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Seneca: Letters

3. Letter 51

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about Letter 51, in which Seneca warns Lucilius about the pleasures of the seaside resort of Baiae. In particular, we focus on the importance of avoiding temptation.


In this course, Dr Liz Gloyn (Royal Holloway, University of London) explores Seneca’s Epistulae Morales. We begin by providing a brief overview of Seneca’s life and literary output, before focusing in more detail on the letter as a literary form. In each of the five modules that follow, we focus on a single letter, providing close-reading, drawing out the key themes, and making links to Stoic philosophy more generally – including the Stoic theory of ‘indifferents’, the theory of the passions (or pathē), Stoic moral psychology, and Stoic views on the immortality of the soul.


Dr Liz Gloyn is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Classics at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research focuses on the intersections between Latin literature, ancient philosophy and gender studies, with a particular focus on Seneca the Younger and his approach to Stoicism and family. Her previous publications include The Ethics of the Family in Seneca (2017), while her current book project explores the way that contemporary popular culture imagines and uses classical monsters, and will be published 2019.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Gloyn, L. (2018, August 15). Seneca: Letters - Letter 51 [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Gloyn, L. "Seneca: Letters – Letter 51." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,