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"You must change your life": theory and practice, metaphor and exemplum, in Seneca's prose.

Taught only by reality can reality be changed. Bertolt Brecht, The Measures Taken

I. Introduction: Metaphor and Exemplum

Metaphor and exemplum are, to use a metaphor, two sides of the same coin in the prose of Seneca, philosopher and politician. In action, these exempla look like this: singula vicere jam multi, ignem Mucius, crucem Regulus, venenum Socrates, arilium Rutilius, mortem ferro adactam Cato: et nos vincamus aliquid (Many have conquered individual things a long time now--Mucius conquered fire, Regulus torture, Socrates poison, Rutilius exile, and Cato death at the point of the sword: let us also conquer something, Ep. 98.12). A series of examples illustrates a proposition and culminates in a pragmatic or executive injunction to do (vincamus). (1) What is the result of such a complex of proposition, illustration, and injunction? In Epistle 6, the first letter of the Moral Epistles to deal with exempla, Seneca answers this question: "I feel, Lucilius, that I am not only improved [emendari] but transformed [transfigurari]." (2) Why? A proposition: "Long is the road through precepts, but fast and effective through exempla" (longum iter est praecepta, breve et efficax per exempla, Ep. 6.5). So it is that Seneca both enacts and explains the force and function of exemplum--enacts, writing "let us also conquer something" (et nos vincamus aliquid); explains, comparing precept to exemplum in order to isolate the latter's efficacy.

While it is generally recognized that Seneca uses exempla as a means of illustration or representation and of effecting change (efficax), even transformation (transfigurari), (3) it is little recognized that Seneca's metaphors function similarly. (4) Moreover, few scholars have noted that Seneca actually explains the similarity of metaphor and exemplum himself. At the beginning of Ep. 38, Seneca provides a practical inventory of speech genres, explaining language through metaphor and expressing a conception of it similar to his conception of exemplum; he does this with reference to its efficacy (the first block quotation below) and by likening it to something else (the second):
  plurimum proficit sermo, quia minutatim inrepit animo:
  disputationes praeparatae et effusae audiente populo
  plus habent strepitus, minus familiaritatis ... philosophia
  bonum consilium est ... aliquando uten-dum est et illis, ut
  ita dicam, contionibus ... ubi vero non hoc agendum est, ut
  velit discere, sed ut discat, ad haec submissiora verba
  veniendum est. facilius intrant et haerent; nec enim multis
  opus est sed efficacibus. (Ep. 38.1-2)

  Conversation helps the most because it steals in the soul bit
  by bit: disquisitions prepared and developed on the listening
  crowd after much noise, but less intimacy. Philosophy is good
  advice ... Sometimes one must make use of those, so to speak,
  public lectures ... But when it isn't a matter of making one
  want to learn but to actually learn, one must resort to this
  lower register of language. It gets in easier and sticks; nor,
  indeed, is there a need for many words, but for words that
  work [efficacibus].


The stylist conducts a survey of language as it functions in various genres of discourse (sermo, disputatio, contio). As with exemplum in Ep. 6, efficacy is also the aim of the various functions here, as eicacibus in Ep. 38.1 answers eicax in Ep. 6.5. Seneca further explains the way in which this particular speech situation (haec submissiora verba) achieves the efficacy that he earlier associated with exemplum; he does so through that figure of likeness or metaphor called simile: (5)
  seminis modo [verbal spargenda sunt, quod quamvis sit exiguum,
  cum occupavit idoneum locum, vires suas explicat et ex minimo
  in maxi-mos auctus diffunditur. idem facit ratio. (Ep. 32.2)

  [Words] are scattered in the manner of seed, which, however
  scant it is, unfurls its capacities when it has taken hold of
  a suitable place and spreads from the littlest to the greatest
  dimensions. Reason does the same thing.


Idem facit ratio: a simile, which likens something abstract (reason) to something concrete (plant life) and signposts its likeness in addition (idem). Similar in form but harder to fix is the conclusion that Seneca draws from the question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?," in his work On Providence. The god, he explains, chooses only the best for suffering, as a commander does with a difficult mission: nemo eorum qui exeunt dicit "male de me imperator meruit," sed "bene iudicauit." idem dicant quicumque iubentur pati timidis ignauisque flebilia (No one who goes out says, "The commander did ill by me," but rather, "He made a good decision." Let those who are ordered to suffer lamentable things say the same to the scared and base, Prov. 4.8). Is this an exemplum, or a simile? Here, as before, idem marks the transition from one stage in the imagined scene to another, accompanied by an injunction (dicant). With Mucius and company above we were enjoined to do what our exempla had done as the subjects of moral inquiry (et nos vincamus aliquid, Ep. 98.12); here the subjects of moral inquiry ("those who are ordered to suffer lamentable things") are enjoined to "say the same" as noble soldiers (idem dicant, Prov. 4.8). "Reason" (ratio) for its part "does the same" (idem facit) as the seed in Ep. 38.2. Thus, some of these passages use similes, some exempla; but taken together, they all look the same and therefore raise the query: Which is which, and why are they so similar? (6)

Following Seneca's common use of idem in similes and exempla, I will argue in this article that no structural or formal difference exists for Seneca in practice between metaphor and ocemplum, (7) but that the two devices are distinguished by him in theory. On the one hand, we have the distinction recognized by both ancient theorists and modern scholars: representation or illustration in the case of metaphor and exemplum, but also transformation in the case of exemplum. (8) On the other hand, Seneca's parallel treatment of exernplum and metaphor goes one step beyond ancient and modern discussions: it also connects the modes of representation and transformation, and implies an explanation for how one becomes the other. (9) A consideration of the way that Seneca accomplishes this not only deepens our appreciation for just how Seneca the philosopher 'does theory,' but also clarifies the way in which Seneca suggests that language affects reality. (10)

II. Theoretical: Performative and Context

Many recent scholars have considered Roman exemplification and its implications for the study of Roman culture. For all the breadth and depth of their discussions, they usually consider exemplification from a cultural or political perspective, as they describe the conditions for inclusion in the canons of representation at a given moment of Roman history. (11) Such inquiries, as they conceive of the connection between language and reality, are based largely on the methodologies of new historicism and, behind those, the specters of the cultural and historical materialisms of Marxism, that is, with reference to the personal or class-based material or symbolic interests of a given cultural agent or event. (12) By drawing attention to Seneca's own theory of the way that language affects reality, I aim here to supplement that recent work which focuses on the mechanism or function of exemplification, even while remembering that Seneca, as a Stoic, was a particular kind of materialist too. (13) In treating mechanism, I rely on Michele Lowrie's (2007, 2008a, 2008b, 2009) work on exemplum and Shadi Bartsch's (2009) on Senecan metaphor, and further formalize their findings in ways suggested by Seneca's philosophy. (14) As to Seneca's philosophy, or the content of his thought, in the total structure of his time, I follow Rebecca Langlands (2008 and 2011), who finds in exemplum a point of almost personal intervention on the part of each participant in the tradition--reader and author. (15) Such discussion does not proceed in oblivion of the social, historical, political, or cultural embeddedness of its protagonist, but it is more subjectivist than its socio-historical and politico-culturalist antecedents. (16) When Seneca builds on the increasingly systematic understanding of Roman rhetorical theorists and Greek philosophers, when he applies their theories of rhetoric and reality to non-rhetorical speech situations as we saw at the beginning of Ep. 38 above, (17) we can observe the formation, in Seneca's philosophy of rhetoric, of his own distinctly materialist, distinctly ethical cultural the-ory. (18) After exploring the implications of the function of Seneca's metaphor and exemplum, I will conclude by commenting on the relationship between his implied literary and cultural theory and our own.

