By Gregor Damschen, Mario Waida
This new and critical advent to Seneca presents a scientific and concise presentation of this author's philosophical works and his tragedies. It offers instruction manual variety surveys of every real or attributed paintings, giving dates and short descriptions, and taking into consideration an important philosophical and philological concerns. moreover, they supply money owed of the key steps within the heritage in their later impression. The cultural history of the texts and an important troublesome areas in the philosophic and tragic corpus of Seneca are handled in separate essays.
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Extra resources for Brill's Companion to Seneca: Philosopher and Dramatist
5. Seneca also seems to suggest that Polybius was intending to write fables (dial. 3)—a characteristic genre of slaves and freedmen, who acquired voice only through the imitation of inferior creatures: see Bloomer 1997b, Marchesi 2005, and Kurke 2006. 117 I have examined at length the conflict between birth and achievement as a structuring principle of Senecan philosophy in Habinek 1998: 137–150. 115 imago suae vitae: seneca’s life and career 29 one’s social and geographical status at birth. Yet his own rise to power made him the defining exemplum of the importance of achievement as opposed to birth.
The traditional aristocracy (or those who sought to inherit their privileges and positions) fought back by emphasizing aspects of cultural performance that were less accessible to those who had not been raised in the right circles. 116 Seneca’s preference for a gift economy and for aequitas as opposed to legal precision is part of the same struggle. 117 Not surprisingly, Seneca’s life epitomizes these concerns as well. Birth is critical to all aspects of power in the Empire, as it had been under the aristocratic republic that preceded it.
Tacitus tells us not only that Seneca composed death-bed remarks that survived to his own day, but that he referred, in effect, to his large corpus of philosophical treatises in seeking to regulate the emotional response of friends who witnessed his death. As Tacitus puts it, “partly by conversation and partly in the more intense role of a reprimander (coercentis), he recalled those present from their tears to fortitude, asking repeatedly where were the precepts of their wisdom (praecepta sapientiae)?
Brill's Companion to Seneca: Philosopher and Dramatist by Gregor Damschen, Mario Waida