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Selected from the Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium, Seneca's Letters from a Stoic are a set of 'essays in disguise' from one of the most insightful philosophers of the Silver Age of Roman literature. This Penguin Classics edition is translated from the Latin with an introduction by Robin Campbell. A philosophy that saw self-possession as the key to an existence lived 'in accordance with nature', Stoicism called for the restraint of animal instincts and the severing of emotional ties. These beliefs were formulated by the Athenian followers of Zeno in the fourth century BC, but it was in Seneca that the Stoics found their most eloquent advocate. Stoicism, as expressed in the Letters, helped ease pagan Rome's transition to Christianity, for it upholds upright ethical ideals and extols virtuous living, as well as expressing disgust for the harsh treatment of slaves and the inhumane slaughters witnessed in the Roman arenas. Seneca's major contribution to a seemingly unsympathetic creed was to transform it into a powerfully moving and inspiring declaration of the dignity of the individual mind. Robin Campbell's lucid translation captures Seneca's humour and tautly aphoristic style. In his introduction, he discusses the tensions between Seneca's philosophy and his turbulent career as adviser to the tyrannical emperor Nero. Lucius Annaeus Seneca (c.4BC - AD65) was born in Spain but was raised according to the traditional values of the republic of Rome. In AD48 he became tutor to the future emperor Nero and became his principal civil advisor when he took power. His death was eventually ordered by Nero in AD65, but Seneca anticipated the emperor's decree and committed suicide. If you enjoyed Letters from a Stoic, you might like Marcus Aurelius's Meditations, also available in Penguin Classics.
At its most basic, philosophy is about learning how to think about the world around us. It should come as no surprise, then, that children make excellent philosophers! Naturally inquisitive, pint-size scholars need little prompting before being willing to consider life's "big questions," however strange or impractical. Plato & Co. introduces children and curious grown-ups to the lives and work of famous philosophers, from Socrates to Descartes, Einstein, Marx, and Wittgenstein. Each book in the series features an engaging and often funny story that presents basic tenets of philosophical thought alongside vibrant color illustrations. In Diogenes the Dog-Man, the philosopher Diogenes not only admires the honesty of dogs, he has actually become one sleeping, eating, and lifting his leg to pee wherever he chooses! Best of all, unlike humans, who dupe one another as to their true feelings, Diogenes the Dog-Man is free to bark his displeasure and even bite his adversaries in the calves even if they happen to be Alexander the Great. Initially, the citizens gathered in the Agora think Diogenes is mad. Does he have rabies? But it soon becomes clear that we can all learn a thing or two from dogs about how to live a simple life.
In 1815 a manuscript containing one of the long-lost treasures of antiquity was discovered--the letters of Marcus Cornelius Fronto, reputed to have been one of the greatest Roman orators. But this find disappointed many nineteenth-century readers, who had hoped for the letters to convey all of the political drama of Cicero's. That the collection included passionate love letters between Fronto and the future emperor Marcus Aurelius was politely ignored--or concealed. And for almost two hundred years these letters have lain hidden in plain sight. Marcus Aurelius in Love rescues these letters from obscurity and returns them to the public eye. The story of Marcus and Fronto began in 139 CE, when Fronto was selected to instruct Marcus in rhetoric. Marcus was eighteen then and by all appearances the pupil and teacher fell in love. Spanning the years in which the relationship flowered and died, these are the only love letters to survive from antiquity--homoerotic or otherwise. With a translation that reproduces the effusive, slangy style of the young prince and the rhetorical flourishes of his master, the letters between Marcus and Fronto will rightfully be reconsidered as key documents in the study of the history of sexuality and classics.
What is art's relationship to play? Those interested in this question tend to look to modern philosophy for answers, but, as this book shows, the question was already debated in antiquity by luminaries like Plato and Aristotle. Over the course of eight chapters, this book contextualizes those debates, and demonstrates their significance for theoretical problems today. Topics include the ancient child psychology at the root of the ancient Greek word for 'play' (paidia), the numerous toys that have survived from antiquity, and the meaning of play's conceptual opposite, the 'serious' (spoudaios). What emerges is a concept of play markedly different from the one we have inherited from modernity. Play is not a certain set of activities which unleashes a certain feeling of pleasure; it is rather a certain feeling of pleasure that unleashes the activities we think of as 'play'. As such, it offers a new set of theoretical challenges.
Plato's Symposium, written in the early part of the 4th century BC, is set at a drinking party (symposium) attended by some of the leading intellectuals of the day, including Aristophanes, the comic dramatist, Socrates, Plato's mentor, and Alcibiades, the brilliant but (eventually) treacherous politician. Each guest gives a speech in praise of the benefits of desire and its role in the good and happy human life. At the core of the work stands Socrates' praise of philosophical desire, and an argument for the superiority of the philosophical life as the best route to happiness. This edition provides an accessible and engaging new translation by M. C. Howatson, and a substantial introduction, by Frisbee C. C. Sheffield, which guides the reader through the various parts of the dialogue and reflects on its central arguments. A chronology and detailed notes on the participants help to set this enduring work in context.
