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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10243
Seneca The Younger, Letters, 24.3


nanAnd you need not spend a long time in gathering illustrations which will strengthen you; every epoch has produced them. Let your thoughts travel into any era of Roman or foreign history, and there will throng before you notable examples of high achievement or of high endeavour. If you lose this case, can anything more severe happen to you than being sent into exile or led to prison? Is there a worse fate that any man may fear than being burned or being killed? Name such penalties one by one, and mention the men who have scorned them; one does not need to hunt for them, – it is simply a matter of selection.


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

19 results
1. Homer, Iliad, 3.173 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

3.173. /neither one so royal: he is like unto one that is a king. And Helen, fair among women, answered him, saying:Revered art thou in mine eyes, dear father of my husband, and dread. Would that evil death had been my pleasure when I followed thy son hither, and left my bridal chamber and my kinfolk
2. Homer, Odyssey, 10.49-10.52 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

3. Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 862-864, 861 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

861. τὸ μὲν γυναῖκα πρῶτον ἄρσενος δίχα 861. First: for a woman, from the male divided
4. Sophocles, Antigone, 1175 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

5. Cicero, On Friendship, 18 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

6. Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, 1.74 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.74. nostra vehitur oratio ratio Camerar. ). sed haec haec add. V 2 et vetera sunt post vetera add. K 2 et a Graecis; Cato autem sic abiit e vita, ut causam moriendi moriundi K 2 nactum se esse gauderet. vetat enim domis ille in in om. V nobis deus iniussu hinc nos suo demigrare; cum vero causam iustam deus ipse dederit, ut tunc tum GV Socrati, nunc Catoni, saepe multis, ne ille me Dius Fidius vir sapiens laetus ex his tenebris in lucem illam excesserit, nec tamen ille ille Lb. ilia rup erit V vincla carceris ruperit—leges enim vetant—, sed tamquam a magistratu aut ab aliqua potestate legitima, sic a deo evocatus atque emissus exierit. Tota Plato Phaedon 80e enim philosophorum vita, ut ait idem, commentatio mortis est.
7. Philo of Alexandria, That Every Good Person Is Free, 63 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

63. for it does not follow, that although the souls of such as contradict those virtuous men are deprived of all liberty for having been completely led away and enslaved by folly and other vices, that on this account the whole human race is so too. But it is no wonder if we do not see numerous companies of those men advancing as it were in a solid body. In the first place, because whatever is exceedingly beautiful is rare; secondly, because men who are removed from the main crowd of inconsiderately judging persons, have abundant leisure for the contemplation of the things of nature, endeavouring, as far as it may be in their power, to correct life in general (for virtue is a thing of great benefit to the whole community); but when they are unable to succeed in their object, by reason of the numbers of absurdities which are continually impeding them in the different cities, which the different passions and vices of the soul have given strength to, they then retire into solitude, in order not to be carried away by the violence and rush of these absurdities, as by a wintry torrent.
8. Vergil, Aeneis, 6.434-6.437 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

6.434. Both hapless and unhonored after death 6.435. Whom, while from Troy they crossed the wind-swept seas 6.437. There, too, the helmsman Palinurus strayed :
9. Epictetus, Discourses, 2.8.26, 4.1.151-4.1.152 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

10. Heraclitus of Ephesus (Attributed Author), Letters, 4 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

11. Lucan, Pharsalia, 4.474-4.520 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

12. Seneca The Younger, De Clementia, 1.6.3 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

13. Seneca The Younger, De Constantia Sapientis, 7.1 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

14. Seneca The Younger, On Anger, 2.10.6, 2.28.1 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

15. Seneca The Younger, De Providentia (Dialogorum Liber I), 2.9-2.12 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

