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(3 B.C – 65 A.D.) Seneca, the younger, was the son of Seneca the elder. He was a Roman philosopher, dramatist, and statesman. The younger Seneca went to Rome in his childhood, studied rhetoric and philosophy, and earned renown as an orator when still a youth. He was exiled by Claudius because of an affair with Claudius’ bother’s daughter.

In 49 A.D., Seneca was recalled at the urgings of Agrippina to become tutor of the young Nero. During this time, he amassed a huge fortune and wanted no more of court life. After accusations of conspiracy were leveled at Seneca, he was instructed to commit suicide and obliged. His surviving works cover writings spanning ethics, anger, divine providence morality and peace among other things. Seneca is considered to have had the greatest influence on the period of Renaissance tragedy.

“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.”

“Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.”

“It is easier to exclude harmful passions than to rule them, and to deny them admittance than to control them after they have been admitted.”

“One should count each day as a separate life.”

“Toil to make yourself remarkable by some talent or other.”

“He who boasts of his ancestry is praising the deeds of another.”

“Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men.”

“It is better, of course, to know useless things than to know nothing.”

“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.”

“Live among men as if God beheld you; speak to God as if men were listening.”

“There is no great genius without some touch of madness.”

“Men do not care how nobly they live, but only how long, although it is within the reach of everyman to live nobly, but within no man’s power to live long.”

“It is the quality rather than quantity that matters.”

“You can tell the character of every man when you see how he received praise.”

“While we are postponing, life speeds by.”

“Let us train our minds to desire what the situation demands.”

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