Seneca's epistolary Responsum: the De ira as parody
Although Seneca's De Ira has long been considered a standard Stoic approach to anger in dialogue form, its structure more closely approximates that of an epistle. The prevalence of legal terminology as well as numerous and recurrent legal contexts suggest that Seneca used the Epistolary Responsum of the jurisconsults as his model instead of the philosophical dialogue. Seneca's criticism of the delict Iniuria in a legal genre disguised as a Stoic moral essay parodies the Responsum and, as a consequence, effectively reveals law as a convenient pretext and source of a social ill it purports to remedy.
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THE DELICT INIURIA
LEGAL ADVICE AND REFORM
THE JUDICIAL RESPONSUM
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adversarius aequi affront analysis anecdotes anger angry animi Antigonus Apocolocyntosis appears argument Band Berger Cambridge Cambyses Cato causa Chap chapter cites Clarendon Press Claudius contumelia convicium courts crime criticism delict iniuria delictum diatribe Digest dignitas discussion E. H. Warmington eius elements enim entry epistolary responsum exact punishment examples exempla facere formulaic Gaius genre Horace Sermones injury inquit Inst insult intent ira and iniuria iram iudex iuris judge judicial jurists Justinian Justus Lipsius Juvenal Labeo law of delicts legal action legal context legal sense legal terms litigation Lucilius maledicta moral Nicholas nobis Novatus offense Ovids Oxford parody passage passim penalty philosophical dialogue poenae possunt potestas praetor Praexaspes Princeton problem quae quaerimus quaestio quam Quid quod refers remarks responsa Roman law Roman Legal Science satirist Seneca Seneca's purpose sicariis sine Stoic Suetonius sunt supplicium Tacitus trans Twelve Tables Ulpian University Press vice vindicare