Start reading On the Shortness of Life (Penguin Great Ideas) on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
On the Shortness of Life (Penguin Great Ideas)
 
 

On the Shortness of Life (Penguin Great Ideas) [Kindle Edition]

Seneca
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £4.99
Kindle Price: £1.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £3.00 (60%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £1.99  
Paperback £3.99  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: At least 60% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.


Product Description

Product Description

Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are.



The Stoic writings of the philosopher Seneca offer powerful insights into the art of living, the importance of reason and morality, and continue to provide profound guidance to many through their eloquence, lucidity and timeless wisdom.

About the Author

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, statesman, philosopher, advocate and man of letters, was born in Spain around 4BC. He rose to prominence at Rome, pursuing a double career in the courts and political life, until Claudius sent him into exile exile on the island of Corsica for eight years. Recalled in AD49, he was appointed tutor to the boy who was to become, in AD54, the emperor Nero. Seneca acted for eight years as Nero's unofficial chief minister until Nero too turned against him and he retired from public life to devote himself to philosophy and writing. In AD65, following the discovery of a plot against the emperor, he and many others were compelled by Nero to commit suicide.

C.D.N. Costa has spent most of his working life at Birmingham University, where he is Professor of Classics and Chairman of the School of Antiquity. Among other works, he has written commentaries on the works of Seneca, Letters, Dialogues and the tragedy Medea.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 879 KB
  • Print Length: 111 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 014101881X
  • Publisher: Penguin (2 Sep 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00433SVO2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,010 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars in a word - Wisdom 8 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
amazon intro first -
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, statesman, Stoic philosopher, advocate and man of letters, was born in Spain around 4BC. He rose to prominence at Rome, pursuing a double career in the courts and political life, until Claudius sent him into exile exile on the island of Corsica for eight years. Recalled in AD49, he was appointed tutor to the boy who was to become, in AD54, the emperor Nero. Seneca acted for eight years as Nero's unofficial chief minister until Nero too turned against him and he retired from public life to devote himself to philosophy and writing. In AD65, following the discovery of a plot against the emperor, he and many others were compelled by Nero to commit suicide.

this small book is part of the wondrous Penguin Great Ideas mini-book series of twenty books) is not only a great pocket book companion , but inexpensive £4/$5 or less + contains many key texts from key thinkers over the last millenia.

and so - Sencea came from a long + venerable line of greco-roman philosophers in no particular order such as Marucs Aurelius, Cicero ,Zeno + Socrates whose words of wisdom have been passed on + printed through the centuries. Their turbulent lifes + times and consequent thoughts, continue to inform + enlighten us all, a million miles away from religious or political dogma subsequently produced thereafter during the middle ages + into the pre-Enlightenment era.

Seneca offers his thoughts on many key afflictions of mankind : fickleness,fear of solitude,squandering time,obsession with money + fame amongst others.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First in the set of Great Ideas 2 May 2005
Format:Paperback
The first book in the Penguin set of 'Great Ideas' (one in a series of twenty; it's a shame that Amazon don't appear to sell the boxed set). You have to keep pinching yourself to remember that it was written some 2000 years ago. Rather long winded (writing style was much more formal back then), it can be quite hard to penetrate, but if you read it in the right mood the words really sink in and convey a wonderful sense of somebody struggling with understanding the world around them and how to behave in it. If only more people shared these feelings these days.
The main disappointment was the lack of contextual setting. Excuse my ignorance, but who was Seneca, what times did he live in, what were the ideas opposing his? A few pages would have sufficed, and would have added so much more, and it would have made a 5.
None-the-less, if you want to widen your reading this is a great place to start.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even more important now!! 6 Oct 2010
By Den
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The first in the Penguin 'Great ideas' of which I am slowly working my way through from 1 - 100' and what a great book to start with. I admit I am a terrible procrastinator, but after reading the first part of this three part selection, I felt motivated to get stuck in with gusto.

This book written almost two centuries ago is still as if not more so topical than when first written, with the obsession of looking younger, feeling younger and living younger, to what cause is this? People having botox, face lifts, applying thick layers of make-up, cryogenic research, looking at gene therapy to stop or slow the ageing process, but to what avail? Why are people doing this?

