Home About Network of subjects Linked subjects heatmap Book indices included Search by subject Search by reference Browse subjects Browse texts

Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10243
Seneca The Younger, Letters, 114.3-114.4


nanA man's ability[2] cannot possibly be of one sort and his soul of another. If his soul be wholesome, well-ordered, serious, and restrained, his ability also is sound and sober. Conversely, when the one degenerates, the other is also contaminated. Do you not see that if a man's soul has become sluggish, his limbs drag and his feet move indolently? If it is womanish, that one can detect the effeminacy by his very gait? That a keen and confident soul quickens the step? That madness in the soul, or anger (which resembles madness), hastens our bodily movements from walking to rushing? And how much more do you think that this affects one's ability, which is entirely interwoven with the soul, – being moulded thereby, obeying its commands, and deriving therefrom its laws!


nanIf we had the privilege of looking into a good man's soul, oh what a fair, holy, magnificent, gracious, and shining face should we behold – radiant on the one side with justice and temperance, on another with bravery and wisdom! And, besides these, thriftiness, moderation, endurance, refinement, affability, and – though hard to believe – love of one's fellow-men, that Good which is so rare in man, all these would be shedding their own glory over that soul. There, too, forethought combined with elegance and, resulting from these, a most excellent greatness of soul (the noblest of all these virtues) – indeed what charm, O ye heavens, what authority and dignity would they contribute! What a wonderful combination of sweetness and power! No one could call such a face lovable without also calling it worshipful.


nanHow Maecenas lived is too well-known for present comment. We know how he walked, how effeminate he was, and how he desired to display himself; also, how unwilling he was that his vices should escape notice. What, then? Does not the looseness of his speech match his ungirt attire?[3] Are his habits, his attendants, his house, his wife,[4] any less clearly marked than his words? He would have been a man of great powers, had he set himself to his task by a straight path, had he not shrunk from making himself understood, had he not been so loose in his style of speech also. You will therefore see that his eloquence was that of an intoxicated man – twisting, turning, unlimited in its slackness.


nanIf one might behold such a face, more exalted and more radiant than the mortal eye is wont to behold, would not one pause as if struck dumb by a visitation from above, and utter a silent prayer, saying: "May it be lawful to have looked upon it!"? And then, led on by the encouraging kindliness of his expression, should we not bow down and worship? Should we not, after much contemplation of a far superior countenance, surpassing those which we are wont to look upon, mild-eyed and yet flashing with life-giving fire – should we not then, I say, in reverence and awe, give utterance to those famous lines of our poet Vergil:


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

4 results
1. Petronius Arbiter, Satyricon, 37 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2. Petronius Arbiter, Satyricon, 37 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

3. Seneca The Younger, Letters, 18.4, 83.25, 114.4, 114.21 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

4. Seneca The Younger, Phaedra, 518-520, 517 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
ambition Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 179
antonius, marcus Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 179
augustus, c. iulius caesar octavianus Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 179, 180
augustus Pinheiro et al., Cultural Crossroads in the Ancient Novel (2018) 71
banquets Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 151, 179, 180
cena Pinheiro et al., Cultural Crossroads in the Ancient Novel (2018) 71
cleopatra Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 179
clothing Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 151, 180
cruelty Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 179
cynicism Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 179
encolpius Pinheiro et al., Cultural Crossroads in the Ancient Novel (2018) 71
eros Pinheiro et al., Cultural Crossroads in the Ancient Novel (2018) 71
fortunata Pinheiro et al., Cultural Crossroads in the Ancient Novel (2018) 71
hippolytus Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 179
ingenium Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 180
lascivia Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 180
love / eros Pinheiro et al., Cultural Crossroads in the Ancient Novel (2018) 71
lucilius iunior Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 151
lust vii Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 179
maecenas, c. clinius Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 179, 180
maecenas Pinheiro et al., Cultural Crossroads in the Ancient Novel (2018) 71
nature Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 179
perversion Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 151
pleasure Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 151, 179, 180
saturnalia Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 151
seneca the younger Pinheiro et al., Cultural Crossroads in the Ancient Novel (2018) 71
sobrietas Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 151, 180
socrates Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 151
stoicism Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 151, 179
stomach Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 180
terentia Pinheiro et al., Cultural Crossroads in the Ancient Novel (2018) 71
trimalchio Pinheiro et al., Cultural Crossroads in the Ancient Novel (2018) 71
virtue Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 151
vomit Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 151
warm Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 151
wealth Pinheiro et al., Cultural Crossroads in the Ancient Novel (2018) 71
wine Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 151, 179, 180
wise man' Romana Berno, Roman Luxuria: A Literary and Cultural History (2023) 151