There are three ways of defining 'theory' in this connection--two exemplified by writers close to home for classicists, but all relevant to Seneca. I refer to these three definitions of theory as exegetical, problematical, and dialectical. The exegetical understanding of theory is the most traditional. Teaching his son "to avoid each failing by marking it down with exempla," Horace's freedman father distinguishes, in effect, between showing and telling, where telling means "giving an account": "The philosopher [sapiens] will give you an account [causas reddet] as to what should be sought and avoided. For me it is enough to maintain our ancestral customs [mos]." (19) The exegetical mode that Horace's father disavows can be modified into a problematical mode of theory Thus, discussing Greek exempla (paradeigmata), Simon Goldhill (1994) reflected on the state of the question for classicists of 1993 (to clarify its relevance to Seneca, I have replaced the terms "critic" with "cultural agent" and "methodology" with "social practice"): "Modern critical theory' has placed on the agenda . . . the question of how explicit, how sophisticated and how self-aware a discussion of each and every [cultural agent's] inevitable commitment to a [social practice] is to be." (20) Thus, after explaining how something works in the exegetical mode of theory (Horace's father), one can question how it works in the problematical mode (Simon Goldhill). (21) The transition from exegesis to problematic can lead to a third mode of theory--the dialectical, whereby one can understand the relation between theory and practice, not only as a distinction between showing and telling and then telling and questioning, but also as a kind of dialectical process. This process, according to Marxist critic Raymond Williams (1983, 318), results in "praxis" or "practice informed by theory and also, though less emphatically, theory informed by practice." (22) In effect, exegetical theory organizes (hence the handbooks of Roman rhetorical theorists), problematical theory disorganizes, and dialectical theory reorganizes.

In Ep. 95, Seneca offers a glimpse into how all three modes of theory interact: "Philosophy is theoretical [contemplativa] and practical [activa]: it theorizes [spectat] at the same time as it acts [agit]." (23) In a similarly 'theoretical' letter (Ep. 94), Seneca outlines the related functions of precept and principle (24) but also argues for their efficacy or ability to do (agere, facere) from the efficacy of exemplum, thereby connecting the modes of theory with exemplarity:
  aeque praecepta bona, si saepe tecum sint, profutura quam bona
  exempla. Pythagoras ait alium animum fieri intrantibus templum
  deo-rumque simulacra ex vicino cernentibus et alicuius oraculi
  opperitenti-bus vocem. quis autem negabit feriri quibusdam
  praeceptis efficaciter etiam inperitissimos? (Ep. 94.42-3)

  Good precepts help just as well, if they often accompany you,
  as good exempla. Pythagoras says that the soul becomes different
  [alium] when people enter temples and catch a glimpse of the
  images of the gods up close and encounter the voice of some
  oracle. Who, moreover, will deny that people--even the most
  ignorant of them--are effectively [efficaciter] struck by
  certain precepts?


Writing with no less urgency than Seneca and his Pythagoras, and with no less passion for alterity (alium animum fieri), Rainer Rilke also attributed to the archaic image of a god the invocation to transformation: "You must change [andern] your life." (25)

In my discussions, although I attribute all three modes of theory to Seneca--exegetical (Horace's father), problematical (Goldhill), and dialectical (Williams)--, my particular interest is the way that Seneca envisions and engages in theory of the dialectical kind, or praxis, and explores in, and as, exemplum the borderland between theory and practice in order to effect real change. (26) Although I will discuss below Seneca's use of problematical theory, I emphasize here how Seneca, as a Roman moralist, resorted to these modes of theory through exempla so that people, by following exempla, can 'change their lives.'

The most expedient path for effecting such change is recognizing that "a theory of language is part of a theory of action" (Searle 1969, 17), that language is a part of reality and can affect reality if not constitute it, and that, in the famous words of the speech act theorist J. L. Austin (1975, 94), it is possible "to do things with words," collapsing the distinction between the "act of saying" (e.g., explaining) and the "act by saying" (e.g., questioning, changing). (27) By assimilating the act of saying, comprised by similitude and its dynamics of representation, to the act by saying of the transformative exemplum, Seneca anticipates the modern speech act theorist: he assumes, but aims to erode, the distinction between descriptive and active capacities of language, between constative' and 'performative,' where performative denotes the words that do and do not just describe.

Treating the Roman discourse of exemplum as a performative or action, as Seneca does, is instructive in view of the role of the performative in modern (cultural, sociological, political) classics. Ideas deriving from the concept of the performative, under the heading of performance, have become common in recent decades, and so Seneca's development of a theory that appears performative allows us to revisit and clarify the concept's uses in cultural studies.

While the term 'performative' was introduced to denote the point at which the "utterance of the words is, indeed, usually a, or even the, leading incident in the performance of the act" (Austin 1975, 8, 14-5), 'performative' now serves more as an adjective for performance where performance denotes 'something you do' as opposed to 'something you are.' (28) I do not wish to intervene in the dissemination of the term 'performative' from noun in the philosophy of language to adjective in cultural theory: (29) the consciousness of social performativity and the anxiety about identity that it implies is probably a healthy if not a happy development in how we look at the world. (30) Nevertheless, as regards the original term and its function in the philosophy of language, scholars now ask whether any linguistic act can be "a, or even the, leading incident in the performance of [an] act"; they call attention to the role of Austin's context or "appropriate circumstances" and question the efficacy of the "incident" or event and the apparently simple recourse to "context" by the earliest "speech act theorists." (31)

Seneca's theorization of exemplification as performance anticipates its modern emergence as a problematic, but it makes additional contributions to our critical consciousness. If Seneca already recognized that the performative depended on social context and was in its execution collaborative--rather than assertive, coercive, or social (32)--then scholars' general tendency to focus on self-transformation and self: fashioning as the key to Seneca's project, while not inaccurate, does require supple-mentation. (33) It may be that Seneca's theory of language and moral transformation is not only social but also relational in a robust sense: mutually transformative of agent and other in the course of action. (34) If exemplification is a speech act and depends on recognition within preexisting codes, and if Seneca recognizes this, then Senecan moral transformation may be collaborative and relational in ways belied by his Stoic and Roman valorization of self-sufficiency or autarkeia. (35) If Seneca predicates moral agency on language, or even includes a social phenomenon such as language among the conditions of moral agency, the Roman moralist may have recognized the value of relationship even in self-sufficiency, thereby identifying, problematizing, and changing essential features of Roman exemplarity and Greek ethics.

III. Theory: Metaphor, Exemplum, Image-Hinge

Although not an exegetical theorist like Quintilian, Seneca traced the outlines of a system for metaphor and exemplum in his prose. This system's complexity and consistency is harder to notice if one attends to only one side of the figure, to only metaphor or only exemplum, without realizing that Seneca identifies the two in a completely traditional way. Compare the Rhetorica ad Herennium (4.62):
  exemplum est alicuius facti aut dicti praeteriti cum certi auctoris
  nomine propositio. id sumitur isdem de causis, quibus similitudo:
  rem ornatiorem facit cum nullius rei nisi dignitatis causa sumitur;
  apertiorem, cum id, quod sit obscurius, magis dilucidam reddit;
  probabiliorem, cum magis veri similem facit; ante oculos ponit
  cum exprimit omnia perspicue, ut res prope dicam manu temptari
  possit.

  Exemplum is the statement of a particular past action or saying
  together with the name of a definite authority. It is adopted for
  the same reasons [isdem de causis] as similitudo: it makes a thing
  more elegant when it is adopted for no reason other than dignity;
  plainer, when it renders evident what was comparatively unclear;
  more plausible, when it makes it seem truer; it puts something
  before the eyes when it expresses everything clearly, so that the
  thing, I would almost say, could be tested out with the hand.


I have begun with the Rhetorica ad Herennium passage, first because its simplicity makes it plausibly fundamental, and second because the author explicitly connects exemplum with similitudo, a species of metaphor. (36) Earlier in the same section, the author described in identical terms similitudo to explain exemplum (4.59): similitudo est oratio traducens ad rem quempiam aliquid ex re dispari simile. ea sumitur aut ornandi causa aut probandi aut apertius dicendi aut ante oculos ponendi (Similitudo is speech that transfers an element of likeness to something in particular from an unlike thing. This is adopted either for the sake of elegance, proof, clarification, or putting before the eyes). In both accounts, the author organizes the categorization around the function of "putting before the eyes" (rem ponere ante oculos). (37) Probably an inheritance from Stoic theories of language, the phrase is the metacategory that unites the sundry figures here reassembled from what Gualtiero Calboli (1993, 416-7) calls the "atomistic pulverization" of past rhetorics and past Rhetorics. (38) We group the constituents of this metacategory under metaphor (as in the subtitle of this piece), but the ancients had a variety of terms available, as Seneca himself shows in his very exegetical theorization of metaphor at Ep. 59.6. There, the aim--whether dealing with translatio, imago, or parabola--is the same: "to draw the speaker and hearer to the thing in person [in rem praesentem]" (39); the final phrase, "the thing in person," is an important variant, as we will see, of "putting before the eyes."

