Nicetes illam sententiam pulcherrimam, qua nescio an nostros antecesserit:. Titinium sic refert: equidem memoria teneo pueris nobis primum Latine docere coepisse Plotium quendam. From Seneca's prefactory descriptions of declaimers and passing remarks on their work, she derives evidence for all the stages in the preparation and delivery of declamations; and from the same source, in conjunction with select declamatory extracts, she shows that rhetorical taste in Seneca's time was not so uniform as is commonly supposed. The examples Seneca gives of the miraculous memory of his youth - his ability to recall two thousand separate names in the correct sequence, or over two hundred isolated lines of poetry in reverse order - are impressive, and we must not be over-sceptical about his claims, for a glance at any encyclopaedia1s entry on memory or mnemonics will convince one that the human memory is capable of almost anything, especially when trained in a discipline in which memorizing is regarded as a necessity or a virtue. The solution he adopted was this: he would introduce the leading declaimers by means of pen-portraits, not all together at the beginning of the work, but in a series of prefaces to separate books, which would provide at intervals welcome diversions from the series of detailed surveys of declamations which would make up the bulk of the work. Nevertheless Seneca the Elder was able to overcome to a certain extent the limitations of his formal education.
There is no reason to suppose that Seneca owes a particular debt to any single Greek theorist for his terminology, which includes, as is only to be expected, words from every stratum of the language, from old-established terms like tragoedia and historia to others which were much more recent coinages though, given the gaps in our evidence, we cannot know quite how recent like idiotismus and metaphrasis. He noted that two of the elder Seneca's grandsons were called Marcus and since there was a Roman custom for boys to be given the name of their grandfather, Raphael adopted the name of Marcus for the elder Seneca. Unwillingness to admit to the usefulness of writing as an aid to the memory was a time-honoured theme in ancient literature; it is well summed up by the Egyptian myth of Theuth, discoverer of writing, related by Plato in Phaedrus 274c275b. He may want to find an adjective to describe the voice of a particular man whose delivery contributed significantly to his success or failure: it does not follow that he will want to survey exhaustively all the possible types of vociferation. Why this should be so does not emerge till the last sen- tence of the passage quoted. Seven of these are extant, and more, it seems, were part of Seneca's plan, for in Contr.
History Seneca was also the author of a lost historical work, containing the history of from the beginning of the civil wars almost down to his own death, after which it was published by his son. From United Kingdom to U. The suggestion that Seneca's denial of plots indicates that he had gone to all lengths to ensure that Novatus and Seneca entered politics may readily be discounted: all that he denies in Contr. He rarely lays down any general rules about the way the various parts of a declamation should be treated. If only she could persuade her best friends -- Alexis, Jasmine, and Angel -- to join with her. Condition: New Print on Demand.
His language where hee could spare, or passe by a jest was nobly censorious. No man ever spake more neatly, more presly, more weightily, or sufferfd lesse emptinesse, lesse idleness, in what hee utterfd. The value of his work, as he sees it, will be that, by drawing on his private store of information, he will be able to supplement and correct the inadequate, and often misleading, data contained in these books, where they relate to the declaimers who had been known to him personally. Quinctius defensus aut Licinius Archias faciunt: Catilina et Milo et Verres et Antonius hanc illi famam circumdederunt. Edited by Francesco de Angelis, 311-329. Prose writers seem to have been less thoroughly discussed by grammarians than poets. One has to agree with Bardon that sometimes his striving after effect seems na'ive, as for example, when he says of The place of Seneca the Elder in literary history 72 the child prodigy Alfius Flavus, cum praetextatus esset, tantae opinionis fuit, ut populo Romano puer eloquentia notus esset Contr.
He never mentions that his second son was interested in philosophy. He pointed out, among other things, how enemies often are persuaded to give up their hostility, instancing how Cicero himself had been prevailed upon to defend Vatinius, whom he had attacked in an earlier speech Suas. Individualists are, of course, the most difficult of all literary figures to discuss. The pen-portrait of Pollio consists almost entirely of reflections on his character and pleasing anecdotes about his private life; true literary criticism is restricted to one sentence: floridior erat aliquanto in declamando quam in agendo: illud strictum eius et asperum et nimis iratum ingenio suo iudicium adeo cessabat ut in multis illi venia opus esset quae ab ipso vix inpetrabatur. Among these was Cestius Pius, one of whose young pupils, Alfius Flavus, attracted such large audiences that the master hardly dared declaim immediately after him Contr. The fact is simply that descriptive criticism requires a different vocabulary from - in particular far fewer strictly technical terms than - legislative or theoretical criticism.
Even with the aid of the latter, only seven of the prefaces are available. Take, for example, a remarkable sentence from his description of Fabianus: deerat illi oratorium robur et ille pugnatorius mucro, splendor vero velut voluntarius non elaboratae orationi aderat Contr. It sets Seneca the Elder against the background of his time and discusses many technical matters of declamation. He noted that two of the elder Seneca's grandsons were called Marcus and since there was a Roman custom for boys to be given the name of their grandfather, Raphael adopted the name of Marcus for the elder Seneca. .
This was the case with Fabianus: cum veros conpressisset adfectus et iram doloremque procul expulisset, parum bene imitari poterat quae effugerat Contr. He was the father of and the stoic philosopher Lucius who was tutor of. A remark of Plutarch Pericles 5. His diction already seemed old-fashioned: Seneca finds it remarkable that the declaimer Haterius. The declamatory anthology 27 3. But that does not mean that he was insincere when he wrote them. The comparison of Greek with Latin sententiae may follow fairly naturally from what has come before, but quite often the Greek examples seem almost to be thrown in as an afterthought.
When it is time to announce new members, Camille and Alexis are accepted and Angel's left out in the cold. The situation had arisen where new declaimers could plagiarize the sententiae of their predecessors with impunity, as few people could remember who had originally composed them. The father's claim to the authorship of these rhetorical works, generally ascribed to his son during the , was vindicated by the and. Note too that even some of the obser- vations in Contr. The impli- cation is that it is on this faculty that he is expecting to have to rely: memoria est res ex omnibus animi partibus maxime delicata et fragilis, in quam primam senectus incurrit. His heart goes out to Latro, for instance, whose unremitting intellectual exertions caused him, in addition to physical suffering Contr.