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The Roman statesman, thinker, and playwright Lucius Annaeus Seneca dramatically inspired the development of Western idea. His works have had an extraordinary effect at the improvement of moral thought, shaping a code of habit for facing tyranny in his personal age that endures at the present time. This significant other completely examines the whole Senecan corpus, with targeted emphasis at the points of his writings that experience challenged interpretation. The authors position Seneca within the context of the traditional global and hint his amazing legacy in literature, artwork, faith, and politics from Neronian Rome to the early glossy interval. via severe dialogue of the hot proliferation of Senecan experiences, this quantity compellingly illustrates how the notion of Seneca and his specific kind of Stoicism has advanced over the years. It presents a complete review that would profit scholars and students in classics, comparative literature, background, philosophy, and political concept, in addition to basic readers.

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The opposite Senecan “self” used to be for an viewers of readers whom he cultivated all through his writings, yet particularly along with his works of the early 60s CE: that's, the readers of his Epistles, and their readers in posterity: us. Seneca’s self-understanding within the Epistles (and, to a lesser measure, the opposite prose works) is there staged for us to determine, preserved in his personal phrases as he discusses the trail of self-formation for the aspiring Stoic and gives up his personal successes and screw ups during this regard. The most likely ictitious correspondence with Lucilius1 either articulates and represents its protagonist accomplishing (much extra so than the writings of his fellow Stoic Epictetus), an complex software for the sustained creation of the correct Stoic self as his lifestyles objective. 2 not like the dialogues, that are dedicated to unmarried themes, the letters lower around the entirety of a existence, and the most actor during this application is Seneca himself, whereas his correspondent Lucilius and different addressees input the image to play their elements as scholars and interlocutors, to be exhorted and * I thank Matthew curler for his worthwhile reviews in this essay. 1 2 Cf. Grifi n (1992, 416–19), Schafer (2011), Mazzoli (1989, 1846–55). See, for instance, Edwards (1997); Foucault (1986, 37–68); lengthy (1991, 2009); Nussbaum (1994, 316–58). 187 Sha d i B a rt sc h inspired of their development towards this absolutely Stoic self or to listen to Seneca’s Stoic teachings at the nature of this self they are attempting to arrive. In articulating “the totally Stoic self” as Seneca’s self-professed endpoint in existence, this corpus units up a objective so sweeping and so specific of the conventional company of Roman lifestyles and politics that it thoroughly trumps different reports as soon as thought of extra typically constitutive of selfhood (e. g. , at Cic. De Off. 1): this function was once the single Seneca desired to go directly to posterity greater than the other, and he elides in those texts the existence he lived at court docket, his lifestyles as a husband, and different roles he may need performed. Seneca reminds us that any human can paintings towards the Stoic excellent and that that perfection, if ever attained, wouldn't leisure on a story of activities yet on psychological self-possession. yet after all, a perfected Stoic Seneca isn't any extra seen in those letters than is Seneca the scheming baby-kisser; this exists simply as a target, a myth of self-suficient and emotionally impervious perfection. whilst Seneca writes approximately it, he recognizes that he has now not reached this endpoint and that he's just a striver alongside that course (a proiciens), as are his fellow Stoics, these he understands and has heard inform of; the real Stoic sage is a unprecedented guy and will by no means have existed. it's the pursuit of the appropriate that's portrayed within the Epistles because the full-time profession of the particular Senecan self, in order that Seneca’s day-by-day techniques and activities during this course, his rational deliberations, his expertise of mistakes are what represent his selfhood. We see an highbrow agent engaged in a relentless fight for self-amelioration; a self that practices a sequence of routines, meditations, and second-order selfexaminations in a relentless and unabated attempt towards an ideal serenity that we by no means see it gaining in any everlasting manner – no matter if Seneca speaks of person clever judgements or understands theoretically what has to be performed.

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