Sure we say if only I had more time, or we look back on our lives with regret at what we didn't do, we wish we had more time to do the things we would love to. Hell, we even retire in our 60's so we can live the life we want, when we are burnt out, have grandkids and little money or well being to do those things.

Seneca points out that if we stopped wasting the time we have we would all realise "Life is long if you know how to use it" and Seneca lays out his strategy of using life to full impact, so we can never again complain that life is too short.

Forget the self-help Pop. culture rip offs, such as 'Eat that frog' and the classic 'On your death bed you never wish you worked at the office longer', Seneca was writing this stuff two thousand years ago and not only has it withstood the test of time, it blows everything else out there wasting space on bookshelves, clear out of the water.

What would we do with extended life after all? Would we really use it to full effect? Or would we actually just squander it in the same way we squandered our lives up to that point.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seneca - Life and work 28 April 2009
Format:Paperback
Lucius Annaeas Seneca was a Roman stoic philosopher who was born around the turn of the 1st century AD. Seneca became a statesman and politician in Rome, but riled the emperor Claudius in AD 38, and was only spared his life because Claudius believed that Seneca's life was soon to end. As it turned out, Claudius' life ended sooner, and with the succession of Caligula, Seneca was exiled to Corsica around 41 AD, and it wa here that Seneca wrote much of his philosophy. Seneca was recalled to the court of the Emperor Nero, by Nero's mother, Agrippina, in AD 54. Seneca and Burrus advised the young emperor, but in traditional style, as the boy king came of age, he began to listen to hiis advisors, and his mother, less and less. Nero had Agrippina killed in AD 59, and Burrus 'died' in 62. It was time for Seneca to leave the employ of the emperor, he retired to write more philosophy, but this only lasted 3 years, until Nero ordered Seneca to kill himself after having been accused of being part of a plot to kill Nero. Seneca slit his wrists, but did not die due to slow blood flow... he then drank poison, which did not succeed in finishing him off, so to top it he bathed, in order to increase the blood flow. After such Rasputin-esque torment, Seneca did indeed die in AD 65, but Nero followed him in 72, at the age of just 30.

The 3 texts bound together by Penguin exhibit a classical stoic account of the value of life, deifying the influence of fate on one's life, but displaying ways in which one can overcome the fear of fate's cruel hand attacking, in order that one may lead a fulfilled life.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
ok
Published 15 days ago by Shelagh Wells
5.0 out of 5 stars Concision wins every time
I love these Great Ideas books, even if the choices are a little predictable and already embedded in the English canon: it just helps somehow to have such words to carry around. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lulubeth
4.0 out of 5 stars Required reading
Still relevant, still important and still instructive. One more good reason for the classics to be on the national curriculum.
Published 16 months ago by JCP
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
Please don't be put off because it is old and a "classic". Letters from a Stoic: Epistulae Morales Ad Lucilium (Classics) is great too.
Published 18 months ago by Benjamin Snow
5.0 out of 5 stars One you must read...
Such a wise book - I have read it when ill and when well - and always it leaves me optimistic/realistic. Yes - life is long if you know how to live it.
Published 20 months ago by mr_pod
5.0 out of 5 stars Seneca's Short Book on the Shortness of Life
The Roman stoic philosopher, Lucius Annaeas Seneca, born around the first century AD, seemed to lead a charmed life having been spared by Claudius he went on to tutor Nero;... Read more
Published on 26 Sep 2011 by RR Waller
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Most Important Philosophical Reads
Skillfully overturns a contemporary mass population control myth. This book can unleashe your Life.
Life isn't short at all. Its way too long.
Published on 26 Aug 2011 by Don Juan
3.0 out of 5 stars The ideas are generally defensible but Seneca's defence leaves much to...
The book contains three essays, on the shortness of life, on the life of an exile (a letter to his mother), and finally on the tranquility of mind. Read more
Published on 18 Dec 2009 by AK
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Popular Highlights

 (What's this?)
&quote;
People are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy. &quote;
Highlighted by 64 Kindle users
&quote;
So you must not think a man has lived long because he has white hair and wrinkles: he has not lived long, just existed long. &quote;
Highlighted by 60 Kindle users
&quote;
You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire. &quote;
Highlighted by 59 Kindle users

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Customers Who Highlighted This Item Also Highlighted


Look for similar items by category