Sertorio wrote: ↑
Mon May 25, 2020 3:35 pm
neverfail wrote: ↑
Mon May 25, 2020 2:43 pm
Was Seneca a hypocrite then?
In terms of money, he undoubtedly was, but his fortune had little to do with any support he might have had from Nero. He simply lent money at very high rates of interest. As to his relationship with Nero, it seems that his influence was responsible for Nero's good behaviour as an emperor, in the first years of his reign.
I am not so sure that his fortune had little to do
And what looks even worse is that Seneca grew rich from Nero’s crimes. Following Britannicus’ murder, the boy’s wealth was divvied up, and Seneca, it seems, got a piece.
You should read the entire article to learn of Roman life. Their terrible behavior shows the utter failure of your vaunted Stoics like Seneca to improve the morals of the Romans. Here are a few snippets:
Britannicus’ murder prompted one of Seneca’s most famous moral treatises, “On Mercy.” The work is addressed to Nero, who is also its subject. Seneca’s conceit is that the philosopher has nothing to teach the emperor about clemency; the essay is merely a “mirror” to show the young ruler his own virtues.
So Seneca got rich by serving this ancient Saddam Hussein. He wrote propaganda for Nero.
Agrippina arranged for Nero to marry one of Claudius’ daughters. A year after that, the story goes, she had Claudius murdered, using a poisoned mushroom.
Around the time that Seneca composed “On the Happy Life,” a former consul named Publius Suillius had the temerity to accuse him in public of hypocrisy and of sucking the provinces dry. Shortly thereafter, Suillius found himself exiled.
The scheming wife is a fixture of Roman history. As bad as the men are, the women are worse—ruthless, cunning, and often sex-crazed. Many of the stories that come down to us are difficult to credit; for example, before Claudius had his third wife, Messalina, whacked, she was reported to have held a twenty-four-hour sex competition with a hooker. (According to Pliny, she won.)
Don't you think that Christian civilization is better than pagan Roman civilization? The behavior of the ancient Romans showed that the Stoic philosophers failed to improve the behavior of the Roman people. One reason is because the philosophers themselves do not practice what they preached.
Another reason is that you need the belief in a Supernatural Being to punish and reward you in the afterlife to get people to behave. Having a human philosopher, who no doubt had his faults, does not serve this purpose. Take Confucius for example. People know he was human. They may admire his teachings but people take a "cafeteria approach" to his teachings. A frequent comment would be to say, "Well his teachings might be valid for ancient times, but they don't apply today." We can pick and choose when the moral teacher and exemplar is human.
Sertorio, your Marxist hope to build a new moral system on Roman philosophers to replace Christian ethics won't work.