n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - : social displacement, madness and religion in the of Apuleius

Supplement 3
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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The question is raised in Vivian whether a slave who, from time to time, tosses his head about among religious fanatics and makes some pronouncements, is nonetheless to be regarded as healthy. Vivian says that he is; for he says that we should still regard as sane those with mental defects; otherwise, he proceeds, the position would be reached that on this sort of ground, we would deny that slaves are healthy without limit, for example, because he is frivolous, superstitious, quick-tempered, obstinate, or has some other flaw of mind. The undertaking relates to physical, not mental health. Still, says Vivian, it does happen that a physical defect affects the mind also and makes the slave thereby defective; just as happens in the case of a lunatic, because his madness comes about as a result of a fever. What then? If the mental defect be such that it ought to be taken up by the vendor and if the vendor did not say anything, although he knew of it, he will be liable to an action on the purchase.

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