Seneca the Younger, De Providentia

LCL 214: 2-3

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Seneca

L. Annaei Senecae Dialogorvm

LIBER I

ad lvcilivm

Qvare Aliqva Incommoda Bonis Viris Accidant, Cvm Providentia Sit

(De Providentia)

11. Quaesisti a me, Lucili, quid ita, si providentia mundus regeretur, multa bonis viris mala acciderent. Hoc commodius in contextu operis redderetur, cum praeesse universis providentiam probaremus et interesse nobis deum; sed quoniam a toto particulam revelli placet et unam contradictionem manente lite integra solvere, faciam rem non difficilem, causam deorum agam.

2Supervacuum est in praesentia ostendere non sine aliquo custode tantum opus stare nec hunc siderum coetum discursumque fortuiti impetus esse, et quae casus incitat saepe turbari et cito arietare, hanc inoffensam velocitatem procedere aeternae legis imperio

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On Providence

THE DIALOGUES OF LUCIUS ANNAEUS SENECA

BOOK I TO LUCILIUS ON PROVIDENCE

Why, though there is a Providence, some Misfortunes befall Good Men.

You have asked me, Lucilius, why, if a Providence rules the world, it still happens that many evils befall good men. This would be more fittingly answered in a coherent work designed to prove that a Providence does preside over the universe, and that God concerns himself with us. But since it is your wish that a part be severed from the whole, and that I refute a single objection while the main question is left untouched, I shall do so; the task is not difficult,—I shall be pleading the cause of the gods.

For the present purpose it is unnecessary to show that this mighty structure of the world does not endure without some one to guard it, and that the assembling and the separate flight of the stars above are not due to the workings of chance; that while bodies which owe their motion to accident often fall into disorder and quickly collide, this swift revolution of the heavens, being ruled by eternal law, goes

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.seneca_younger-de_providentia.1928