For Seneca to practice metaphor and exemplum in similar ways, as discussed above in [section] 1, amounts to enacting formulations like those we saw in the Ad Herrenium. I will consider here and in the next section Seneca's theory of the shared function of metaphor and exemplum and the examples that he provides. I examine first Moral Epistles 54 and 59, where Seneca combines various forms of injunction with the word idem in contexts both exemplary and metaphorical, developing what I call an image-hinge to effect the transition from the descriptive part of the metaphor to the reality that it aims to describe and change. Moving in the next section from theory to event, I will discuss what Seneca thinks this efficacy of language looks like when it works and makes something happen. I will also argue that Seneca's handling of metaphor and exemplum in an identifying and performative way has metaphysical implications, and will suggest the way in which Seneca imagines language interacting with the world and, as a later materialist would say philosophers must do, changing it.

In Ep. 38 above, Seneca began his letter with the explicit description and evaluation of different genres and speech situations (sermo, contio, disputatio, haec verba submissiora). In Ep. 59, Seneca begins in a similarly theoretical way. He first discusses the use of metaphorical language on the part of Lucilius, his correspondent (translationes, imagines, parabola, Ep. 59.5; more below), and then proceeds to deploy his own image in order to form an image-hinge:
  Sextiurn ecce cum maxime lego, virum acrem, Graecis verbis, Romanis
  moribus philosophantem. movit me imago ab illo posita: ire quadrato
  agmine exercitum, ubi hostis ab omni parte suspectus est, pugnae
  paratum. "idem" inquit "sapiens facere debet: omnis virtutes suas
  undique expandat, ut ubicumque infesti aliquid orietur, illic parata
  praesidia sint et ad nutum regentis sine tumultu respondeant."
  (Ep. 59.7)

  Look how at this moment I'm reading Sextius, a sharp man who does
  philosophy with Greek words and Roman morals. An image [imago] that
  he deployed moved me--that an army advances in square file when they
  suspect the enemy from any quarter, ready for battle. "The same
  [idem]," he says, "is what the sage should do Ifacere debet]: let
  him set Out his virtues in all directions so that wherever anything
  hostile arises, his defenses are at the ready and respond to the
  leader's nod without upset."


After specifically referring to Sextius's technique as "image" (imago), Seneca moves from army to sage by referring to the underlying identity of what each does (idem. . . sapiens facere debet). He then develops the image, at first in what appears to be his own voice, using a less explicit but no less articulate form of simile than idem facit:
  quod in exercitibus us quos imperatores magni ordinant fieri videmus,
  ut imperium ducis simul omnes copiae sentiant, sic dispositae ut
  sig-num ab uno datum peditem simul equitemque percurrat, hoc
  ali-quanto magis necessarium esse nobis alt.

  What we see happen in those armies that great commanders set in
  order, so the whole corps feels the command of the leader at the
  same time, arranged in such a way that the signal issued by the
  one runs through the infantry and cavalry all at once--it is even
  more necessary that this happens to us, he says [ait].


Two things emerge from this passage: Seneca explaining a way of talking, and then doing it. The first passage features the image-hinge (idem ... debet facere), but Sextius, not Seneca, uses it as we see from the indirect statement of the simile's content (ire ... exercitum); then, emphatically with the image-hinge (idem ...), Seneca switches to direct discourse (in quit). The second passage keeps up the direct statement (quod ... videmus), and without further qualification we might even assume that Seneca himself is speaking when the quotation appears to stop; it becomes clear that Seneca is not the source of the saying only when we read the terminal, tiny ait (he says). Here, while using image-hinges to mark the transition from image to argument, Seneca also enacts transformation when he starts to look as if he were taking Sextius's view as his own, adopting Sextius's voice, and assimilating himself to Sextius. (40) In the sections following his uneven prosopopeia of Sextius, Seneca does in fact develop the image in his own voice (Ep. 58.8-9), finally marking it as his own imago with an avowal of decorum as he persists in deploying the image once again: 'And lest we change [transeamus] from one image to another ..."(41)--in effect, lest we change back.

Thus, after beginning with one of his most explicit discussions of metaphorical language (59.6), Seneca's Epistle culminates with Seneca enacting the very processes of metaphorization (59.7). Seneca's enactment of Sextius's metaphorization is, moreover, signposted as an enactment with Seneca's cagey deployment of Sextius's precepts: what started as a citation of Sextius making metaphors transitions into Seneca making metaphors himself in a polyphonic staging of the image-hinge. Seneca, in this way, shows himself capable of three types of discourse in or on similitudines. First, there is the exegetically theoretical discourse, which describes Lucilius's practice at the beginning of the letter with technical vocabulary (translationes, imagines, parabola, 59.5). Second, Seneca actually enacts similitudines--using them, doing them--as opposed to citing or explaining them. A third type of discourse occurs when Seneca signposts his own performance of similitudines and image-hinges: he tropes the fact of his doing so by staging his appropriation of Sextius's voice in a fashion that we can call 'immanently theoretical,' implying an exegetical theorization through reflexivity, much as Roman poets imply literary histories and genealogies through reflexive allusion. (42) Further highlighting this immanent theory, Seneca describes Sextius as "doing philosophy with Greek words and Roman morals" (Graecis verbis, Romanis moribus philoso-phans); through the old Graeci-Romani binary the word philosophans itself exemplifies polyphony, as Greek becomes Latin and (in Seneca's letter) theory becomes practice. (43)

In view of the way that idem signposts the full functioning of similitudo, let us consider Seneca's similar use of the image-hinge in exemplum. Seneca deployed the same device, the idem-facere formula of Ep. 59.7, earlier in the course of the Moral Epistles in order to introduce a proper exemplum of Alexander the Great:
  Alexander cuidam civitati partem agrorum et dimidium rerum omnium
  promittenti "eo" inquit "proposito in Asiam veni, ut non id acciperem
  quod dedissetis, sed ut id haberetis quod reliquissem."  idem
  philosophia rebus omnibus: "non sum hoc tempus acceptura quod vobis
  superfuerit, sed id vos habebitis quod ipsa reiecero."  (Ep. 53.10)

  To some city that was promising a portion of its fields and half its
  property, Alexander said, "I came to Asia not with the intention of
  accepting what you gave, but of you having what I left behind."  The
  same [idem] is what philosophy [says] to evegthing: "I am not about
  to accept your 'extra time,' but you will have the time that I
  reject."


Here, as in the similitudo of Ep. 59.7, Seneca deploys the image-hinge (idem philosophia ...) to point out the underlying identity of action in two otherwise different parties--philosophy and Alexander the Great. Since one of these, moreover, is not a "thing" (res), but in fact "the past action or saying together with the name of a definite authority" (Rhet. Her. 4.62; see above), the passage is a textbook instance of exemplum.

If we return to Ep. 59, where Seneca first enacts similitudo on the way to exegetical theory, we find also with Alexander the same enactment and "immanent theorization" of exemplum:
  deinde cum represso sanguine sicci vulneris dolor cresceret et crus
  suspensum equo paulatim obtorpuisset, coactus absistere "omnes"
  inquit "iurant esse me Iovis filium, sed vulnus hoc hominem esse me
  clamat."  idem nos faciamus. (Ep. 59. 1 2-3)

  And then when the pain of his dry wound was growing in spite of the
  staunched blood, and the leg slung over his horse grew gradually
  numb, he had to stop, and he said, "Everyone swears that I am the
  son of Jupiter, but this wound screams I am a man."  Let us do
  the same.