The Oxford Translation of Aristotle was originally published in 12 volumes between 1912 and 1954. It is universally recognized as the standard English version of Aristotle. This revised edition contains the substance of the original Translation, slightly emended in light of recent scholarship; three of the original versions have been replaced by new translations; and a new and enlarged selection of Fragments has been added. The aim of the translation remains the same: to make the surviving works of Aristotle readily accessible to English speaking readers.
The "Nicomachean Ethics" is one of Aristotle's most widely read and influential works. Ideas central to ethics - that happiness is the end of human endeavor, that moral virtue is formed through action and habituation, and that good action requires prudence - found their most powerful proponent in the person medieval scholars simply called "the Philosopher." Drawing on their intimate knowledge of Aristotle's thought, Robert C. Bartlett and Susan D. Collins have produced here an English-language translation of the "Ethics" that is as remarkably faithful to the original as it is graceful in its rendering. Aristotle is well known for the precision with which he chooses his words, and in this elegant translation his work has found its ideal match. Bartlett and Collins provide copious notes and a glossary providing context and further explanation for students, as well as an introduction and a substantial interpretive essay that sketch central arguments of the work and the seminal place of Aristotle's "Ethics" in his political philosophy as a whole. The "Nicomachean Ethics" has engaged the serious interest of readers across centuries and civilizations - of people ancient, medieval, and modern; pagan, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish - and this new edition will take its place as the standard English-language translation.
Aristotle (384-322BC) is the philosopher who has most influence on
the development of western culture, writing on a wide variety of
subjects including the natural sciences as well as the more
strictly philosophical topics of logic, metaphysics and ethics. To
the poet Dante, he was simply 'the master of those who know'.
One of the greatest works of philosophy and political theory ever produced, Plato's The Republic has shaped western thought for thousands of years, remaining as relevant today as when it was first written in the Ancient Greece. This Penguin Classics edition is translated by Desmond lee with a new introduction by Melissa Lane. Plato's Republic is widely acknowledged as the cornerstone of Western philosophy. Presented in the form of a dialogue between Socrates and three different interlocutors, it is an enquiry into the notion of a perfect community and the ideal individual within it. During the conversation other questions are raised: what is goodness; what is reality; what is knowledge? The Republic also addresses the purpose of education and the role of both women and men as 'guardians' of the people. With remarkable lucidity and deft use of allegory, Plato arrives at a depiction of a state bound by harmony and ruled by 'philosopher kings'. Desmond Lee's translation of The Republic has come to be regarded as a classic in its own right. His introduction discusses contextual themes such as Plato's disillusionment with Athenian politics and the trial of Socrates. The new introduction by Melissa Lane discusses Plato's aims in writing The Republic, its major arguments and its perspective on politics in ancient Greece, and its significance through the ages and today. Plato (c.427-347 BC) stands with Socrates and Aristotle as one of the shapers of the whole intellectual tradition of the West. He founded in Athens the Academy, the first permanent institution devoted to philosophical research and teaching, and the prototype of all Western universities. If you enjoyed The Republic, you might like Machiavelli's The Prince, also available in Penguin Classics.
Modern science and its technology are the children of the seventeenth century. However, the bold investigative experimentation and scientific systems of thought that evolved in this era had antecedents in Greek and Roman ideas: Xenophanes used fossils as evidence for geologic change; the Greek mathematician Aristarchus suggested that the Earth revolved around the sun long before Copernicus; and vivisection in Alexandria raised ethical issues as relevant today as 2000 years ago. Shedding fresh light on topics such as Euclid's geometry, Aristotelian physics and the proto-Darwinism of pre-Socratic thinkers like Empedocles, Philippa Lang addresses the fascinating differences and similarities between ancient and modern conceptions of `science'. She discusses the origins of the cosmos; natural laws in mathematics and physics; conceptions of biology and disease; the influence of technology in society; and the important nexus between science, morality and ethics. Lang convincingly shows that Greek and Roman parallels illuminate and clarify the meaning of science itself.
Here is a highly original synthesis of Platonism, mystic passion, ideas from Greek philosophy, and variants of the Trinity and other central tenets of Christian doctrine by the brilliant thinker who has had an immense influence on mystics and religious writers.
Volume VI of the nine-volume Loeb edition of Early Greek Philosophy includes the later Ionian and Athenian thinkers Anaxagoras, Archelaus, and Diogenes of Apollonia, along with chapters on early Greek medicine and the Derveni Papyrus.
Drawn from the translations and editorial aids of Irwin and Fine's Aristotle, Selections (Hackett Publishing Co., 1995), this anthology will be most useful to instructors who must try to do justice to Aristotle in a semester-long ancient-philosophy survey, but it will also be appropriate for a variety of introductory-level courses. Introductory Readings provides accurate, readable, and integrated translations that allow the reader to follow Aristotle's use of crucial technical terms and to grasp the details of his argument. Included are adaptations of the glossary and notes that helped make its parent volume a singularly useful aid to the study of Aristotle.
