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“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.”- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.Stoic Six Pack brings together the six essential texts of Stoic Philosophy:Meditations by Marcus AureliusThe Golden Sayings of EpictetusFragments of EpictetusSelected Discourses of EpictetusSeneca’s Letters from a Stoic The Enchiridion of EpictetusIn addition to these six master texts, there is also:*Biography of Marcus Aurelius.*Link to free audio recording of Seneca’s Letters.*Seneca Image gallery.*Epictetus Image gallery.For students of Stoicism, there is the convenience of having all six texts in one searchable volume. People new to the ideas of Zeno, Seneca, Aurelius et al could ask for no better introduction than this awesome anthology. *Two image galleries.*Dynamic Table of Contents.
Acerca de Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD) was the Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD, and was the last of what are considered The Five Good Emperors of Rome. Notable achievements during his reign include defeating a Parthian Empire, winning the fight against the Samaritans’ in the Macromannic Wars, and chronicling his views on stoic philosophy in personal journals now referred to as Meditations.
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Lucius Annaneus Seneca was one of the great Roman Stoic thinkers and is one of only a few philosophers from that era whose work has remained popular in recent times. His writings influenced many that followed him including St. Jerome, St. Augustine and the ancient church writer Tertullian, to name a few. It was Tertullian who first suggested that Seneca had corresponded with St. Paul the Apostle but the letters have been disputed and discredited as forgeries in recent years. Although the supposedly credible letters between Seneca and St. Paul have now been dismissed as fiction, the Stoic philosophy that Seneca utilised in his work, which was later supported by Marcus Aurelius, paved the way for Rome to make the move to Christianity. Seneca’s “Letters from a Stoic” proselytizes about humane and upright ideals and encouraged a spiritual way of life. The Stoic philosophy developed in Athens around 301 BC. Zeno was a philosophy teacher and rather than teach indoors he preferred to teach at the ‘Stoa Poikile’ which translates to ‘the painted porch’ and this is where the Stoic name originates from. Zeno’s ideas were expanded on by his student Chrysippus, who was a direct influence on Seneca, and it was Chrysippus who essentially laid out the tenants for the first wave of Stoics known as early Stoa. This period was followed by another era of Greek Stoicism known as middle Stoa before the philosophy was imported by the Romans with the most famous disciples in the late Stoa period being Seneca and the great Marcus Aurelius.His life was not only limited to writing and philosophy; he was also a eminent statesman whose influence on Nero in the early years of his reign was crucial to the success of that part of his authority as Emperor. Seneca was the son of the well known rhetorician Seneca the Elder and it is thought he was born in Cordoba, Spain, around 4 BC. He moved to Rome at a young age and his education included literature, oratory and philosophy.Throughout his life he suffered with poor health and it is thought he lived with his aunt, who nursed him, in Egypt in the period between 20 and 31 AD. He and his aunt moved to Rome in 31 AD so that he could begin his career in politics. Although he quickly earned a reputation as an advocator, his career did not proceed with any momentum as Emperor Gaius was not particularly impressed by him. The following Emperor, Caligula, was even less enamoured by Seneca and almost had him killed but spared his life as he believed Seneca’s ill health would do the job for him sooner rather than later.He outlived Caligula, only to be exiled to Corsica by the new Emperor, Claudius.Whilst in Corsica he furthered his studies in Stoic thought and wrote ‘Consolations’. Claudius’ wife, Messalina, had been instrumental in his decision to exile Seneca and when she died Claudius’ new wife, Agrippina, requested the return of Seneca to Rome so that he could tutor her son, Nero.Claudius died in 54 AD and Agrippina used her considerable influence to install Nero, who was only 15 years old, as the new Emperor. Seneca thus became one of the most influential figures in Rome, in Nero’s early years, which are considered to be some of the most stable of the era. Seneca wrote speeches for Nero and also helped to temper the excesses that would later go on to consume the young Emperor.As Nero got older he became more independent and paranoid and considered Seneca surplus to requirements, so in 62 AD he retired from politics to concentrate on philosophical pursuits. He hadn’t heard the last of Nero, however. In 65 AD he was implicated in a plot to kill the Emperor and committed suicide under Nero’s orders, which was customary at the time…
Acerca de Epictetus
Epictetus (c. 55–135 AD) was a teacher and Greco-Roman philosopher. Originally a slave from Hierapolis in Anatolia (modern Turkey), he was owned for a time by a prominent freedman at the court of the emperor Nero. After gaining his freedom he moved to Nicopolis on the Adriatic coast of Greece and opened a school of philosophy there. His informal lectures (the Discourses) were transcribed and published by his student Arrian, who also composed a digest of Epictetus’ teaching known as the Manual (or Enchiridion).
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