Portraits of aging and old age in Seneca's Moral Epistles

Title: Portraits of aging and old age in Seneca's Moral Epistles
Author: Duarte, Ricardo
Source document: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2020, vol. 25, iss. 2, pp. 73-85
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
Type: Article

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In the Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium, written near the end of his life, Seneca frequently allies meditation on death – a theme that, as a Stoic, had always deserved his special attention – with reflections on the passage of time, the meaning of human existence, and the meaning of life in its different phases: childhood and youth, adulthood and old age. In this paper, I will study Seneca's most significant portraits of aging and old age, and articulate them via the literary anthropology that characterizes the Epistulae and his other works in general.
A preliminary version of this article was delivered at "Age, Aging and Old Age in Greco-Roman Antiquity", Gothenburg (Sweden), 2017. This article was written as part of my postdoctoral research on Seneca, funded by the FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (SFRH/BPD/117758/2016).