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Vestiges of the Lucilius: the image of the reader in the first book of Seneca’s Epistuale Morales

Grant number: 16/06615-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2016
Effective date (End): June 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature
Principal Investigator:Isabella Tardin Cardoso
Grantee:Ana Azevedo Bezerra Felicio
Home Institution: Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem (IEL). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil

Abstract

This research aims at considering the image of Lucilius Iunior, the recipient of the first book of the Epistulae Morales by Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BCE - 65 CE). The importance of the recipient for the epistolary genre is highlighted by Seneca himself, when, for example, he states that letters "bring true vestiges of the absent friend" (vera amici absentis vestigia, Ep. 40,1; Santos 1999). After translating the first book, which consists of ten letters, we investigate the presence and characterization of Lucilius. As a theoretical foundation, we take into consideration the recent approach in Classics that gives importance to the role of the reader in the meaning of texts (such as Classical Intertextual and Reception Studies). I hold as our hypothesis that a closer observation of the vestiges of Lucilius in the Epistulae Morales can aid in the understanding of the work, such as in addressing the problematic lack of systematicity of the Senecan text (discussed e.g. by De Pietro 2013; Silveira 2014). To do this, I investigate to what extent the invitation to philosophy posed by Seneca in epistolary format (Braren 1999; Scarpat 1975) makes the named addressee Lucilius-reader-of-letters, no matter if he was real, who, ultimately, not only reflects but directs in some way every reader, including the modern one, who decides to read the philosopher's work. (AU)