Seneca to Lucilius: 39, on healthy and unhealthy desires

Roman banquet, Pompeii, circa 50 CE

According to Seneca, right at the beginning of his 39th letter to his friend Lucilius, we need both to study things in a sustained manner and to keep a handy breviarium, that is, a summary of the fundamental points. We learn by way of the first approach, and are reminded of what we know by the second. This is splendidly illustrated by the two works by Epictetus (well, actually, by his…