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How to Die: An Ancient Guide to the End of Life

Seneca James S. Romm James S. Romm

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Princeton University Pres
15 January 2018
Philosophy; Western philosophy: Ancient, to c 500
Timeless wisdom on death and dying from the celebrated Stoic philosopher Seneca It takes an entire lifetime to learn how to die, wrote the Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca (c. 4 BC-65 AD). He counseled readers to study death always, and took his own advice, returning to the subject again and again in all his writings, yet he never treated it in a complete work. How to Die gathers in one volume, for the first time, Seneca's remarkable meditations on death and dying. Edited and translated by James S. Romm, How to Die reveals a provocative thinker and dazzling writer who speaks with a startling frankness about the need to accept death or even, under certain conditions, to seek it out.

Seneca believed that life is only a journey toward death and that one must rehearse for death throughout life. Here, he tells us how to practice for death, how to die well, and how to understand the role of a good death in a good life. He stresses the universality of death, its importance as life's final rite of passage, and its ability to liberate us from pain, slavery, or political oppression.

Featuring beautifully rendered new translations, How to Die also includes an enlightening introduction, notes, the original Latin texts, and an epilogue presenting Tacitus's description of Seneca's grim suicide.
By:   Seneca
Introduction by:   James S. Romm
Edited by:   James S. Romm
Imprint:   Princeton University Pres
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 178mm,  Width: 114mm, 
Weight:   28g
ISBN:   9780691175577
ISBN 10:   0691175578
Series:   Ancient Wisdom for Modern Readers
Pages:   256
Publication Date:   15 January 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

James S. Romm is the author of Dying Every Day: Seneca at the Court of Nero and Ghost on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire (both Knopf). He has written essays and reviews for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Review of Books, and the New Yorker website, among other publications. He is the James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of Classics at Bard College and lives in Barrytown, New York.

Reviews for How to Die: An Ancient Guide to the End of Life

Romm's collection does a service in contributing to bringing the philosopher back, not only to his fellow Classicists, but to every one of us who cares enough to think about how to live and how to die. . . . Not quite a book to die for, but one to enhance life. ---Marguerite Johnson, Australian Book Review [A] a potent compilation of passages. ---Tracy Lee Simmons, City Journal Seneca, the Roman emperor Nero's chief adviser, discussed death and how to prepare for it way back in the mid-1st century. . . . This new book, a synthesis of his writings on the subject . . . remains as timely today as ever. ---Sarah Murdoch, Toronto Star A sharp introductory primer on Stoicism. . . . Very finely translated. ---Brendan Boyle, Wall Street Journal


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