be imposed.

46 It caused one man to shed his blood as his son’s victim, another to expose his royal throat to a slave’s armed hand, another to splay his limbs on the cross. (3) And I’m still talking about punishments visited on individuals; now set aside those whom blazing anger assailed one man at a time and consider whole assemblies mowed down, the common folk butchered when an army was loosed upon them, whole peoples condemned to die in promiscuous slaughter * * * ? 47 (3a) Anger turns everything from what is best and most righteous on anger 16 to the opposite.

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