Marcus Cicero, Rome's greatest statesman and orator, was elected to the Roman Republic's highest office at a time when his beloved country was threatened by power-hungry politicians, dire economic troubles, foreign turmoil, and political parties that refused to work together. Sound familiar? Cicero's letters, speeches, and other writings are filled with timeless wisdom and practical insight about how to solve these and other problems of leadership and politics. How to Run a Country collects the best of these writings to provide an entertaining, common sense guide for modern leaders and citizens. This brief book, a sequel to "How to Win an Election," gathers Cicero's most perceptive thoughts on topics such as leadership, corruption, the balance of power, taxes, war, immigration, and the importance of compromise. These writings have influenced great leaders--including America's Founding Fathers--for two thousand years, and they are just as instructive today as when they were first written.
Organized by topic and featuring lively new translations, the book also includes an introduction, headnotes, a glossary, suggestions for further reading, and an appendix containing the original Latin texts. The result is an enlightening introduction to some of the most enduring political wisdom of all time.
This unique text is designed as a guide to the most important and influential works of ancient Greek philosophy. The book begins with mythology and the pre-Socratics, then proceeds to examine a number of the most important works from Plato and Aristotle, including Euthyphro, Meno, Republic the Categories, the Physics and the Nicomachean Ethics. Student readers who might otherwise struggle with the primary texts will find an exceedingly helpful guide in Stumpf's clear explanations and analyses. Maps, diagrams and images are provided to aid comprehension.
The Enneads by Plotinus is a work which is central to the history of philosophy in late antiquity. This volume is the first complete edition of the Enneads in English for over seventy-five years, and also includes Porphyry's Life of Plotinus. Led by Lloyd P. Gerson, a team of experts present up-to-date translations which are based on the best available text, the editio minor of Henry and Schwyzer and its corrections. The translations are consistent in their vocabulary, making the volume ideal for the study of Plotinus' philosophical arguments. They also offer extensive annotation to assist the reader, together with cross-references and citations which will enable users more easily to navigate the texts. This monumental edition will be invaluable for scholars of Plotinus with or without ancient Greek, as well as for students of the Platonic tradition.
When Plato set his dialogs, written texts were disseminated primarily by performance and recitation. He wrote them, however, when literacy was expanding. Jill Frank argues that there are unique insights to be gained from appreciating Plato's dialogs as written texts to be read and reread. At the center of these insights are two distinct ways of learning to read in the dialogs. One approach that appears in the Statesman, Sophist, and Protagoras, treats learning to read as a top-down affair, in which authoritative teachers lead students to true beliefs. Another, recommended by Socrates, encourages trial and error and the formation of beliefs based on students' own fallible experiences. In all of these dialogs, learning to read is likened to coming to know or understand something. Given Plato's repeated presentation of the analogy between reading and coming to know, what can these two approaches tell us about his dialogs' representations of philosophy and politics? With Poetic Justice, Jill Frank overturns the conventional view that the Republic endorses a hierarchical ascent to knowledge and the authoritarian politics associated with that philosophy. When learning to read is understood as the passive absorption of a teacher's beliefs, this reflects the account of Platonic philosophy as authoritative knowledge wielded by philosopher kings who ruled the ideal city. When we learn to read by way of the method Socrates introduces in the Republic, Frank argues, we are offered an education in ethical and political self-governance, one that prompts citizens to challenge all claims to authority, including those of philosophy.
Like us, the ancient Greeks and Romans came to know and understand the world through their senses. Yet sensory experience has rarely been considered in the study of antiquity and, when the senses are examined, sight is regularly privileged. 'Synaesthesia and the Ancient Senses' presents a radical reappraisal of antiquity's textures, flavours, and aromas, sounds and sights. It offers both a fresh look at society in the ancient world and an opportunity to deepen the reading of classical literature. The book will appeal to readers in classical society and literature, philosophy and cultural history. All Greek and Latin is translated and technical matters are explained for the non-specialist. The introduction sets the ancient senses within the history of aesthetics and the subsequent essays explores the senses throughout the classical period and on to the modern reception of classical literature.
Socrates has a unique position in the history of philosophy; it is no exaggeration to say that had it not been for his influence on Plato, the whole development of Western philosophy might have been unimaginably different. Yet Socrates wrote nothing himself, and our knowledge of him is derived primarily from the engaging and infuriating figure who appears in Plato's dialogues. In this Very Short Introduction, Christopher Taylor explores the life of Socrates and his philosophical activity, before looking to the responses his philosophical doctrines have evoked in the centuries since his betrayal and execution at fellow Athenian hands. Examining the relationship between the historical Socrates and the Platonic character, Taylor considers the complex question of how far it is possible to distinguish the philosopher's own thought from that of those others who wrote about him, and explores the enduring image of Socrates as the ideal exemplar of the philosophic life - a thinker whose moral and intellectual integrity permeated every detail of his life. This new edition also includes a new chapter analysing the reception and influence of Socrates in 19th and 20th century philosophical thought. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Where do our ideas about politics come from? What can we learn from the Greeks and Romans? How should we exercise power? Melissa Lane teaches politics at Princeton University, and previously taught political thought at the University of Cambridge, where she was a Fellow of King's College. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of classics, and the historian Richard Tuck called her book Eco-Republic 'a virtuoso performance by one of our best scholars of ancient philosophy.'
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