• On the Shortness of Life

  • By: Lucius Seneca
  • Narrated by: Clint Arthur
  • Length: 1 hr and 13 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (673 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The majority of mortals, Paulinus, complain bitterly of the spitefulness of Nature, because we are born for a brief span of life, because even this space that has been granted to us rushes by so speedily and so swiftly that all save a very few find life at an end just when they are getting ready to live. Nor is it merely the common herd and the unthinking crowd that bemoan what is, as men deem it, an universal ill; the same feeling has called forth complaint also from men who were famous.

Public Domain (P)2015 Clint Arthur

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 On the Shortness of Life

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent short read on the shortness of life!

we all don't have very much time in this body and life on this plane of existence. Life can be fleeting. Life can be very short. how does it occur to us that in the end of days, at the end of your life, you begin to realize how much time was wasted on frivolous things that had no meaning. this is an excellent book, a very short read. You can get it done in just a few hours. And you won't be wasting your time. the shortness of life such an awesome classic!

5 people found this helpful

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Really great book everyone should have in their audible library

Not only is the book a great story and invaluable to learn, Clint does a wonderful job narrating. His words are concise and emphatic. Recommended for all.

4 people found this helpful

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Short book with a great message.

Short book with a great message. I found it well worth my time to listen.

2 people found this helpful

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Dated, yet still true

Recommended for those who stress about time and don't mind Roman historical references. Definitely puts people in perspective who have ended up working for works sake.

5 people found this helpful

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really inspiring

better than I expected ☺️. I will really read this and take notes, it should be worth it

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outstanding

I need to study this at depth... Seneca hits the nail right on the head...

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  • K
  • 07-25-21

reading is quite casual

I enjoyed the works of Seneca, but the performance felt too modern, casual...maybe better reader for a more modern text.

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very repetitive

Eh, it wasn't as good as I'd hoped. It has a few good quotes and the philosophy behind it is solid. that being said, he repeats the point over and over. it all revolves around wasting time and that is expressed in every chapter. I know that's the meaning for the book, but as I said, very repetitive

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an ok book

It's an alright book. I didn't learn as much as I would have liked. There are a few snippets with useful and deep quotes but definitely could have been more. It is very poetic so be prepared to really pay attention in order to understand.

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Challenging and Worthwhile

This was a difficult book to read for me, because it really challenges me to think about the way that I spend each day, but I’m glad I am thinking about it now.


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  • James
  • 09-20-16

love it, best read ever.

this book should be taught in every school, humanity need to know more than just media and propaganda

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chewy
  • 07-13-16

Difficult to listen - horrible narration

I think the book might have been okay but the narration was so distracting. As an avid audible reader, really not happy :(

1 person found this helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 03-03-18

The narrator reads too quickly!

Seneca's amazing essay 'On the shortness of Life' is a profound and wonderful essay. However I couldn't listen to it for more than 2 minutes due to the speed at which The narrator chose to read it. it is impossible to absorb and take in philosophy when it is rushed and read without feeling.

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  • shane
  • 11-04-16

great read

i really enjoyed this book. the speakers voice was very low though, at times it was hard to hear and a bit fast paced but I slowed it down which worked well. highly recommended

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  • Bradley
  • 09-18-16

Insightful

Very good insights into the human experience. Good reading. Quick book that can be reviewed regularly to remind you to live to the full