Vitae aut vocis ambigua: Seneca the younger and ambiguity

Janja Soldo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

My paper demonstrates that Seneca's understanding of ambiguity is both indebted to his Stoic predecessors and an innovative contribution to defining and explaining ambiguity. In his Epistulae Morales, Seneca moves away from an understanding of ambiguity that is primarily based on language, and focuses on the idea of an ambiguous reality, describing human behaviour and life itself as ambiguous. A close reading of Ep. 9 and 45 shows the great importance Seneca attaches to discovering and understanding the ambiguity inherent in life and brings it into line with his treatment of logic, one of the three constitutive elements of Stoic philosophy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStrategies of Ambiguity in Ancient Literature
EditorsMartin Vöhler, Therese Fuhrer, Stavros Frangoulidis
PublisherDe Gruyter
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783110715811
ISBN (Print)9783110715415
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2021

Publication series

NameTrends in Classics - Supplementary Volumes

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Epistulae morales
  • Letters
  • Philosophy
  • Seneca the younger
  • Stoicism


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