Their unknown authors are collectively called Pseudo-Seneca. Early manuscripts preserve Martin's preface, where he makes it clear that this was his adaptation, but in later copies this was omitted, and the work was later thought fully Seneca's work. Seneca's writings were well known in the later Roman period, and Quintilian , writing thirty years after Seneca's death, remarked on the popularity of his works amongst the youth. The early Christian Church was very favorably disposed towards Seneca and his writings, and the church leader Tertullian possessively referred to him as "our Seneca".
Medieval writers and works continued to link him to Christianity because of his alleged association with Paul. Seneca remains one of the few popular Roman philosophers from the period. He appears not only in Dante , but also in Chaucer and to a large degree in Petrarch , who adopted his style in his own essays and who quotes him more than any other authority except Virgil. In the Renaissance , printed editions and translations of his works became common, including an edition by Erasmus and a commentary by John Calvin.
French essayist Montaigne , who gave a spirited defense of Seneca and Plutarch in his Essays , was himself considered by Pasquier a "French Seneca". Many who considered his ideas not particularly original, still argued that he was important in making the Greek philosophers presentable and intelligible.
Even with the admiration of an earlier group of intellectual stalwarts, Seneca has never been without his detractors. In his own time, he was accused of hypocrisy or, at least, a less than "Stoic" lifestyle. While banished to Corsica, he wrote a plea for restoration rather incompatible with his advocacy of a simple life and the acceptance of fate. In his Apocolocyntosis he ridiculed the behaviors and policies of Claudius, and flattered Nero—such as proclaiming that Nero would live longer and be wiser than the legendary Nestor.
The claims of Publius Suillius Rufus that Seneca acquired some "three hundred million sesterces " through Nero's favor, are highly partisan, but they reflect the reality that Seneca was both powerful and wealthy. Cardano stated that Seneca well deserved death. Among the historians who have sought to reappraise Seneca is the scholar Anna Lydia Motto who in argued that the negative image has been based almost entirely on Suillius's account, while many others who might have lauded him have been lost.
Think of the barren image we should have of Socrates , had the works of Plato and Xenophon not come down to us and were we wholly dependent upon Aristophanes ' description of this Athenian philosopher. To be sure, we should have a highly distorted, misconstrued view. Such is the view left to us of Seneca, if we were to rely upon Suillius alone.
More recent work is changing the dominant perception of Seneca as a mere conduit for pre-existing ideas showing originality in Seneca's contribution to the history of ideas. Examination of Seneca's life and thought in relation to contemporary education and to the psychology of emotions is revealing the relevance of his thought.
For example, Martha Nussbaum in her discussion of desire and emotion includes Seneca among the Stoics who offered important insights and perspectives on emotions and their role in our lives. Nussbaum later extended her examination to Seneca's contribution to political philosophy  showing considerable subtlety and richness in his thoughts about politics, education, and notions of global citizenship—and finding a basis for reform-minded education in Seneca's ideas she used to propose a mode of modern education that avoids both narrow traditionalism and total rejection of tradition.
Elsewhere Seneca has been noted as the first great Western thinker on the complex nature and role of gratitude in human relationships. Seneca is a character in Monteverdi 's opera L'incoronazione di Poppea The Coronation of Poppea , which is based on the pseudo-Senecan play, Octavia. The "Pumpkinification" Apocolocyntosis to Graves thus becomes an unbearable work of flattery to the loathsome Nero mocking a man that Seneca groveled to for years.
Tragoediae cum notis J. Amstelodami, ex officina Henrici et viduae Theodori Boom, 8vo. PL Log in to post an annotation. If you don't have an account, then register here. Categories Map Family tree. Log in Register Search. Lucius Annaeus Seneca. Cordoba , Hispania.
Museo del Prado. First page of the Naturales Quaestiones , made for the Catalan-Aragonese court. Woodcut illustration of the suicide of Seneca and the attempted suicide of his wife Pompeia Paulina.
Plato , Seneca, and Aristotle in a medieval manuscript illustration c. The " Pseudo-Seneca " a Roman bust found at Herculaneum , one of a series of similar sculptures known since the Renaissance, once identified as Seneca. Now commonly identified as Hesiod. Baroque marble imaginary portrait bust of Seneca, by an anonymous sculptor of the 17th century.
Now to come to the definition of Light, in which the Author is also unsatisfied with the School of Aristotle, he saith, it satisfieth him no more to tell him that Lux est actus perspicui, than if you should tell him that it is umbra Dei. The ground of this definition given by the Peripateticks, is taken from a passage in Aristot.
Now as it is true that the Sectators of Aristotle are too blame, by fastening upon him by occasion of this passage, that he meant that those things that made this impression upon the Organs are meer accidents, and have nothing of substance; which is more than ever he meant, and cannot be maintained without violence to Reason, and his own Principles; so for Aristotle himself, no man is beholding to him for any Science acquired by this definition: for what is any man the near for his telling him that Colour admitting it to be a body, as indeed it is, and in that place he doth not deny doth move actu perspicuum, when as the perspicuity is in relation to the Eye; and he doth not say how it comes to be perspicuous, which is the thing enquired after, but gives it that donation before the Eye hath perform'd its office; so that if he had said it had been umbra Dei, it would have been as intelligible, as what he hath said.
