Anger, mercy, revenge by Lucius Annaeus Seneca

By Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BCE–65 CE) used to be a Roman Stoic thinker, dramatist, statesman, and adviser to the emperor Nero, all in the course of the Silver Age of Latin literature. the total Works of Lucius Annaeus Seneca is a clean and compelling sequence of recent 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 Seneca—whose works were hugely praised by way of glossy 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 train, 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 impressive as its author.

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Of course! But reasoned scolding, without anger; for the point is not to do harm, but to heal under the guise of harming. 65 (2) To be sure, a physician, when faced with mild disorders, at first tries a slight modification of the daily regimen: he imposes some order on food, drink, and exercise and thereby tries to build up the person’s health simply by making his way of life coherent. The next thing is to let moderation do some good. If moderation and order do no good, the physician prunes some elements of the regimen away; if the patient still doesn’t respond, the physician forbids him food and tries to unburden his body with fasting.

For if it’s appropriate for a good man to become angry at wicked deeds, it will also be appropriate to become indignant at the good fortunes of wicked men. Indeed, what’s more worthy of indignation than the fact that certain people flourish and abuse the kindness of fortune when no fortune bad enough to suit them can be found? But the good man will regard their advantage without indignation, just as he will regard their crimes without anger: a good judge condemns things worthy of reproof, he doesn’t hate them.

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. (5) Next, I put this question: is anger more powerful than reason, or weaker?

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