Epistulae morales

Morales ad Lucilium (ethical letters to Lucilius) are 124 literary letters that the Roman philosopher Seneca wrote to his friend Lucilius. These letters are clearly underlining Seneca's Stoic ideas, through topics such as slavery, decadence and death.


The pernicious influence of the mass

In this letter Seneca writes what the (bad) influence of the mass is. Dealing with the mass is depraved: there is none which recommends any flaws or imprints or accuses on mistakes, without we do know. According to him, you run more risk when you are in a larger mass of people running. If you sit with a spectacle errors will sneak easier through the enjoyment. He believes that you should withdraw into yourself as much as possible and only should allow those who make you better. He then makes 3 quotes:

Democritus: "To me, one is weighing against the mass and the mass outweighs one." Author Unknown: "Few are enough for me, sufficient is one, enough there is no one. 'Epicurus on one of his companions in his philosophical studies:" I write this not for the masses, but for you: for us to each other we are a sufficiently large audience. "This will make it clear that you do not have to go along with the majority and to be careful for the masses. Finally he says to Lucius: "Let your good qualities are directed inwards!"

The right attitude to slaves

The right attitude toward emotions

The right attitude to the vicissitudes of fate

The God in us

The preparation for death

In meditation Mortis Seneca describes the attacks of shortness of breath, which are mentioned by the doctors preparations for the death. The breath tries to quit, but this really happens only when one dies. He advises Lucilius not to worry about death: according to the Stoic doctrine death does not follow, but she also comes before life. Befor our birth we are also dead according to Seneca. He draws a comparison with the state before a lamp is lit, and after it is extinguished: there is no difference between the two.