Here Seneca deploys an exemplum, unequivocally in his own voice, in conformity with the practice of similitudo and exemplum he has already established: vehicle-content (arercituslAlexander), tenor-subject (sapiential nos), bound by image-hinge (idem facere). (44) Whereas the previous instances of similitudo-exemplum were descriptive or demonstrative, referring to the things or persons that they were describing in order to "put them before the eyes," the image-hinge of Ep. 59.12-3 is slightly different: it is not demonstrative, but subjective and subjunctive. The little sentence that constitutes this last image-hinge (idem nos faciamus) refers to a state of affairs that is not the case; but by being subjective it suggests that 'we' subjects (nos) are supposed to instantiate that to which it refers, that 'we' should render real (note the subjunctive of faciamus) what it describes. If we compare the descriptive instances of similitudo-exemplum that "point out" (demonstrare) or "put before the eyes" with this last subjective-subjunctive Alexander-example, we discover continuity between similitudo and exemplum: where the metaphorical language of similitudo-exemplum represented things to "put them before our eyes," the Alexander-example makes us the subjects of the subjunctive exemplum. We become the subjects, not that we may be ourselves "before our eyes," but that we may really be the way that the similitudo-exemplum describes. (45)

In the famous mirror therapy of his dialogue On Anger, we do in fact put ourselves "before our eyes":
  quibusdam, ut ait Sextius, iratis profuit aspexisse speculum.
  perturba-vit illos tanta mutatio sui; velut in rem praesentem adducti
  non agnoverunt se ... qui ad speculum venerat ut se mutaret, jam
  mutav-erat. (De ira, 2.36.1-3)

  For some people, as Sextius says, it helped to have looked at
  themselves in the mirror. So great a change in themselves
  (tanta ... mutatio sui] disturbed them; just as though, brought
  into contact with reality [in rem praesentem], they did not recognize
  themselves ... Whoever had come to the mirror in order to change
  himself [ut se mutaret] had already changed himself [jam mutaverat].


In describing effective change, Seneca sets forth the idea of self-transformation as a process (mutatio), an aim (ut se mutaret), and an event already effected (note the pluperfect tense of jam mutaverat). This 'mutation' expedites itself moreover in full contact with reality (in rem praesentem) or the coming to realization. As Shadi Bartsch (2009, 216-7; cf. 2006, 22-4, 200-2) rightly suggests, this passage, while relevant to Seneca's theory of metaphor, can also be used to understand his theory of exemplum in light of the connection, through similitudo, between exemplum and metaphor. (46) Vivification and injunction (implicit or explicit) are brought together in exemplum, but the event has already occurred (iam mutaverat).

At this juncture it would be helpful to outline the whole mechanism of similitudo-exemplum more abstractly, with reference to terminology first. Seneca marks the point of transition from the thing that describes (the simile's content) to the thing that is being described (the simile's subject) with the image-hinge. (47) In Latin, Seneca uses the word idem (the same) to signpost the image-hinge, applying it, for example, to illustrandum-A after the description of illustrans-B. Thus, B does x; idem facit A (A does the same) or idem even it A (The same thing happens with A) or idem dico de A (I say the same thing about A). (48) In addition to the above examples of narratives (e.g., about Alexander), Seneca also compresses the exemplum through image-hinge in his more conventional similitudines: "What I said about clothes--suppose I say the same [idem me dicere] about the body." (49) Here, between the content (clothes) and the subject (body) of the comparison, likeness (similitudo) intervenes with the word idem (the same). In this instance, Seneca applies an image-hinge, enacting the equation of disparate things by virtue of a third identifying element that is put into immanent theory through partial exegesis by the presence of idem (the same). When Seneca is fully exegetical, he actually names the transition effected by the idem (Ep. 114.23-4): "The soul is our king ... Since I used this similitudo, I will continue. Our soul is sometimes king, sometimes tyrant." (50) Here Seneca calls a similitudo what now as then is usually called a metaphor, as we see in Quintilian, Inst. orat. 8.6.9: "Comparison is when I say that a person did something 'like a lion'; metaphor is when I say, about a person [de homine], 'he is a lion.'" (51)

Seneca's resistance to terminological consistency shows not that he is a sloppy theorist or, for that matter, someone working at something other than the abstract explication of a theorist; (52) rather, it suggests, that Seneca's theory is not limited to rhetoric narrowly understood, that it coheres instead within the larger framework of ancient philosophy, where the play of likeness through the figurality of language is more than just ornament. The philosophical implications of the figurality of language will be more obvious through the application of the terms I have used for the anatomy of metaphor. If we refer to the illustrandum or tenor of a simile as subject (thus the body is the subject of the simile "The body is like clothing"), we clarify the underlying pattern or rule that connects the subject or tenor (illustrandum; e.g., body) with the illustrans or vehicle (e.g., clothes). We can enrich the vocabulary of metaphor by determining that, just as the body was the subject of the simile, so the comparative part of the simile, through the vehicle of the clothes, introduces the predicates of the body. Illustrandum and illustrans could, therefore, be referred to as, respectively, the subject and predicate parts, or simply subject and predicate, of the simile.

Whether the subject is determining the predicate, or the predicate the subject, translating Seneca's rhetorical practice into our terms suggests not just a linguistic relation, but a metaphysical one, which obtains between subject and predicate. (53) While Aristotelians and Stoics conceived of the relation between subject and predicate differently, and while Seneca, if he were to have developed such a system, would presumably have subscribed to the Stoic conception, (54) the proliferation of terminology for simile and its parts opens metaphor to metaphysics, and representation to reality. The classical interpretation of Seneca's metaphysics of metaphor suggests that the subject of the simile determines the choice of illustrans based on the predicates shared with the illustrans, and that representation is following reality. But this is not the only interpretation. (55) If exemplum is similar to simile but different in that it aims to constitute reality ("Let us be the way that we described"), Seneca broaches, as we would expect, the possibility of the predicate changing the subject, of illustrans-Alexander changing illustrandumus. (56) When Seneca writes something like, "Let us be like Alexander," we are, as it were, subjected by Alexander: we are not literally made his subjects; but we are represented as subjects with certain of his predicates. We are, to use Butler's (1997, e.g., 1, 12-8) term, "subjectivated."

It is instructive to consider again Seneca's exegetical theorization of metaphor at Ep. 59. There, avowing the classical interpretation of language and representation, Seneca praises Lucilius for "having words in control": (57)
  multi sunt qui ad id quod non proposuerant scribere alicuius verbi
  placentis decore vocentur, quod tibi non evenit; pressa sunt omnia et
  rei aptata; loqueris quantum vis et plus significas quam loqueris.
  hoc maioris rei indicium est. apparet animum quoque nihil habere
  supervacui, nihil tumidi. (Ep. 59.5)
  There are many people who are summoned by the elegance of some
  pleasing word to that which they had not intended to write--but
  this doesn't happen to you; everything is compact and fitted to
  the topic. You say all that you mean and you signify more than
  you say. This is the mark of a greater thing: your soul appears
  to have nothing in excess and nothing swollen.


Seneca here begins with the classical conception: language-user uses language, not the other way around. Even here, however, this compact model of representation allows for the mode of representation itself--the signs--to do a little more on their own: "You signify more than you say." (58) Seneca suggests that Lucilius's virtue limits the free-play imagined for the signifier: his words "fit the thing" (rei aptata), and authorial intention (vis) is intact. Nevertheless, while Seneca denies the desirability of words changing things, of predicate determining subject, he does not deny its possibility. Maybe words can do things after all.

Against this philosophical background, the function of likeness reveals its centrality and utility to Seneca's thought in other ways as well. The elision of similitudo and exemplum through the common kernel of likeness, marked idem, means that by the time Seneca gets to enjoining a particular addressee to follow the model of a particular exemplum, the exemplum itself need not even be a positive exemplum. (59) The representational dynamic of similitudo effects a kind of Venn diagram between the represented figure (e.g., Alexander) and ourselves, while the idem points only to those attributes that we are supposed to share, banking on the similarity of exemplum and similitudo. (60) After describing the extravagance of Pacuvius, who staged every night as if it was his last and passed out, while his party guests shouted the death knell, "He has lived! He has lived!," Seneca writes: "That which he did out of bad conscience, let us do [faciamus] out of good." (61) Here Seneca concerns himself, not with dissuading us from following Pacuvius's example (the negative exemplum), but with refiguring his example in order to refigure, to transfigure, us with a kind of inverse exemplum. As before, Seneca's ethical opportunism has a philosophical dimension. In the monistic universe of the Stoics, where all is actually one (e.g., Seneca, Q Nat. 2.45.1; cf. LS 26C and 43), even the problematic behavior of a Pacuvius offers an expression of virtue in the unified field of (an ultimately providential) reality.

We can make two observations on the basis of the above. First, Seneca equates exemplum and similitudo through his use of the image-hinge, as he elides the difference between the two devices. Second, in this way Seneca develops a discourse that not only enacts this elision but also comments on its enactment at a variety of levels, which effect the transition between theory and practice with the assimilation of representation to transformation. That theory and practice are connected for Seneca is not only perfectly consistent with his Stoic materialism--a worldview in which everything, including mentation, is embodied practice (62)--but also suggests the way that Seneca imagines language, which is of the world, changing that world.

