Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The purpose of this study is to provide a commentary on part of Seneca's lengthy treatise on benefits. An attempt is made to provide an understanding of the meaning of the text. This involves, at times, consideration of the continuity of thought, of textual problems and lacunae (although by no means all difficulties of that order have been discussed). The statements which Seneca makes in his other philosophical works, whether in agreement or contradictory, are adduced for purposes of elucidation. It is apparent that some of the expressions and statements which seem innocuous in their context are sometimes coloured by their appearing elsewhere in doctrines of considerabIe complexity. Some of the works of Cicero, another valuable source of Roman philosophy, particularly Stoicism, are introduced for purposes of comparison. The ethical works of Aristotle likewise prove to be a valuable source of comparative statements. In general the background provided illustrates that Seneca did not provide the reader with much original thought but that he presented his material with the skill of an effective instructor.
Zeyl, Jakob S.T.O., "Seneca's De Beneficiis, Book One: A Commentary on Chapters One to Ten" (1974). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 3017.