Brief und Freundschaft in Seneca Epist. 3

Ein meta-poetische Lektüre


  • Nina Mindt Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin



The third letter of Seneca’s Epistulae Morales subtly refers to the topos of ancient letter writing that the letter is a conversation with an absent friend. At the beginning of Ep. 3 Seneca uses the practical circumstances of epistolary communication as a skillful occasion to show that the type of text he has chosen is very functional for his philosophical purposes: He discusses both friendship and epistolary genre itself. Ep. 3 is a self-referential text on Seneca’s project of philosophy in letters, on the Epistulae Morales (Letters on Ethics). Ep. 3, thus, is a programmatic letter that highlights the connection between ‘letter’ and ‘friendship’: A trusting friendship is an important basis to render an exchange effective and to achieveethical progress, and the epistolary form is the ideal type of text for this purpose. The connection between the form of the letter to a friend and the philosophical content has long been recognized for the Epistulae Morales in general. The early, implicit program of the third letter has not yet been adequately taken into account.




Come citare

Mindt, N. (2022). Brief und Freundschaft in Seneca Epist. 3: Ein meta-poetische Lektüre. Lucius Annaeus Seneca, 2, 27–44.