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05 February 2018

While looking for things to listen to while working that are less-stimulating than music, interviews, etc. I found out that this random guy on youtube does a great reading of the Stoic philosopher Seneca's 'On the shortness of life'.

Great line: “You’re like ordinary mortals in fearing everything, you’re like immortals in coveting everything.”

The Youtuber also reads aloud Seneca's Moral Letters to Lucilius, which contain two quotes I really liked when I first came across them:

1) “Most men ebb and flow in wretchedness between the fear of death and the hardships of life; they are unwilling to live, and yet they do not know how to die.”

2) And (this is great), Seneca's condemnation of the gladiatorial games. He was prescient (compared to his time and culture) about the ignobility of this practice.

“Not nothing is so damaging to good character as the habit of lounging at the games… I come home more greedy, more ambitious, more voluptuous, and even more cruel and inhuman, because I have been among human beings… The outcome of every fight is death, and the means are fire and sword. This sort of thing goes on while the arena is empty. You may retort: “But he was a highway robber; he killed a man!” And what of it? Granted that, as a murderer, he deserved this punishment, what crime have you committed, poor fellow, that you should deserve to sit and see this show?”

posted by: firas at: 18:47 | Leave a comment

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