Roman Reflections: Studies in Latin Philosophy by Gareth D. Williams, Katharina Volk

By Gareth D. Williams, Katharina Volk

While the Romans followed Greek literary genres and creative ideas, they didn't slavishly imitate their versions yet created vivid and unique works of literature and artwork of their personal correct. an analogous is right for philosophy, although the truth that the wealthy Roman philosophical culture continues to be all too usually handled as an insignificant footnote to the background of Greek philosophy. This quantity goals to reassert the importance of Roman philosophy and to discover the "Romanness" of philosophical writings and practices within the Roman global, endeavoring to teach that the Romans of their inventive model of Greek modes of suggestion built subtle kinds of philosophical discourse formed by way of their very own heritage and associations, options, and values--and last--but now not least--by the Latin language, which just about all Roman philosophers used to precise their ideas.

This quantity of 13 chapters via a global workforce of experts in historical philosophy, Latin literature, and Roman social and highbrow historical past strikes from Roman attitudes to and practices of philosophy to the good past due Republican writers Cicero and Lucretius, then onwards to the early Empire and the paintings of Seneca the more youthful, and at last to Epictetus, Apuleius, and Augustine. utilizing numerous methods, the essays display the range and originality of Roman philosophical discourse over the centuries.

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1–14. Recent introductions to Pythagoreanism include Kahn 2001 and Riedweg 2002. 3 4 36Katharina Volk among the most enthusiastic in following, or at least admiring, a tradition that was native to their own region. (Kahn 2001: 86; emphasis mine) While I shall in what follows discuss a number of instances of what seems to be actual Pythagorean influence on things Roman, I am concerned at least as much with how the Romans “imagined” and represented such influence. Unlike the authors of many earlier works on the topic, who tend to be inspired by an enthusiastic belief in the Pythagorean nature of Roman ideas, artifacts, and institutions ranging from the Twelve Tables to the Aeneid,5 I remain skeptical about our ability, where things Pythagorean are concerned, to disentangle fact from fiction.

Pythagoreorum, of which many more, he says, could be adduced (Tusc. 3–4). His focus is on a supposedly archaic Roman tradition of carmina—including See Gabba 1966: 154–66, Garbarino 1973: 221–58, Gruen 1990: 158–62, Panitschek 1990, Storchi Marino 1999: 25, and Humm 2004. 11 Porph. Life of Pythagoras 21 = Aristox. fr. 17 Wehrli. Cf. Iambl. VP 34 and Diog. 14. 12 See Gabba 1966: 158–9, who believes that Aristoxenus himself is the very source of the Numa legend (at the same time, the Italian scholar considers it possible that Greek authors such as Aristoxenus might themselves in turn have been influenced by genuine Roman lore).

What about you philosophers? ”); here “you philosophers” refers to the Stoics, mentioned at the start of ­chapter 39; even if Balbus is included, he is not singled out as in the earlier passages discussed above. 5 One might note in passing that in most of his writings Seneca seems reluctant to use the word philosophia, which occurs about 140 times in the Letters, but only nine times elsewhere in Seneca, three in De beata uita and six in the Natural Questions. See Hine (forthcoming). 4 20Harry Hine of past generations, except for one humorous passage where Seneca counts himself among their number: quare non et ego mihi idem permittam quod Anaxagoras?

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