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In Eloquendo Corrupta Pleraque? Humanist Evaluations of Seneca's Prose Style

By Natha Kish

How much does the way in which we speak and write matter? What can it indicate about us? For Seneca the Younger, the answer was, “A lot.” In Ep. 114, using Maecenas as a notorious case study, Seneca argued that oratio is not only indicative of an individual’s lifestyle but, if widespread enough, the character of an age (1-2).

Servilis vs. Puerilis: Seneca’s De Tranquillitate Animi

By Erin Jo Petrella

In ​De Tranquillitate Animi​ §9, Seneca uses the phrase ​servilium litterarum​ to critique individuals who amass large libraries to give the impression of learning. In his 1672 edition, Lipsius, citing ​viri aliquot docti​, argues that this phrase refers to the base level of literacy required for everyday tasks, and not to ​paideia​. However, in 1873, J.N.

Cannibals, Cats, and Coteries: Wright's 1674 Mock-Thyestes

By Maria Haley

Following Jasper Heywood’s landmark translation of Seneca’s Thyestes in 1560, a trend of Thyestes translations emerged throughout the period. As Spearing makes clear, prefaces and dedications often accompanied these texts, as with Thomas Marsh’s 1581 edition. Heywood himself includes a playful prologue to his Thyestes in which he suggests that Seneca appeared to him in a dream.