On Benefits

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University of Chicago Press, Apr 1, 2011 - History - 222 pages
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Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BCE–65 CE) was a Roman Stoic philosopher, dramatist, statesman, and advisor to the emperor Nero, all during the Silver Age of Latin literature. The Complete Works of Lucius Annaeus Seneca is a fresh and compelling series of new English-language translations of his works in eight accessible volumes. Edited by world-renowned classicists Elizabeth Asmis, Shadi Bartsch, and Martha C. Nussbaum, this engaging collection restores Seneca—whose works have been highly praised by modern authors from Desiderius Erasmus to Ralph Waldo Emerson—to his rightful place among the classical writers most widely studied in the humanities.

On Benefits, written between 56 and 64 CE, is a treatise addressed to Seneca’s close friend Aebutius Liberalis. The longest of Seneca’s works dealing with a single subject—how to give and receive benefits and how to express gratitude appropriately—On Benefits is the only complete work on what we now call “gift exchange” to survive from antiquity. Benefits were of great personal significance to Seneca, who remarked in one of his later letters that philosophy teaches, above all else, to owe and repay benefits well.

  

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Contents

Seneca and His World
Translators Introduction
On Benefits
Book I
Book II
Book III
Book IV
Book V
Book VI
Book VII
Notes
Textual Notes
References
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Miriam Griffin is emeritus fellow in ancient history at Somerville College, Oxford. She is the author of Seneca: A Philosopher in Politics and Seneca on Society: a Guide to “De Beneficiis”, among other books. Brad Inwood is professor in the Departments of Classics and Philosophy and Canada Research Chair in Ancient Philosophy at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Reading Seneca: Stoic Philosophy at Rome, among other books.