In the Belly of the Beast

A Note on Seneca’s Thyestes 1032-1033

in Mnemosyne
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A Journal of Classical Studies


ChurchillC. Seneca: Thyestes 1995 London

ElderJ. Seneca: Thyestes 1982 Exeter

FitchJ.G. Annaeana tragica; Notes on the Text of Seneca’s Tragedies 2004 Leiden

FitchJ.G. Seneca: Tragedies 2004a Cambridge, USA Volume ii. Loeb Classical Library

HadasM. Thyestes: Seneca 1957 Indianapolis

HarrisE.I. The Tragedies of Seneca 1904 London

HerrmannL. Sénèque Tragédies: Tome ii 1967 Paris

LeoF. Plauti Comoediae 1895 Berlin

MillerF.J. Seneca: Tragedies 1917 Cambridge, USA Volume ii. Loeb Classical Library

NewtonT. HeywoodJ. Seneca’s Tragedies 1966 (1581) Indiana

OwenW.H. Commonplace and Dramatic Symbol in Seneca’s Tragedies TAPhA 1968 99 291 313

RosenmeyerT.G. Senecan Drama and Stoic Cosmology 1989 Berkeley

SchiesaroA. The Passions in the Play: Thyestes and the Dynamics of Senecan Drama 2003 Cambridge

SlavittD.R. Seneca: The Tragedies 1992 Volume 1 Baltimore

TarrantR.J. Seneca’s Thyestes (American Philological Association) 1985

ThomannT. L. Annaei Senecae Tragoedias 1961/1969 Zürich

VolkK. VolkK.WilliamsG. Cosmic Disruption in Seneca’s Thyestes Seeing Seneca Whole 2006 Leiden 183 200

WatlingE. F. Seneca: Four Tragedies and Octavia 1966 London/New York

ZwierleinO. L. Annaei Senecae Tragoediae 1986 Oxford


Tarrant 1985, 81, 234.


Fitch 2004, 188, n. 10. Fitch lists the other instances in which belua = ‘sea-beast’ in Seneca’s tragedies and in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, but he does not consider how the word is used generally by Seneca in his other texts, in contemporary language more broadly, or in Latin as a whole, nor does he consider belua from an interpretive angle. Ultimately, Fitch finds the possibility unconvincing due to Argos’s distance from the coast.


Tarrant 1985, 330.


See also Volk 2006, 183-200. For more on the cosmic aspect of Thyestes and Atreus, especially in relation to Stoic cosmology, see also Rosenmeyer 1989 and Owen 1968, 291-313.


See Schiesaro 2003, 151-153 for a similar argument about Atreus, but emphasizing the collapse of god and man.


Ibid., 139 ff.


Leo 1895.


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