IV. Events: Praesto and Efficax

By equating similitudo and exemplum in a self-reflexive discourse, Seneca emphasizes the connection between theory and practice and between language and reality, in addition to connecting the two major functions of exemplum (representation and transformation) by assimilating similitudo (representation) to exemplum (transformation). Insofar as the issuing of the exemplum is distinct from the act of representation in similitudo, the Senecan exemplum becomes Austin's "leading event" (above, [section] 2) in a process whose aim is transformation ([section] 1). Thus, in theory, the implication or expression of injunction constitutes an act that in the right context will hit on receptive soil, just as human reason does in Ep. 38 (idem facit ratio, above [section] 1), and effect change. (63) Here I will continue to consider Seneca's theorization, not as it thematizes theory and practice, but as Seneca takes us to the margins of his texts where text touches reality or context. (64) I will consider the text and its relation to context, and representation and its relation to reality, as 'effects.' Relying on Seneca's own terminology, I call these effects praesto and cfficax.

Praesto relates to Seneca's emphasis on presence, on being in rem prae-sentem. Regarding comparisons (similitudines, imagines) called parabolai, Seneca writes: "They draw the speaker and the hearer into contact with reality [in rem praesentem]. (65) So, too, in his first long treatment of cumplum, where exempla consist of living and being with people from whom one can learn (see [section] 1), Seneca states: "The living voice and social contact will help you more than speech [oratio]; it's best to come into contact with reality [in rem praesentem] (Ep. 6.5), here in the actions of one's role models. If we recall that the Herennius-theorist subscribed to the metacategory of "putting before the eyes" ([section] 3), it is not surprising to find that Quintilian considers "putting before the eyes" as more or less interchangeable with "putting into contact with reality": "A believable image of things [rerum] seems to draw the hearer all the way [perducere] into contact with reality [in rem praesentem]." (66)

James Ker (2007) has insightfully demonstrated that the power of such a linguistic function, which he calls "Roman repraesentatio," is underwritten by the culture of material exchange (2007, 346-9). Seneca himself describes this economic function in the real process of material exchange: "Benefits must be repaid at the ready frepraesentanda]." (67) The real exigency of this formulation derives, not only from the passive periphrastic, but from the prefix prae--that it shares with the idea of being in rem praesentem, 'in contact with reality' or 'the thing.' (68) Seneca recognizes the salience of material presence for exemplification when he lets prae-, helped by additional morphemes before, stand almost by itself: "0 happy [felicem] the man who improves you lemendad not only in person [praesens] but even in consideration [cogitatus]." (69) Two things are at play here. Consistent with Quintilian and the Herennius-theorist, Seneca implies a metacategory of metaphor and exemplum based on immediate material presence. But Seneca derives the power of exempla from immediate material presence only to explain that such presence does not matter (praesens cogitatus). I will return to this surprising derogation of presence; but for now it suffices that Seneca, like the exegetical theorists before and after him, emphasizes material immediacy in his theory.

The ideas of rendering or "putting at the ready," conjoined to "putting before the eyes" and "putting into contact with reality," come together in Seneca's use of the word praestare. (70) Though not expressly linguistic in definition, praestare exhibits both the demonstrative and performative capacities of the rhetorical figures of similitudo and exemplum, as the verb denotes (1) presentation or making present, but also (2) rendering or changing (OLD, s.v. "praesto," 6-9, 1 1-5). The word is specifically collocated with expression and exemplification when Seneca writes: "You deny that anyone can instantiate [praestare] what he says and live by the example [ad exemplar] of his own speech." (71) Similarly, in the same context adduced above about ready payment of favors owed, Seneca writes:
  quemadmodum in aegris opportunitas cibi salutaris est et aqua
  tempestive data remedii locurn optinuit, ita, quamvis leve et
  volgare beneficium est, si praesto fuit, si proximam quamque
  horam non perdidit, multum sibi adicit gratiamque pretiosi sed
  lenti et diu cogitati muneris vincit. (Ben. 2.2.2)

  Just as among the ill, there is a right time for healthy food,
  and water, administered in a timely fashion, acts as a cure, so
  also--even if the favor is trivial and common--if it is at the
  ready, if it does not waste the next possible opportunity, it
  increases itself and surpasses the late and procrastinated, albeit
  expensive, thanks.


Here, in the economic terms of exchange, what I call the praesto-effect--the rendering at the ready (praesto)--not only presents itself in presentation, but also shades into possible change or transformation, as quantitative change in time produces qualitative change in health.72 Like Austin's performative, Seneca's beneficium also involves itself in the binding force of language: "How much better to add good words to good things and to positively enjoin [commendare] with kind and human declaration [praedi-catio] whatever you render at the ready [praestes]!" (73) Here the praedicatio or "good words" qualitatively changes the "good thing" in the act of giving. This change is possible because quality is more relevant than quantity when it comes to ethics (Ep. 81.6): "In a matter of obligation, the spirit [animus] of the giving is evaluated, not the quantity [quantum sit], but the quality of the feeling [quale voluntate] from which it issued." (74) This is not to reject or mystify the real exchanges of material life (beneficium) but to seek their meaning at an additional level--the level of soul, spirit, or feeling (voluntas), even intent. (75)

Austin's terminology clarifies the role of the context and of the other with whom one constitutes the context in Seneca's materialist conception of the praesto-effect. Technically, insofar as the exemplum described in the Alexander example is geared to another person and so hortatory, in design it is what Austin terms perlocutionag: "[W]e shall say 'by B-ing he C-ed' rather than 'in B-ing ...' This is the reason for calling C a perlocu-tionary act as distinct from an illocutionary act." (76) It is within such a context that Seneca sometimes renders an exemplum with an imperative: "Do you not then consider Regulus ... ? Put on [indue] the soul of a great man." Likewise, in a similitudo, Seneca combines the idem-facere image-hinge with the imperative: "Consider [puta] the same [idem] to happen to us." (77) The image-hinge can therefore be explicitly imperatival and other-directed, pointing to its own perlocution or effective change of receptive context, while by itself it is an instance of illocution--an act, so to speak, in saying that aims to be an act by saying (a refinement on the discussion in [section] 2). In these examples, as in that of the praedicatio that accompanies the return of favors with thanks, even if the imperative does not constitute the perlocution and thus the transformation, it calls attention beyond the utterance to context.

Exemplum as perlocution-in-context is most evident when it does not work, (78) as in one of Seneca's most developed deployments of exemplum. After discussing Cinna's intrigue against Augustus and Augustus's clemency as an exemplum domesticum for Nero (Clem. 1.9.1), Seneca returns to Nero, his addressee. In an ostensibly non-imperative, and so not self-consciously perlocutionary, passage, Seneca alludes to the praesto-effect that his demonstrative exemplum of divine Augustus might have on Nero by representing Nero's own prestation (79) of mercy:
  ego vero clementiam [sc. of Augustus] non voco lassam
  crudelitatem; haec est, Caesar, clementia vera quam tu
  praestas praestitisti, Caesar, civitatem incruentam
  ... clementia ergo non tantum honestiores sed tutiores
  praestat. (Clem. 1.11.2-4)

  But I do not call mercy [Augustus's] savagery let go;
  that, Caesar, is true mercy thatyou instantiate
  [praestas] ... Caesar, you have rendered [praestitisti]
  your city bloodless ... Mercy therefore renders [praestat]
  people not only nobler but safer.


After representing Octavian's adoption of "mercy" in his transformation into Augustus, the dialogue implicitly hails Nero through, so to speak, a performative veiled in praesto. (80) Masking his own efforts at perlocution as subject--of the king and of the enunciation--Seneca seeks to superimpose on the king, Nero, an absently invoked Augustus, immanently theorizing Nero's potential transformation. (81) Shifting from the hortatory perlocution of the speech act, its performative aim on Nero, Seneca makes a safe locution--a mere reference to, or act of saying of, Augustus (constative). if everything goes according to plan, then by invoking Augustus, Seneca changes Nero (that is, not perlocution), while it appears that in Seneca invoking Augustus, Nero changed (illocution; cf. mutaverat above).

