Due letture dell’esordio della lettera 64 di Seneca. 2. Il banchetto che non c’è
AbstractThis article offers an analysis of Seneca’s Ep. 64.1-3, with particular attention to the thematic element of the banquet. The epistle tackles the topic of convivium with both reticence (for instance, there is no reference to specific foods or guests) and a satirical overtone (as signaled by the smoke, the joke with firefighters, and the guests’ inconclusive speeches). This purposely understated description contrasts with the chief model for all philosophical banquets, that is Plato’s Symposium. And yet, Seneca’s presentation of Sextius’ recalls in many ways Socrates’ eulogy made by Alcibiades, precisely in Plato’s dialogue. In fact, Sextius is quoted for his literary achievement: something Plato would have looked upon with suspicion. In turn, such emphasis on philosophical writing foreshadows Seneca abandoning dialogues for reading and writing (cf. Ep. 67). Thus, the banquet at Ep. 64 stands out as a distancing maneuver from Plato’s themes and literary genre, to favor instead authors and practices which prove more beneficial to Seneca’s ethical targets.
Copyright (c) 2021 Francesca Romana Berno
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