n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Il cavallo saggio e lo stolto Enea : due citazioni virgiliane in Seneca (Epist. 95.67-71; 56.12-14)

Volume 49, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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Poetic citations in Seneca's Epistles often have a structural function. In Epist. 95, Seneca uses Vergil's description of the thoroughbred horse (Georg. 3.75-85) to represent Cato of Utica. The sage is animosus like a horse because of the development of vices: this, as Epist. 95 points out, implies the necessity of the parallel evolution of virtue in order to combat them. In Epist. 56, Aeneas fleeing from Troy with his father and son (Aen. 2.726-29) is considered inperitus: from the Stoics' point of view, timor for one's family is a negative passion. This Aeneas is similar to Seneca in Epist.56: after presenting himself as a moral hero, at the end of the letter he flees from temptation. From this analysis emerges a Senecan sage different from the traditional one (and from the one of Lucan as well), but one suited to the hard times in which the philosopher lived.

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