On the Shortness of Life

On the Shortness of Life

Seneca

Originally written around 49 AD for his father-in-law Paulinus, Seneca here brings up many Stoic principles on the nature of time, namely that people waste much of it in meaningless pursuits. According to Seneca, nature gives people enough time to do what is really important and it is up to the individual to allot it properly.

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The Lives of the Twelve Caesars

The Lives of the Twelve Caesars

C. Suetonius Tranquillus

The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, To which are added, His Lives of the Grammarians, Rhetoricians, and Poets. De vita Caesarum, commonly known as The Twelve Caesars, is a set of twelve biographies of Julius Caesar and the first 11 emperors of the Roman Empire written by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus.

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Of the Nature of Things

Of the Nature of Things

Lucretius

De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things) is a first-century BC didactic poem by the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius (c. 99 BC – c. 55 BC) with the goal of explaining Epicurean philosophy to a Roman audience. The poem, written in some 7,400 dactylic hexameters, is divided into six untitled books, and explores Epicurean physics through richly poetic language and metaphors.

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On Benefits

On Benefits

Seneca

Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a Roman Stoic philosopher (c. 4 BC – AD 65), and tutor to the emperor Nero. This book, On Benefits, forms part of a series of moral essays written by Seneca. Comprised of seven books plus a Preface by the translator Aubrey Stewart.

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Julian, Philosopher and Emporer and the Last Struggle of Paganism Against Christianity

Julian, Philosopher and Emporer and the Last Struggle of Paganism Against Christianity

Alice Gardner

Chapters include: The Roman World Under Constantine: Parentage of Julian, His Birth and Childhood, Career and End of His Brother Gallus; Julian’s Academic Education; Julian’s Elevation to the Caesarship; Julian’s Caesarship in Gaul; Military Movements in East and West, Julian Becomes Emperor; Death of Constantius, and the Beginning of Julian’s Reign as Sole Augustus; Julian’s Religion and Philosophy; Julian as Religious Reformer and…

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Etruscan Roman Remains in Popular Tradition

Etruscan Roman Remains in Popular Tradition

Charles G. Leland

This is essentially an ethnography of practical magic with an Italian flavor. We meet the Goddess of Truffles, learn the details of divining by oil, fire and molten lead; how to bring back the dead, and coerce nature spirits into performing favors. Leland carefully documents his field notes, and includes the full text of numerous spells and songs in Italian, particularly the Tuscan dialect. The text…

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The Eclogues

The Eclogues

Virgil

The Eclogues, also called the Bucolics, is the first of the three major works of the Latin poet Virgil. It contains ten pieces, populated by and large with herdsmen imagined conversing and performing amoebaean singing in largely rural settings, whether suffering or embracing revolutionary change or happy or unhappy love. Performed with…

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The Secret History of Procopius

The Secret History of Procopius

Richard Atwater

Procopius of Caesarea, who accompanied the Roman general Belisarius in the wars of the Emperor Justinian, became the principal historian of the 6th century. Whilst alive, his books were in favour of Justinian, but this book, written for posthumous publication and not discovered until centuries later, is not only really critical…

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Plutarch’s Lives

Plutarch's Lives

Plutarch

Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, commonly called Parallel Lives or Plutarch’s Lives, is a series of biographies of famous men, arranged in tandem to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings, written in the late 1st century. The surviving Parallel Lives contain twenty-three pairs of biographies, each pair consisting…

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Cupid and Psyche

Cupid and Psyche

Apuleius

Cupid and Psyche is a story from the Latin novel Metamorphoses, also known as The Golden Ass, written in the 2nd century AD by Apuleius. It concerns the overcoming of obstacles to the love between Psyche (“Soul” or “Breath of Life”) and Cupid (“Desire”), and their ultimate union in a sacred marriage.

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