On The Shortness Of Life
By Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Seneca, a Spanish-born philosopher of Rome who lived in the first century A.D., was one of the prominent sages of the Stoic school. He’s chiefly remembered today for his Moral Essays, a collection of twelve articles on various ethical themes. “On The Shortness Of Life” is an essay addressed to a friend, and it is excerpted and condensed here from Moses Hadas’ fine work, The Stoic Philosophy Of Seneca.
It is a general complaint among mankind, Paulinus, that Nature is niggardly: our allotted span is brief, and the term granted us flies by with such dizzy speed that all but a few exhaust it just when they are beginning to live. And it is not only the unthinking masses who bemoan what they consider the universal evil: the same sentiment has evoked complaints even from men of distinction. Hence the cry…
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