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¿És breu, la vida? (De breuitate vitae).

de Seneca

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On the Shortness of Life is a moral essay written by Seneca the Younger, a Roman Stoic philosopher, sometime around the year 49 AD, to his father-in-law Paulinus. The philosopher brings up many Stoic principles on the nature of time, namely that people waste much of it in meaningless pursuits. According to the essay, nature gives people enough time to do what is really important and the individual must allot it properly. In general, time is best used by living in the present moment in pursuit of the intentional, purposeful life.… (més)
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Sobre a brevidade da vida
Os escritos do filósofo estoico Sêneca pertencem à categoria de obras que mudaram a humanidade e que, universais, resistem à passagem do tempo. Por meio de insights poderosos, eles transformam a maneira como nos vemos e já serviram de guia para inúmeras gerações por sua eloquência, lucidez e sabedoria. Sobre a brevidade da vida e Sobre a firmeza do sábio foram concebidos em forma de cartas e apresentam reflexões essenciais quanto à arte de viver, à passagem do tempo e à importância da razão e da moralidade. Traduzida do latim por José Eduardo S. Lohner, esta edição conta ainda com notas esclarecedoras do tradutor. (Amazon) ( )
  luizzmendes | Mar 10, 2024 |
Lovely thin edition of a 20 part essay lent to me by my son. This (flawed) 2018 Benediction Classic does not have a name for the translator. Of course the content is true to the title except that Seneca asserts that life is not short at all if you live it properly. The secret is not to let others steal away your time or become 'engrossed' in activities other than philosophy. Being engrossed is not to be at leisure and 'they are at leisure wo take time for philosophy, they alone really live; for they are not content to be good guardians of their own lifetime only. They annex ever(sic)y age to their own; all the years that hae gone ore (sic) them are an addition to their store.' ( )
  simonpockley | Feb 25, 2024 |
The majority of mortals, Paulinus, complain bitterly of the spitefulness of Nature, because we are born for a brief span of life .... It is not that we have a short space of time, but that we waste much of it.

These sentences from the first page of Seneca's De Brevitate Vitae sum up the problem as he sees it. Almost all of the rest of the essay is examples of things that people do in their life but with which they are ultimately unsatisfied. So what is the answer? As near as I can tell it is to be wise and to spend one's time as a philosopher like Seneca.

Honors, monuments, all that ambition has commanded by decrees or reared in works of stone, quickly sink to ruin; there is nothing that the lapse of time does not tear down and remove. But the works which philosophy has consecrated cannot be harmed; no age will destroy them, no age reduce them; the following and each succeeding age will but increase the reverence for them...

I must aver that the other activities that Seneca criticizes amount to almost everything that people do, and that if they were not done there would have been no Rome for Seneca to flounce around in.

Is the essay just repetitive blather then? Mostly, but there are many things of at least historical interest. For example, The law does not draft a soldier after his fiftieth year, it does not call a senator after his sixtieth... ( )
  markm2315 | Jul 1, 2023 |
Pequenos ensaios do estóico Sêneca vol 10: é preciso saber viver; na vida, viver o dia; aumentar o tempo de bola em jogo. Mas como? O de sempre: exercendo a virtude, doando o seu tempo para beneficiar o estado, na vida pública e política, mas sem perder de vista a boa utilização do tempo livre - assim atingindo a boa vida - saber viver e saber morrer. Trabalhar produtivamente e exercer o tempo para si, o tempo livre, com virtude. Quiçá estudando os filósofos, amigos para toda a hora, a abrir o caminho para a imortalidade. Pois o tempo de nossa vida deveria ser suficiente, se bem gasto, para alcançarmos realizações, feitos, ficarmos satisfeitos. E que esse viver a vida deve ser vivido, e não postergado como um espaço de lazer, de aposentadoria. Mesmo porque quando feito assim, muitos acabam se lamentando de não poder ser mais ativos, não se adaptando. E Sêneca provê uma série de exemplos de época, alguns bem sarcásticos, de como não viver bem (ele mesmo não observando a secura virtuosa que um estóico poderia se impor ao evitar os pequenos prazeres da maledicência). ( )
  henrique_iwao | Aug 30, 2022 |
I had set my expectations way higher based on what I had heard about Seneca-a wise man.

I think the basic idea of the book/essay is good (and kind of obvious), this is an excerpt of the foundation of the book:

'Why are you idle? If you don't grasp [time] first, it flees.' And even if you do grasp it, it will still flee. So you must match time's swiftness with your speed in using it, and you must drink quickly as though from a rapid stream that will not always flow.


That's the acceptable part, but Seneca starts criticizing all activities, including art, study of history, etc., calling them pointless, while praising philosophy as the ultimate leisure, the one and only thing in the world worth spending time on.
There are also repetitive explanations and examples about how people look back at their lives when they get old, and most of them find their lives empty of leisure and other repeated pieces throughout.

I read the first part "On the Shortness of Life" and skimmed the other two parts "Consolation to Helvia" and "On Tranquility of Mind", not finding them interesting. ( )
  kladimos | Sep 23, 2021 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Senecaautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Baines, PhilAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Costa, C. D. N.Traductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Hunink, VincentTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Janssen, Tjitte H.Traductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Most human beings, Paulinus, complain about the meanness of nature, because we are born for a brief span of life, and because this spell of time that has been given us rushes by so swiftly and rapidly that with very few exceptions life ceases for the rest of us just when we are getting ready for it.
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This work contains three of Seneca's essays: "On the Shortness of Life"; "Consolation to Helvia", and; "On Tranquillity of Mind".

Please do not combine with works containing other selections of material.
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On the Shortness of Life is a moral essay written by Seneca the Younger, a Roman Stoic philosopher, sometime around the year 49 AD, to his father-in-law Paulinus. The philosopher brings up many Stoic principles on the nature of time, namely that people waste much of it in meaningless pursuits. According to the essay, nature gives people enough time to do what is really important and the individual must allot it properly. In general, time is best used by living in the present moment in pursuit of the intentional, purposeful life.

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