Essays 6: Of Consolation to Marcia, Seneca
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Seneca

Essays 6: Of Consolation to Marcia

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Marcia actively mourned the death of her son Metilius for over three years. In Of Consolation to Marcia, Seneca attempts to convince her that the fate of her son, while tragic, should not have been a surprise. She knew many other mothers who had lost their sons; why should she expect her own son to survive her? The acknowledgement, even expectation, of the worst of all possible outcomes is a tenet of Seneca's Stoic philosophy. While Seneca sympathised with Marcia, he reminded her that "we are born into a world of things which are all destined to die," and that if she could accept that no one is guaranteed a just life (that is, one in which sons always outlive their mothers), she could finally end her mourning and live the rest of her life in peace
Translation by Aubrey Stewart and produced by Vox Stoica
Seneca's Essays Series:
1) Of providence – addressed to Lucilius
2) On the Firmness of the Wise Man – addressed to Serenus
3-5) Of Anger (Books 1-3) – addressed to his brother Novatus
6) Of Consolation – addressed to Marcia
7) Of a Happy Life – addressed to Gallio
8) Of Leisure – addressed to Serenus
9) Of Tranquillity of Mind – addressed to Serenus
10) On the Shortness of Life – addressed to Paulinus
11) Of Consolation – addressed to Polybius
12) Of Consolation – addressed to Helvia
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Essays 6: Of Consolation to Marcia, Seneca
Essays 6: Of Consolation to Marcia
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