Seneca on the Shortness of Life

August 30, 2020

Seneca (5 BC - AD 65) was a great Stoic philosopher and Roman statesman. He became a royal adviser to Emperor Nero but the latter accused Seneca of a plot to kill him and ordered Seneca to commit suicide. Seneca bled himself to death. True to his beliefs as a Stoic, Seneca was unaffected by the fortunes and misfortunes of life.  

The book - Seneca on the Shortness of Life, is for people who feel that life is short. If people want to know how short their lives are, let them reflect how small a portion is their own.  Seneca advises us to do an audit of our life, how much time we spend in harness (constant labours) or doing frivolous things or acquiring useless knowledge that makes us seem like a scholar when in fact we are busy about nothing. Unimportant things become time consuming and leads to wasted years.  

Seneca says that we must cut down on all this dashing about that a great many people indulge in.....always giving the impression of being busy. Like ants crawling over bushes which purposelessly make their way right to the topmost branch and then all the way down again. Many people, he said, live a life like these creatures.  

If you have never read Seneca’s writings, this book is a good place to start.   


Read more
Vision Times. Great Philosophers. Seneca the Younger. Seneca’s Life.