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Philosophische Überzeugung und römische Identität

Seneca über den Weisen und die Tugend der ‚pudicitia‘

Stefan Röttig


Pages 553 - 573



Roman philosophy is not just Greek philosophy in Latin language. It has some aspects that are specifically Roman. This is particularly clear with regard to Seneca’s concept of virtue. In contrast to a common view that the latter became almost completely identical with ἀρετή, this article shows, by reference to Seneca’s image of the sage, that it kept its Roman aspect of manliness. That Seneca’s concept of virtue is Roman in character becomes also apparent when he reflects upon ‚pudicitia‘ („sexual integrity“), which he describes as a female virtue that can be lost due to acts of violence. Both aspects of Seneca’s concept of virtue seem to be problematic for central tenets in his ethics. The following inquiry is an attempt to solve or explain these problems. In doing so, I relate Seneca’s philosophy to his identity as a Roman.

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