With greater directness, Seneca addresses the woman he aims to console in his Ad Marciam. Describing Livia's resort to the court philosopher Areus in her time of grief, Seneca writes: "Your business was transacted for you there, Marcia; Areus sits by you; change the character--it's you he has consoled" (muta persona; te consolatus est, Marc. 6.1). (82) After the narrative exemplum describing Areus's success in effecting the historical Livia's recovery, it is as if (truly perfective) the present Marcia is/was now consoled (muta personam) and already (te consolatus est). In both instances, that of Nero and Marcia, the praesto-effect of Seneca's narration, his invocation of exempla, is associated with instantiating a result--the reality of Nero and Marcia being 'already' merciful or consoled. (83) Austin (1975, 12-52) famously calls this instantiation "felicity"; for reasons that will become evident, 1 call it the efficax-effect.

Using himself as an example, Seneca explains the efficax-effect to Lucilius in Ep. 6: "I understand, my Lucilius, that I am not only improved [emendari] but even changed in form [transfigurari]" (Ep. 6.1; see [section] 1 above). In his Natural Questions, Seneca records a similar efficacy in nature when he describes how similitude or "likeness" also operates: "It is necessary that ether have in itself something similar [aliquid ... simile] to air and that the loftiest air be not different [dissimilis] from the lowest ether, because change [transitus] cannot occur immediately from one thing into something different [in diversum ex diverse] " (84) In natural terms (the only terms that a Stoic accepted), this apparent transubstantiation is possible because of the substratum of identity unifying physical elements: aliquid simile. In human experience, no less materially constituted than the universe, the substratum of identity between 'us' and the exempla (good or bad) to which we are enjoined is reason. As we saw above, reason can be "effectively" (efficaciter, Ep. 38.1) activated "in the manner of seed" (mode seminis, Ep. 38.2), where 'we' possess in ourselves the "material of virtue" (materia virtutis) and the "seeds of knowledge" (semina scientiae). (85) Thus in terms of the universe and oneself, we might say that the element of likeness (similitude) which effects the change (transitus) is immanent in the phenomenon, whether or not it is evident. Change in the universe and change in the self are not, then, matters of transubstantiation but, as Seneca originally suggested, transfiguration--not qualitative change, but quantitative change which results in qualitative change. Similarly, without reference to similarity--that is, without the image-hinge of similitude--Seneca explains the efficacy of exempla in Ep. 6.5 with now familiar terminology: "The best thing for you is to come into contact with the real thing [in rein praesentem]," the reason being "The road through precepts is long, but fast and effective through exempla [breve et efficax per exemplar (Ep. 6.5). Here it seems that in "real life" (in rem praesentem) there is no need for the image-hinge, no praesto-effect, and the exemplum stands alone in simple efficacy.

Or so it seems, for real life, living among one's role models for exampie, does not specifically feature the image-hinge. Nevertheless, the fact that real life does not consist of language like a text does not mean that it does not in fact partake of the verbal character of the image-hinge of similitudo-exemplum. (86) If Seneca can immanently theorize various practices of language by means of alternating exegesis and self-reflexivity, and if doing so is the first step to praxis (practice informed by theory, theory informed by practice), perhaps virtue and its injunction are immanently theorized in the actions of one's role models in real life. If they are, those actions become both a metaphor and the real thing (res praesens), just as metaphor and exemplum are assimilated in view of material presence. In Roman rhetorical theory, metaphor (translatio), as Quintilian famously tells us, does not need an image-hinge or a 'like'; a larger likeness in nuce, it is "a quicker simile" (brevior similitudo). (87) Similarly, the action of one's role model does not require the exegesis of (verbal) metaphor, that superaddition that renders the action meaningful. Being part of the social life of the universe, in context the actions of one's role model perform virtue in the theatrical sense, but also in the linguistic: (88) the role model moves his little finger and the disciple intuits the injunction to virtue in the movement of the finger, becomes virtuous, and thereby validates the action of the role model at the vanishing point between word (logos) and deed (ergon). (89)

At this point, Senecan performativity can be described as follows. The performative exemplum starts life as something verbal, a similitude. It is deployed in human relations most clearly in the form of the subjective-subjunctive image-hinge (idem nos faciamus), accompanied by various theorizations. Under the influence of metaphor as material presence, the similitudo-exemplum quickens itself into efficacy (breve [right arrow] efficax) until any exemplum, including the living exemplum of one's role model, can be performative with or without an image-hinge or related injunction. That is, in view of the identity that Seneca posits between exemplum and similitude, part of the Ocax-effect that characterizes the moral agency (emendatio) of exemplum and makes the person, who is the exemplum, happy (felix; see note 60 above), comes not so much from social experience (doing is being) but from a linguistic model imposed on social experience (saying is doing [right arrow] doing as saying). Seneca thus transfers the praesto-effect of metaphor into social experience and generates the efficax-effect of exemplum: in saying, which is doing, and in doing as saying, we become.

By following Seneca's explication and enactment of the transition from representation (similitude) to transformation (exemplum), we can begin to appreciate Seneca as a theorist in two ways. First, as the exegetical theorist, whom Horace's father had described with the adjective sapiens, Seneca explains the operation of exemplum by equating it in practice with similitudo and then by explaining each irregularly but completely through theory and practice. Second, by theorizing and practicing exemplum simultaneously, Seneca's practice of exemplum becomes implicitly verbal and immanently theoretical. In other words, Seneca's practice becomes praxis, practice informed by theory, and theory informed by practice. In the next two sections, I will describe how Seneca also 'does theory' in the problematical sense discussed above. I will draw attention to the role of context in the efficacy of exemplum and then question the authority traditionally associated with the rhetorical figure.

V. Context: Language and the Nature of Things

Before looking at Seneca's understanding of context, let us consider the role of context in speech act theory, how context acts as the precondition for the efficacy of the speech act. Austin (1975, 52), discussing those "infelicitous" performatives that end up not working, writes:
  [W]e see that in order to explain what can go wrong with statements
  we cannot just concentrate on the proposition involved (whatever that
  is) as has been done traditionally. We must consider the total
  situation in which the utterance is issued--the total speech-act--if
  we are to see the parallel between statements and performative
  utterances, and how each can go wrong. So the total speech act in the
  total speech situation is emerging from the logic piecemeal as
  important in special cases: and thus we are assimilating the supposed
  constative utterance to the performative.


The ability of language to effect change or to change reality, then, such as what Seneca requires his vivid similitudines-exempla to do, is not a departure from the normal (descriptive, demonstrative, constative) uses of language; rather, it shows that normal, constative language is constitutive and performative all along. Its performativity arose precisely from its being part of the world and never outside it, part of "the total speech situation." (90) Seneca recognized as much about expressions of volition (vota or 'prayer'; cf. voluntas above) and fate:
  nostri [Stoicii quoque existimamus vota proficere salva vi ac
  potestate fatorum. quaedam enim a diis immortalibus ita suspensa
  relicta sunt ut in bonum vertant, si admotae diis preces
  fuerint, Si vota suscepta; ita non est hoc contra fatum, sed
  ipsum quoque in fato est. (Q Nat. 2.37.28)

  Our [Stoics] also suppose that wishes can help even with the force
  and power of fate intact. For certain things are left up in the air
  by the immortal gods in such a way that they can go well if our
  prayers reach the gods, if our wishes are accepted; thus this is not
  opposed to fate, but is itself also a part of fate.


At the same time as fate contains the power of individual volition and expression, its jurisdiction (in lege fati, Q Nat. 2.38.2) is also circumscribed and deferred to encompass more, in indefinite recourse to context. Where was fate when my word changed the world? But it was part of the world and therefore part of fate that my word would change it.9I What is encompassed or comprised by fate (fato comprehensum, Q Nat. 2.38.1) is causally interconnected, as this "context" (contextum rerum, Q. Nat. 2.47.1) extends indefinitely. Thus, in terms of relevant and reciprocal causal connections, relationality is ineluctable.

