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Morals and Villas in Seneca's Letters: Places to Dwell

Morals and Villas in Seneca's Letters: Places to Dwell (Hardback)

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Synopsis

John Henderson explores three letters of Seneca describing visits to Roman villas, and surveys the whole collection to show how these villas work as designs for contrasting lives. Seneca's own place is ageing drastically; a recent Epicurean's paradise is a seductive oasis away from the dangers of Nero's Rome; once a fortress of the dour Rome of yesteryear, the legendary Scipio's lair was now a shrine to the old morality: Seneca revels in its primitive bath-house, dark and cramped, before exploring the garden with the present owner. Seneca brings the philosophical epistle to Latin literature, creating models for moralizing which feature self-criticism, parody and re-animated myth. Virgil and Horace come in for rough handling, as the Latin moralist wrests ethical practice and writing away from Greek gurus and texts, and into critical thinking within a Roman context. Here is powerful teaching on metaphor and translation, on self-transformation and cultural tradition.

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: generalLiterary studies: classical, early & medievalPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesWestern philosophyWestern philosophy: Ancient, to c 500 Publisher: Cambridge University Press Publication Date: 04/03/2004 ISBN-13: 9780521829441  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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John Henderson is Reader in Latin Literature at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of King's College. His recent books include: Pliny's Statue: The Letters, Self-Portraiture & Classical Art (2002), Telling Tales on Caesar: Roman Stories from Phaedrus (2001), Writing down Rome: Comedy, Satire, and Other Offences (1999), and Fighting for Rome: Poets and Caesars, History and Civil War (1998). Aesop's Human Zoo: Roman Stories About Our Bodies, and HORTVS: The Roman Gardening Book, are both forthcoming (2004).

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