Brill's Companion to Seneca

Philosopher and Dramatist


This new and important introduction to Seneca provides a systematic and concise presentation of this author’s philosophical works and his tragedies. It provides handbook style surveys of each genuine or attributed work, giving dates and brief descriptions, and taking into account the most important philosophical and philological issues. In addition, they provide accounts of the major steps in the history of their later influence. The cultural background of the texts and the most important problem areas within the philosophic and tragic corpus of Seneca are dealt with in separate essays.

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Gregor Damschen is a Research Fellow of the SNF at the University of Lucerne and a lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Halle. His research focuses on topics in ancient philosophy, epistemology and logic.

Andreas Heil is working at the University of Dresden. He is author of Alma Aeneis. Studien zur Vergil- und Statiusrezeption Dante Alighieris (2002), Marcus Valerius Martialis. Epigrammaton liber decimus (2004, with G. Damschen) and Die dramatische Zeit in Senecas Tragödien (in preparation).

Contributors: Michael von Albrecht; Mireille Armisen-Marchetti; Andrea Balbo; Margarethe Billerbeck; F.-R. Chaumartin; Gregor Damschen; Joachim Dingel; Catharine Edwards; Anna Maria Ferrero; Rolando Ferri; Susanna Fischer; Marica Frank; Alfons Fürst; Bardo Maria Gauly; Sander M. Goldberg; Margaret R. Graver; Thomas Habinek; G.W.M. Harrison; Andreas Heil; Christoph Kugelmeier; Matthias Laarmann; Mario Lentano; Wolf-Lüder Liebermann; C.A. Littlewood; Gottfried Mader; Ermanno Malaspina; C. W. Marshall; Roland Mayer; Giancarlo Mazzoli; Burkhard Mojsisch; Maria Monteleone; Fritz-Heiner Mutschler; Renata Roncali; Jochen Sauer; E. A. Schmidt; Werner Schubert; John Sellars; Aldo Setaioli; Robert S. Smith; Wilfried Stroh; Karlheinz Töchterle; Chiara Torre; Jula Wildberger; Gareth D. Williams; Michael Winterbottom.
" This almost 900-page introduction to Seneca is a valuable resource even for scholars whose work focuses on Seneca, since it covers the full range of Seneca’s work in philosophy and poetry, a range so wide that no one person can master it. (...) In its comprehensiveness, scholarly depth, and factual density it is very much a work in the Germanic tradition of Pauly-Wissowa, albeit entirely in English." Gregory A. Staley, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2014.09.20.

" The volume (...) offers much material for several groups of users alike. It contains both informative introductions and deeper analysis. (...) The volume is an impressive achievement and seems indispensable for any serious institutional library of classics." Vincent Hunink, Mnemosyne 08.2015.

Part One – Life and Legacy
Imago suae vitae: Seneca’s Life and Career
Thomas Habinek
TheWorks of Seneca the Younger and Their Dates
C.W. Marshall
Rolando Ferri

Seneca and Senecae: Images of Seneca from Antiquity to Present
Seneca the Philosopher
Matthias Laarmann
Seneca the Dramatist
Werner Schubert

Part Two - Philosophy
Context: Seneca’s Philosophical Predecessors and Contemporaries
John Sellars

De providentia
R. Scott Smith
De constantia sapientis
R. Scott Smith
De ira
Maria Monteleone
Consolatio ad Marciam
Jochen Sauer
De vita beata
Fritz-Heiner Mutschler
De otio
R. Scott Smith
De tranquillitate animi
Fritz-Heiner Mutschler
De brevitate vitae
R. Scott Smith
Consolatio ad Polybium
Jochen Sauer
Consolatio ad Helviam
Jochen Sauer
De clementia
Ermanno Malaspina
Naturales quaestiones
Gareth D. Williams
Epistulae morales
Aldo Setaioli
De beneficiis
Mario Lentano
Lost and FragmentaryWorks
Anna Maria Ferrero
Epistulae Senecae ad Paulum et Pauli ad Senecam
Alfons Fürst

Ontology and Epistemology
Mireille Armisen-Marchetti
Ethics I: Philosophy as Therapy, Self-Transformation, and “Lebensform”
Aldo Setaioli
Ethics II: Action and Emotion
Margaret R. Graver
Ethics III: Free Will and Autonomy
Aldo Setaioli
Ethics IV: Wisdom and Virtue
Jula Wildberger
Ethics V: Death and Time
Catharine Edwards
Physics I: Body and Soul
R. Scott Smith
Physics II: Cosmology and Natural Philosophy
Bardo Maria Gauly
Physics III: Theology
Aldo Setaioli

Part Three - Tragedy
Wolf-Lüder Liebermann

Hercules furens
Margarethe Billerbeck
Wilfried Stroh
Marica Frank
Wolf-Lüder Liebermann
Roland Mayer
Karlheinz Töchterle
Christoph Kugelmeier
Chiara Torre

Hercules Oetaeus
C.A.J. Littlewood
Rolando Ferri

Space and Time in Senecan Drama
Ernst A. Schmidt
Vision, Sound, and Silence in the “Drama of theWord”
Andreas Heil
The Chorus: Seneca as Lyric Poet
Giancarlo Mazzoli
The Rhetoric of Rationality and Irrationality
Gottfried Mader
G.W.M. Harrison
G.W.M. Harrison
Greek and Roman Elements in Senecan Tragedy
Sander M. Goldberg
Philosophical Tragedy?
François-Régis Chaumartin

Part Four - Apocolocyntosis
Renata Roncali

Part Five – Other Works
Joachim Dingel
De vita patris
Michael Winterbottom

Part Six - Synthesis
Seneca’s Language and Style
Michael von Albrecht
Systematic Connections between Seneca’s PhilosophicalWorks and Tragedies
Susanna E. Fischer

List of Journal Abbreviations
Andrea Balbo and Ermanno Malaspina
Editions of Seneca’sWorks (Since Haase’s Opera Omnia)
General Index
All those interested in Stoic philosophy, the history of drama, Neronian culture, and the intellectual influence of antiquity, as well as classical philologists and philosophers.