The indefinite deferral of performance to context, which problematizes but does not impair performance, prefigures the deconstruction of performance famously effected by Jacques Derrida, while its application to social experience prefigures the application of performance, deconstructed, to social experience by poststructuralist thinkers.92 Following Judith Butler, people often say "Gender is performative," understanding this as theatrical performance--that gender is a way one acts, a tone of voice, the clothes one wears, etc. But a more accurate and more profound method of thinking about this is a model of performativity based not on social performance but on something akin to Austin's linguistic performa-tivity. Derrida suggests that the performatives described by Austin are in fact "citational," depending on a context that "is never absolutely determinable, or rather ... its determination is never certain or saturated." (93) Austin's apparent dismissal of "etiolated" forms of discourse--those separable from proper contexts as found, for example, in writing, acting, or telling stories--leads Derrida to ask:
  Could a performative statement succeed if its formulation did not
  repeat a "coded" or iterable statement, in other words if the
  expressions I use to open a meeting, launch a ship or a marriage were
  not identifiable as conforming to an iterable model, and therefore if
  they were not identifiable in a way as "citation"? (1982, 326; cf.
  Austin 1975, 21)


Thus, however much a performative depends on context to be understood and therefore effective, even its context depends on context--a preexisting field in which the performative functioned and was identified as functioning. This moves deconstruction--the ultimate upshot of close reading--from letter to event, from literature to culture. (94)

Derrida's "iterability," combined with the open-ended, never 'saturated' quality of context (context depends on context depends on context), means that the performative utterance, so defined by its constitutive effect, rests on shifting ground. Given the arbitrary, quasi-ritualized, iterable nature of the various, more or less formulaic, performative acts (e.g., the invocation of exempla), the enactment and efficacy of Seneca's performative exempla depend on context; but context must be understood as always open, not causally predetermined or closed. (95) Thus, the performance of wisdom and the good life that constitutes virtue is always in need of re-performance, always in need of as many others as possible, to staunch its leaking through the context that is impossible to saturate. Further, the openness and flux suggested by this performative model of virtue do not conflict with Stoic philosophical materialism and the moral premium placed on material integrity by Stoic founders, such as Chrysippus, who valorized virtue's fixity or "peculiar pexis" (SVF 3.510). Against the apparent emphasis that Chrysippus put on fixity, we may compare Seneca's completely orthodox96 description of the person as Heraclitus's river:
  corpora nostra rapiuntur fiuminum more ... ego ipse, dum loquor
  mutari ista, mutatus sum ... mundus quoque, aeterna res et invicta,
  mutatur nec idem manet. quamvis enim omnia in sc habeat quae habuit,
  aliter habet quam habuit: ordinem mutat. (Ep. 58.22-4)

  Our bodies are carried along in the manner of a river. ... Even I,
  who say that those things change, am changed ... Even the universe,
  that everlasting and unconquerable thing, changes and does not remain
  the same. Although it holds in itself all that it held, it holds it
  differently than it held it: it changes its arrangement.


Similarly, since original events are themselves not identical with themselves, Butler, Derrida, and other theorists of the performative emphasize those ritual aspects of performativity that may be 'always already' repeated insofar as they are always repeatable. (97)

Seneca seems aware of the impossibility of saturating context, of its inherent instability, and of its need for re-performance with and through others. He may already be immanently theorizing it in the proliferation he suggests when he exemplifies exemplification in Ep. 6, summoning a It crowd of sages" (Stoics, Platonists, Epicureans, even Aristotle):
  Zenonem Cleanthes non expressisset, si tantummodo audisset: vitae
  eius interfuit, secreta perspexit, obervavit ilium, an ex formula sua
  viveret. Platon et Aristoteles et omnis in diversum itura sapientium
  turba plus ex moribus quam ex verbis Socratis traxit; Metrodorum et
  Hermarchum et Polyaenum magnos viros non schola Epicuri sed
  contu-bernium fecit. nec in hoc te accerso tantum, ut proficias, sed
  ut prosis; plurimum enim alter alteri conferemus.

  Cleanthes would not have instantiated [expressisset] Zeno, if he had
  only heard him: he was in and among his life, he looked his secrets
  through, monitored him as to whether or not he lived by his own rule.
  Plato and Aristotle and that whole crowd of sages, heading as they
  were in different directions, drew more from Socrates' ways than from
  his words; Metrodorus and Hermarchus and Polyaenus, all great men--it
  was not Epicurus's school that made them such, but his com-raderie
  [contubernium]. Nor do I implore you only in order for you to make
  philosophical progress, but so you can help; for we can bestow the
  most on one another. (Ep. 6.6)


In this passage, within the conventions of Roman exemplarity that Seneca describes as both enacted and transformed--from Forum to philosophy, from arms (contubernium) to ethics--we find a patent acknowledgment of the fact that exemplary actions require an audience. We are also made aware that one's audience can in exemplary ways--in the movement from the Socratic past to the epistolary present--act back, continuing through time until the community of aspirants and sages becomes one of indefinite admittance and reciprocal relationality. (98) In contrast with the historical or historiographic third-person exemplum that "looks backward to a previous deed in light of which it was done, and forward to a subsequent imitation of itself," (99) the subjective-subjunctive exemplum happens 'right now.'

IV. Conclusion: History and Authority

We may now resituate Seneca more concretely within the social by returning to the auctoritas of the exemplum. In Cicero's De inventione (On Rhetorical Invention), for example, the wishy-washy quality of resemblance (similitudo) that in the Rhetoric to Herennius had united exemplum to comparison falls away. (100) Cicero argues that authority, and not similitudo, proves the defining feature of the trope against its cousins, imago and collatio:
  imago est oratio demonstrans corporum aut naturarum similitudinem.
  collatio est oratio rem cum re ex similitudine conferens. exemplum
  est quod rem auctoritate aut casu alicuius hominis aut negoti
  confinnat aut infirmat. (Inv. rhet. 1.49)

  An image is language that points out a resemblance [similitude] of
  bodies or essences. Comparison is language that compares thing with
  thing on the basis of resemblance [ex similitudine]. Exemplum is that
  which affirms or disaffirms a thing by the authority [auctoritas] or
  instance of some person or transaction.


This auctoritas, divested of resemblance arises from real people in concrete situations, whether the contubernium of military life abroad (Tacitus, Agr. 5.1) or the tirocinium fon of political life at home (Tacitus, Dial. 34), which are all 'historical' spaces if one considers history as a space of temporal removal from, but continued particularity with, the present. (101) With a more rote and assimilated theoretical vocabulary, a later Roman theorist totally subsumes the abiding particularity of exemplum to historicity: "Exemplum proves with historia and similitudo with a thing [re]." (102) Michele Lowrie gets at something similar when she compares "the exemplum as formal structure" (here, the structure it shares with similitude) with "the exemplum as ideology" (here, historia). She asks (2008, 174): "Can the exemplum ever escape its own moral weight and become pure form?" For Seneca the Stoic materialist, the answer to this question is "Yes," because moral weight is form--the corporeal constitution of cognition, virtue, the soul, the self, and the world.

In contrast with the traditional notion of exemplum and its weight of history and Romanitas (see Quintilian, Inst. orat. 12.2.30), Seneca changes exemplum, not only through rhetoric and ethics, but also through language and metaphysics, defining it by that performativity that constitutes in doing: life experience of imitation and emulation occurs on the model of, or even as, language, which persists through difference and is open to redeployment and repetition by definition. Of course, the ritual of performativity--in Derridean terms, always a re-performance of something already coded and therefore iterable--was always present, historically, in the deep structure of exemplum, in the connection of the trope with the institution of ancestor worship and the aristocratic funeral. The event, therefore, at which the auctoritas of exempla was instantiated always exhibited a 'parodic' quality, the parasitic alongside-ness featured prominently in deconstructionist discussions. (103) Thus, however conservative Cicero the novus homo may have been, his auctoritas exemplorum always derived from something that was never really itself to begin with. If the conservative Cicero implicitly depended on the instability and dynamism of exemplum, (104) then Seneca did so explicitly, as he explicated, problematized, and changed (theorized) the Ciceronian project. On the basis of new values, (105) Seneca enjoins us to be ourselves among the exempla (Ep. 98.13), to 'perform' (to enact and change) the tradition that recognizes the fateful break in particularity from then to now. (106) We are to take a place among exempla not by performing the very actions of Horatius Codes (Ep. 121) but, in view of the similitudo of exemplum, by performing actions just like those of a Horatius Cocles. (107)

