Seneca on Saturday — how to avoid envy II


Mosaic in front of a fish monger’s shop in the Piazza of Corporations, Ostia Antica, 3rd century CE. The image is of a dolphin with a fish and an octopus in its jaws. “IMBIDE CALCO TE” means “Envious one, I tread on you.” Photo credit: Eric Taylor, from

CV. On Facing the World with Confidence

Contempt remains to be discussed. He who has made this quality an adjunct of his own personality, who is despised because he wishes to be despised and not because he must be despised, has the measure of contempt under control. Any inconveniences in this respect can be dispelled by honourable occupations and by friendships with men who have influence with an influential person; with these men it will profit you to engage but not to entangle yourself, lest the cure may cost you more than the risk.

Seneca Epistles 93-124, Translation by Richard Gummere. Loeb Classical Library.

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