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The Representation And Role Of Badness In Senecas Moral Teaching: A Case From the Naturales Quaestiones (Nq 1.16)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on an elaborate portrayal of a peculiar case of depravity in the work of the philosopher Seneca. Thomsen believes that in the context of the Naturales Quaestiones, the function of the story is that of a theodicy: the irreverent Hostius is struck down by the gods. Other scholars have asked what the place of the Hostius Quadra episode in Naturales Quaestiones Book 1 is, and have integrated the episode into an interpretation of the whole book. A few passages in Seneca?s work provide an indication for the philosophical context in which such an elaborate description of evil may be understood. In the passage of de Ira, Seneca speaks about repeatedly setting the many faults of anger before one?s eyes. Seneca?s descriptions of vice, whether in the tragedies or in the Naturales Quaestiones, may well have distressed some readers.

Keywords: de Ira; Hostius Quadra; Naturales Quaestiones; Seneca; Thomsen



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