Seneca on Saturday — life is like a bathing establishment

Mosaic from Villa Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily, 3rd century. Image from Greek and Roman Mosaics,

Women playing ball. Mosaic from the Villa Romana del Casale, in Piazza Armerina, Sicily, 4th century CE. Image from Greek and Roman Mosaics, by Umberto Pappalardo and Rosario Ciardello.



CVII. On obedience to the universal will

Where is that common sense of yours? …Have you come to be tormented by a trifle?… None of these things is unusual or unexpected. It is as nonsensical to be put out by such events as it is to complain of being spattered in the street or at getting befouled in the mud. The program of life is the same as that of a bathing establishment, a crowd, or a journey: sometimes things will be thrown at you, and sometimes they will strike you by accident. Life is not a dainty business. You have started on a long journey; you are bound to slip, collide, fall, become weary, and cry out: “O for Death!” –or in other words, tell lies. At one stage you will leave a comrade behind you, at another you will bury someone, at another you will be apprehensive. It is amid stumbling of this sort that you must travel out this rugged journey.

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

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