He that would be satified how Vision is perform'd, let him see Mr. Hobbs in Tract. For God hath not caused it to rain upon the Earth. I believe that the Serpent if we shall literally understand it from his proper form and figure made his motion on his Belly before the Curse. I find the tryal of Pucelage and the Virginity of Women which God ordained the Jews, is very fallible. Whole Nations have escaped the curse of Child-birth, which God seems to pronounce upon the whole sex.
Say those of the first opinion against those that follow Boetius his definition, That definition was taken by Boetius out of Plato's Timeus, and is otherwise applyed, though not by Boetius, yet by those that follow him, than ever Plato intended it; for he did not take it in the Abstract, but in the Concrete, for an eternal thing, a Divine substance, by which he meant God, or his Anima mundi : and this he did, to the intent to establish this truth, That no mutation can befal the Divine Majesty, as it doth to things subject to generation and corruption; and that Plato there intended not to define or describe any species of duration: and they say that it is impossible to understand any such species of duration that is according to the Authors expression but one permanent point.
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Now that which those that follow Boetius urge against the other definition is, they say, it doth not at all difference Eternity from the nature of Time ; for they say if it be composed of many Nunc's, or many instants, by the addition of one more it is still encreased; and by that means Infinity or Eternity is not included, nor ought more than Time. For this, see Mr. White, de dial.
I wonder how Aristotle could conceive the World Eternal, or how he could make two Eternities: ] that is, that God; and the World both were eternal. There is in us not three, but a Trinity of Souls. There arose a great dispute about this matter in Oxford, in the year Daneus Christ. There is but one first, and four second causes in all things.
Si autem est, unde malia? In that he saith there are but four second Causes, he opposeth Plato, who to the four causes, material, efficient, formal, and final, adds for a fifth exemplar or ideaa, sc. Id ad quod respiciens artifex, id quod destinabat, efficit ; 38 according to whose mind Boetius speaks, lib. And St. Augustine l. I shall bring for instance Mr. Carpenter, who in his Philosophia Libera affirmeth, there is no such cause as that which they call the Final cause : he argueth thus; Every cause hath an influence upon its effect: but so has not the End, therefore it is not a Cause.
The major proposition he saith is evident, because the influence of a cause upon its effect, is either the causality it self, or something that is necessarily conjoyned to it: and the minor as plain, for either the End hath an influence upon the effect immediately, or mediately, by stirring up the Efficient to operate; not immediately, because so it should enter either the constitution or production, or conservation of the things; but the constitution it cannot enter, because the constitution is only of matter and form; nor the Production, for so it should concur to the production, either as it is simply the end, or as an exciter of the Efficient; but not simply as the end, because the end as end doth not go before, but followeth the thing produced, and therefore doth not concur to its production: if they say it doth so far concur, as it is desired of the agent or efficient cause, it should not so have an immediate influence upon the effect, but should onely first move the efficient.
Lastly, saith he, it doth not enter the conservation of a thing, because a thing is often conserved, when it is frustrate of its due end, as when it's converted to a new use and end.
Divers other Arguments he hath to prove there is no such cause as the final cause. Carpenter Philosoph. Il n'y a rien d'inutil en nature, non pas l'inutilite mesmes, Rien ne s'est jugere en cet Univers qu[i] n'y tienne place opportun. Who admires not Regio-montanus his Fly beyond his Eagle? Que diray je de l'aigle.
D'ont un doct Aleman honore nostre siecle Aigle qui deslogeant de la maistresse main, Aila loin au devant d'un Empereur Germain; Et l'ayant recontre, suddain d'une aisle accorte, Se tournant le suit au seuil de la porte Du fort Norembergois, que lis piliers dorez, Les tapissez chemins, les arcs elabourez, Les fourdroyans Canons, in la jeusnesse isnelle, In le chena Senat, n'honnoroit tant comme elle. Thus Englished by Silvester.
Why should not I that wooden Eagle mention? A learned German's late admir'd invention Which mounting from his Fist that framed her, Flew far to meet an Almain Emperour; And having met him, with her nimble train, And weary Wings turning about again, Followed him close unto the Castle Gate Of Noremberg; whom all the showes of state, Streets hang'd with Arras, Arches curious built, Loud thundring Canons, Colums richly guilt, Gray-headed Senat, and youth's gallantise, Grac'd not so much as onely this device.
Once as this Artist more with mirth than meat, Feasted some friends that he esteemed great; From under 's hand an Iron Fly flew out, Which having flown a perfect round about, With weary wings, return'd unto her Master, And as judicious on his arm she plac'd her. Or wonder not more at the operation of two souls in those little bodies, than but one in the Trunk of a Cedar?
The Manichees went farther, and attributed so much of the rational Soul to them, that they accounted it Homicide to gather either the Flowers or Fruit, as St.