By Tim Raynor, author of:
Life Changing: A Philosophical Guide
When a senior politician is charged with adultery today, we expect them to issue a press release, either in self-defense or contrition. Exiled to Corsica on the charge of extra-marital relations with Julia Livilla, sister of the emperor Gaius, the Roman Stoic philosopher and statesman Lucius Annaeus Seneca (3BC – 65AD) wrote a letter to his mother, offering philosophical consolation for her grief at being parted from her son. In Stoic style, Seneca emphasized the importance of preparing oneself for sudden challenges, upsets, and changes in life, so that one is not unseated by the shock of their arrival. One must be like a sentry on guard, Seneca advised, always ready for sudden attack. For drastic change, like an enemy ambush, ‘scatters those whom it catches off guard; but those who have prepared in advance for the coming conflict … easily withstand the first onslaught, which is the most violent’ (Letter to Helvia, 5).
Posted by Marc Peter on 1st June 2012 at 12:00am
Category: Guest Blogger