16. Seneca The Younger, Letters, 24.5-24.6, 32.1, 42.1, 70.4, 83.1 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

17. Tacitus, Annals, 15.62-15.64, 16.34-16.35 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

15.62.  Seneca, nothing daunted, asked for the tablets containing his will. The centurion refusing, he turned to his friends, and called them to witness that "as he was prevented from showing his gratitude for their services, he left them his sole but fairest possession — the image of his life. If they bore it in mind, they would reap the reward of their loyal friendship in the credit accorded to virtuous accomplishments." At the same time, he recalled them from tears to fortitude, sometimes conversationally, sometimes in sterner, almost coercive tones. "Where," he asked, "were the maxims of your philosophy? Where that reasoned attitude towards impending evils which they had studied through so many years? For to whom had Nero's cruelty been unknown? Nor was anything left him, after the killing of his mother and his brother, but to add the murder of his guardian and preceptor. 15.63.  After these and some similar remarks, which might have been meant for a wider audience, he embraced his wife, and, softening momentarily in view of the terrors at present threatening her, begged her, conjured her, to moderate her grief — not to take it upon her for ever, but in contemplating the life he had spent in virtue to find legitimate solace for the loss of her husband. Paulina replied by assuring him that she too had made death her choice, and she demanded her part in the executioner's stroke. Seneca, not wishing to stand in the way of her glory, and influenced also by his affection, that he might not leave the woman who enjoyed his whole-hearted love exposed to outrage, now said: "I had shown you the mitigations of life, you prefer the distinction of death: I shall not grudge your setting that example. May the courage of this brave ending be divided equally between us both, but may more of fame attend your own departure!" Aforesaid, they made the incision in their arms with a single cut. Seneca, since his aged body, emaciated further by frugal living, gave slow escape to the blood, severed as well the arteries in the leg and behind the knee. Exhausted by the racking pains, and anxious lest his sufferings might break down the spirit of his wife, and he himself lapse into weakness at the sight of her agony, he persuaded her to withdraw into another bedroom. And since, even at the last moment his eloquence remained at command, he called his secretaries, and dictated a long discourse, which has been given to the public in his own words, and which I therefore refrain from modifying. 15.64.  Nero, however, who had no private animosity against Paulina, and did not wish to increase the odium of his cruelty, ordered her suicide to be arrested. Under instructions from the military, her slaves and freedmen bandaged her arms and checked the bleeding — whether without her knowledge is uncertain. For, with the usual readiness of the multitude to think the worst, there were those who believed that, so long as she feared an implacable Nero, she had sought the credit of sharing her husband's fate, and then, when a milder prospect offered itself, had succumbed to the blandishments of life. To that life she added a few more years — laudably faithful to her husband's memory and blanched in face and limb to a pallor which showed how great had been the drain upon her vital powers. Seneca, in the meantime, as death continued to be protracted and slow, asked Statius Annaeus, who had long held his confidence as a loyal friend and a skilful doctor, to produce the poison — it had been provided much earlier — which was used for despatching prisoners condemned by the public tribunal of Athens. It was brought, and he swallowed it, but to no purpose; his limbs were already cold, and his system closed to the action of the drug. In the last resort, he entered a vessel of heated water, sprinkling some on the slaves nearest, with the remark that he offered the liquid as a drink-offering to Jove the Liberator. He was then lifted into a bath, suffocated by the vapour, and cremated without ceremony. It was the order he had given in his will, at a time when, still at the zenith of his wealth and power, he was already taking thought for his latter end. 16.34.  The consul's quaestor was then sent to Thrasea: he was spending the time in his gardens, and the day was already closing in for evening. He had brought together a large party of distinguished men and women, his chief attention been given to Demetrius, a master of the Cynic creed; with whom — to judge from his serious looks and the few words which caught the ear, when they chanced to raise their voices — he was debating the nature of the soul and the divorce of spirit and body. At last, Domitius Caecilianus, an intimate friend, arrived, and informed him of the decision reached by the senate. Accordingly, among the tears and expostulations of the company, Thrasea urged them to leave quickly, without linking their own hazardous lot to the fate of a condemned man. Arria, who aspired to follow her husband's ending and the precedent set by her mother and namesake, he advised to keep her life and not deprive the child of their union of her one support. 16.35.  He now walked on to the colonnade; where the quaestor found him nearer to joy than to sorrow, because he had ascertained that Helvidius, his son-in‑law, was merely debarred from Italy. Then, taking the decree of the senate, he led Helvidius and Demetrius into his bedroom, offered the arteries of both arms to the knife, and, when the blood had begun to flow, sprinkled it upon the ground, and called the quaestor nearer: "We are making a libation," he said, "to Jove the Liberator. Look, young man, and — may Heaven, indeed, avert the omen, but you have been born into times now it is expedient to steel the mind with instances of firmness." Soon, as the slowness of his end brought excruciating pain, turning his gaze upon Demetrius . . .
18. Valerius Flaccus Gaius, Argonautica, 1.752-1.826 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

19. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 7.119 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

7.119. They are also, it is declared, godlike; for they have a something divine within them; whereas the bad man is godless. And yet of this word – godless or ungodly – there are two senses, one in which it is the opposite of the term godly, the other denoting the man who ignores the divine altogether: in this latter sense, as they note, the term does not apply to every bad man. The good, it is added, are also worshippers of God; for they have acquaintance with the rites of the gods, and piety is the knowledge of how to serve the gods. Further, they will sacrifice to the gods and they keep themselves pure; for they avoid all acts that are offences against the gods, and the gods think highly of them: for they are holy and just in what concerns the gods. The wise too are the only priests; for they have made sacrifices their study, as also establishing holy places, purifications, and all the other matters appertaining to the gods.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aeson Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 30
antisthenes Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
caesar, c. julius Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 30
cato, the younger Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 30
chrysippus Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
crates Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
cynics/cynicism Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
diogenes, the cynic Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
epictetus Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
heracles/hercules Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
lucilius, gaius Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
nero Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 30
norden, eduard Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
philosopher Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
phintys, (the) phoenix (bird) Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
seneca, death of Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
seneca Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
socrates Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
stoicism, logic Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
stoicism, ps.-heraclitus Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
stoicism, vs. cynics Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
stoicism, wise man Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
stoicism Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
suicide Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 30
tacitus, on seneca Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
tacitus, senecas death Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 30
tacitus Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 30
thrasea paetus, suicide Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 30
tiberius Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 30
virgil and the aeneid, suicide Agri, Reading Fear in Flavian Epic: Emotion, Power, and Stoicism (2022) 30
virtue Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
wisdom Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621
wise, man' Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 621