Letters from a Stoic Epistulae Morales Ad Lucilium Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the specific distraction Seneca discusses in Letter XL?

2. Who advises that one ought to imagine being watched by some great, virtuous figure at all times in order to check one's own behavior?

3. Who is chastised in Letter III for not discussing his personal matters?

4. What does Seneca say happens to life when one focuses too much on trivial and fleeting activities?

5. Which philosopher has a positive theory about "cheerful poverty?"

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Seneca say the unphilosophical life lacks and what does it have? Why is the life of a philosopher better?

2. What does Seneca tell Lucilius about the pace of speech?

3. According to Seneca, from where where does one's soul originate?

4. How does Seneca explain how he partakes of the festivities of Saturnalia?

5. What is a "quibbler" and what advice does Seneca offer to Lucilius about quibblers?

6. Lucilius writes Seneca that his melancholy mood remained unchanged no matter how far he traveled from home. How does Seneca explain Lucilius' complaint?

7. What is Seneca's theory on slavery?

8. What is the difference between physical and spiritual ailments, according the Seneca's seasick boat trip example?

9. What does Seneca say about the study of philosophy?

10. What happened when Seneca went out on the town in search of "witty entertainment" and how was he affected by the situation?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There are three types of irony: verbal, situational and dramatic. Define each and discuss at least two examples of irony in Seneca's letters.

Essay Topic 2

What is the Greek "golden mean" and how does it apply to Stoicism?

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast the theories of Stoicism with those of philosopher Epicurus.

(see the answer keys)

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