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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.   

This Penguin Classic is performed by Julian Glover, Olivier Award winning actor, also known for his roles in Game of Thrones and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. This definitive recording includes an Introduction by Robin Campbell.   

A philosophy that saw self-possession as the key to an existence lived 'in accordance with nature', Stoicism called for the restraint of animal instincts and the severing of emotional ties. These beliefs were formulated by the Athenian followers of Zeno in the fourth century BC, but it was in Seneca (c. 4 BC- AD 65) that the Stoics found their most eloquent advocate. Stoicism, as expressed in the Letters, helped ease pagan Rome's transition to Christianity, for it upholds upright ethical ideals and extols virtuous living, as well as expressing disgust for the harsh treatment of slaves and the inhumane slaughters witnessed in the Roman arenas. Seneca's major contribution to a seemingly unsympathetic creed was to transform it into a powerfully moving and inspiring declaration of the dignity of the individual mind.

Public Domain (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Featured Article: 25+ of the Best Stoicism Quotes


Stoicism is a school of philosophy dating back to the third century BCE. Founded by Zeno of Citium, the philosophy soon grew to include some of the most influential thinkers of the Greek and Roman era. The Stoic philosophers teach that happiness and fulfillment can be achieved by refusing to be influenced by desire, societal pressures, or anything outside your control. Stoicism is about accepting moments as they arise, and the power of logical thinking. If you're curious about what it is, and how to incorporate it into your daily life, these quotes are the perfect place to start.

What listeners say about Letters from a Stoic

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Great example should be followed

I loved all letters. Provides great aid in today's delapedated chaos. Should be read frequently.

9 people found this helpful

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Returned - Not "Unabridged"

The narration of these letters was fine, but please note that although it's listed as unabridged this is not a complete audiobook of the letters, but rather a selection. Listeners looking for a taste will have a very fine time of it, the narrator is pleasant, but those looking for an audiobook of all 124 of the Epistulae should go elsewhere.

7 people found this helpful

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Brilliant performance

The narrator’s delivery demonstrates that he understands Seneca’s writing. That’s important. I’ve listened to other audiobooks where Alexa would have put more thought into delivery.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

6 people found this helpful

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Short, but narration is superb

I had bought the complete set, but exchanged for this one. The former narration was so poor that I decided to go with this one.

3 people found this helpful

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Absolutely brilliant, an instant favorite.

Easily the most impactful and succinct stoic book I've read to date, full of anecdotes and parables that I can relate directly to my own experiences and lifestyle almost two millennia after its writing. The performance is outstanding, fatherly and friendly, somber when necessary, but never cold or didactic.

3 people found this helpful

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Can’t understand this English accent

Waste of money , listen first maybe you can understand 😀.........this app also sucks because I need to put 15 min words for review

3 people found this helpful

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Kept me company on a long hike

Letters From a Stoic kept me engaged the whole way through. Listened to t straight through in one session - and will certainly listen to it again.

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Very disappointed in this book

It was painful to go through this book. It's simply a rudimentary collection of stories and a poor intent to give advice about life. I do not recommend this book.

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Narrator is terrible.

Seneca’s works are amazing, but the way they are told here is terrible. The narrator sounds like some Sherlock Holmes, 19th century English monocle type. Very, very dry and difficult to work through.

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missing letters.

its a shame, the narrator is pleasant however some letters are missing. some of my favorite ones at that.

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  • SteveO
  • 01-31-20

Excellent narration

I enjoyed this very much, Primal texts like this are not as easy to summarise as secondary texts, but non the less, this made for easy listening. As well as learning about Stoicism it was enjoyable to hear about the life of the stoics and how they spent their time.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Thesedays
  • 12-16-20

Ancient old, modern gold.

The drawback, audio doesn't follow the letter numbering or letters missing - 50 to 55 instead of 51.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Soul
  • 04-21-21

Brilliant Narration of Timeless Wisdom

Of course Seneca’s letters from a stoic is brilliant collection of essays really. However this is brought brilliantly to life by the wonderful narration of Julian Glover. You really feel as though you are listening to the character or Seneca himself. Have listened several times to the book and will continue to do so.

1 person found this helpful

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  • J. Hickey
  • 04-09-21

Everything You Could Hope For

Everything You Could Hope For if you are interested in Stoic philosophy and want some extended essays on a range of topics.

1 person found this helpful

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  • S. N. Bordoli
  • 03-07-21

Perfectly performed

It's a nice example of Stoic philosophy that sprang from the great Cynics. Well read and recorded. A practical guide to living, even in today's world. The letters get a little less interesting towards the end though.

The audible reading here is just so good, with Julian Glover really inhabiting the work.

I prefer Marcus Auerilious' 'Mediataions' but, Like his 'On the shortness of life'', Seneca's writing stands up very well today.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kane Wootton
  • 02-27-21

A life of virtue

The narrator was perfect, very well read and made me believe it could have been Seneca himself. Full of morality in which we can all draw from in life

1 person found this helpful

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  • Apala
  • 08-04-20

Exceptional narration!

This audiobook is extraordinary! The performance by julian glover makes you feel as the a wise old stoic philosopher Seneca is speaking to you. Personally to you. As if you are sitting on the benches under the late afternoon sun and speaking to a wise old grandfather who holds your well being and affection in his heart. And as if you can reach out and touch his winkled old hand.
Thank you audible and thank you julian glover

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  • Mr. Mark Hanson
  • 05-28-20

A great help in these strange times.

It is beautifully narrated and Seneca's philosophy is timeless.
His death shows the truth of his life.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Karl bernhardt
  • 02-27-20

Fantastic book, impeccable narration

Fantastic book, before I talk about it though I have to say this is by far the best audible performance I’ve heard yet. The narrator captures Senecas humour and emphasises and laughs where needed. He softens and explains when also needed, it’s as if he wrote the letters himself and were reciting them to a friend. Seneca’s letters show a leading roman stoic at their barest. These letters are fantastic in that there is such a variety of information and subjects covered. They are very well written and clear, making them a fantastic read (whether you agree with what’s being said or not). Seneca pulls no punches; here we see his gripes and issues with the unphilosophical men of his time and even some criticism of other stoics and their practises. He has great whit and his stoicism seems a more digestible one for the common person. These letters were intended to be read, and I highly recommend their reading.

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  • Hubabakanda
  • 09-06-20

Perfect narration from a great actor.

Julian Glover reads this so beautifully. He has all the authority in the voice but also a rich vein of humour running through it. This is what happens when you book a great actor to read a book!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-04-22

The Most Honourable and Virtuous to have lived

Perfect delivery for a perfect book: Seneca was quite literally the most perfect of stoics and this book will tell you how and why.

1 person found this helpful

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  • raz
  • 01-28-22

Works so well as audible

A classic now available in audible it’s a real treat and full of insights into was it was like to live 2000 years ago in the Roman Empire.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-24-21

Loved It and narration was brilliant!

I'm all in on this Stoicism train. The narrator was brilliant in this made you think it was spoken from Seneca himself!

So much value to be taken from this book. I found it very helpful to also do The Daily Stoic taking notes each day and having this on in the car at the same time for a double dose.

Now for Mediations and Discourses!