My claim--that Seneca acknowledges, codifies, and puts to the fore the inherent instability of authority, making it self-consciously relational, collectively transformative, and freer from domination and exploitation than earlier manifestations--is necessarily hard to prove. (108) It is hard to prove, not because of its conceptual subtlety or complexity, or even any tendentiousness, but rather because, from the very beginning, as Marcuse notes, (109) authority was itself an ambiguous relation, a combination of domination and freedom, force and persuasion. I have argued that Seneca assimilates exemplum to the metaphysical metaphorics of similitudo and that he subjects exemplum to total theorization. The Senecan exemplum entails an alteration of authority, a pointing up of its collaborative rather than coercive aspects, and therefore a break with the traditions of the closed, masculine, conservative, and militarized society of Roman social and political thought. Seneca's exempla, although they maintain the performative, life-changing dimension derived from the auctoritas exemplorum, divest it of its hierarchy, its dynamic of command-and-contro1, (110) moving in the direction of language and moral experience modeled on language and becoming collaborative and relational: other-dependent, other-directed, mutually-changing, and resistant to violence where violence is understood as real and symbolic domination and exploitation.111 This progressive movement accounts for Seneca's ubiquitous derogation of history even as he relies on history for his exempla and, as a Roman, for his understanding of the present: "I do not call your attention back to the history books [historias]," Seneca writes, "nor do I make compilations of those who disdained death in the span of human experience, though there are many; look back [respice] to this time of ours [ad haec nostra tempera]." (112) Against the backward-look of subordination to the past and against a past that is a history of violence, (113) Seneca imagines a model of self that is predicated on others now, as he writes of the related precept, "Say these things to others, so you hear them yourself while you speak; write them, so you read them as you write." (114)

Seneca's theorization of exemplum through similitude ultimately enables him to take up one of his most paradoxical and, as far as I can tell, rarely questioned positions: Seneca, the consummate practitioner of the rhetoric of presence, conspicuously theorizes presence in epistles (which are testaments of absence), and insists on the value of living with exempla even as he tells us, and as his writing demonstrates, that living with exempla is not necessary. (115) His reason for adopting this true paradox may be that his model of virtue and moral progress is in fact linguistic, performative on the order of language, informed not only by the dynamics of the spoken utterance but also, A la Derrida, by the dynamics of the textual expression. (116) Such a performativity would be self-consciously citational, advertising its indefinite recourse to context and relationality, while working through the series of progressive displacements, redeployments, and reappropriations that most characterize textual exchange. In one of his most 'theoretical' letters (above, [section] 2), Seneca explains the way in which textuality, particularly literature, mediates moral transformation with reference to his favorite exemplum (Cato) and his favorite author (Vergil). After citing Vergil's description of a noble horse (Ep. 95.68 = Vergil, Georg. 3.75-81, 83-5), Seneca writes:
  dum aliud agit, Vergilius noster descripsit virum fortem: ego certe
  non aliam imaginem magno viro dederim. si milli M. Cato exprimendus
  ... non alium illi adsignaverim vultum, non alium habitum. (Ep.
  95.69)

  While doing something else, our Vergil described a brave man:
  I certainly would give no other image to a great man. If I had to
  express Cato ... I would ascribe no other look, no other bearing.


Seneca thus makes completely clear the textual character of the process in question, by explicitly referring to his own hermeneutic consumption of Vergil's preexisting poetic production. Initially, in introducing the discussion, he suggested that the point of entry of his hermeneutics into Vergil's poetics was, specifically, metaphor: "How much more useful it is to know the signs [notas] of a good man, which one can metaphorize from another to oneself!" (117) The English "metaphorize" translates Seneca's transferre, which yields the Latin noun translatio, which, as discussed in [section] 3, translates the Greek metaphora. Applied to Vergil's Aeneid, Seneca's translatio identifies the operation of metaphor with the text itself.

In light of the close association of metaphor and textual reception (reading), it is not surprising that when Seneca theorizes reading, he also does so with the performative language of metaphor and exemplum. The result is that reading and writing are, like everything else, just like living with exempla:
  quad in corpore nostro videmus sine ulla opera nostra facere naturam
  ... idem in his quibus aluntur ingenia praestemus ... concoquamus
  illa . . . adsentiamur illis fideliter et nostrafaciamus ... hoc
  faciat animus foster: omnia quibus est adiutus abscondat, ipsum
  tantum ostendat quod effecit. etiam Si cuius in te comparebit
  similitudo quem admiratio tibi altius fixerit, similem esse te volo
  quomodo filium, non quomodo imaginem: imago res mortua est. (Ep.
  84.6-8)

  What we see that our nature does without any effort in the
  case of our body ... let us realize the same thing in matters in
  which our characters are nourished ... Let us digest them.. Let us
  agree to them faithfully, and let us make them ours. Let our soul do
  this: let it conceal all the things by which it was supplemented, let
  it show forth only what it has done leffecitl. Even if someone's
  likeness, which admiration has pressed deeply into you, appears, I
  want you to be like him in the manner of a son, not an image: an
  image is a dead thing.


This passage is important for a number of reasons. It includes all the major lexical indicators of the praesto- and yficax-effects (faciamus, effecit), the actual use of image-hinges in similitudines (quod idem ... hoc) combined with the subjective-subjunctive play discussed above (praestemus ... concoquamus illa adsentiamur ... faciamus ... hoc faciat animus noster). In terms of Seneca's self-exegesis, the passage also offers an account of likeness (similitudo) with similes (similitudines) at the service of what can only be exemplum, or emulation--here emphasized by reference to the ancestor mask or imago of the dead ancestor-exemplar--taken up and set aside in re-performance. Perhaps more importantly, the images and exempla are, in this letter, part of a broader theorization of how to read and write: exempla, images about exempla, and images, shifting from immanently to exegetically, even problematically, theoretical, all through written practice. This, as compared with Seneca's usual (and now pseudo-) emphasis on person-to-person interaction, further challenges the ready recourse to context assumed elsewhere by Seneca as well as by certain modern theorists of speech acts, not to mention modern historicists. Commenting on the surprising postmodernity of her find, Lowrie hits on exactly this recognition in Velleius Paterculus: "Exempla do not stop where they have begun, but ... make for themselves a way of wandering off very far." (118) Seneca explicitly identifies the operation of textuality in this process.

To be sure, Seneca's exemplary practice frequently depends on the normal Roman manner of exemplification--what we find not only in rhetoric but also in rhetorical historiography. Coexisting with this rhetorical, historiographic use of exempla is a more relational practice of exemplum in Seneca's philosophical rhetoric, one that depends upon and transforms both self and other. This theory and practice either is different from those that came before it, or else it sets them up as different in order to differ from them; if so, it is reciprocally transformative on a higher level as well--reciprocal transformation in reciprocal transforma-tion. (119) In light of Seneca's treatment in his letters and dialogues, we might deem this relational exemplification a first- and second-person mode of performative discourse, compared with the demonstrative third-person exempla of history in Seneca's theory. Accordingly, Seneca's relational, linguistically performative exempla promise to supplant the patriarchal exempla of the mos maiorum or 'our fathers,' never more than when Seneca refuses to engage in historiography and the record of political particularity that he associates not least with the Ciceronian epistle (Ep. 118.1-3). (120) This insistence on the ethical urgency of the present moment and dismissal of the past is obviously not an unmixed good; it could and perhaps should be read as something of a mystification of how Seneca and his society got to where they were and the disparities that expedited or maintained that process. Such may be the aim or effect of "the aristocracy of virtue" that Thomas Habinek (1998, 137-50) sees Seneca attempting to inaugurate. Yet, without taking recourse to intentionality, it is difficult to determine whether Seneca's use of exemplum is relational and ethical, even revolutionary or merely social and politi-cal--hegemonic, violent. (121) Beyond authorial intention, the only means of moving past description and determining the qualitative status of this apparently progressive use of exempla is context, Seneca's context. But there is no reason to believe that Seneca's context is any more stable now, in retrospect, than it was when Seneca first included it in his theory. (122)

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Notes

(1.) See now Roller 2009, 214-5, 217. Shelton (1995, 162) refers to the dual function of exemplum as "'illustrations' supporting precepts and 'models' for emulation." Compare the pragmatic history of Polybius (9.2.4 with Gowing 2009, 334 note 8).

(2.) Seneca, Ep. 6.1: intellego, Lucili, non emendari me tantum sed transfigurari; cf. Shelton 1995, 162-3. Bartsch (2009, 210-1, 213) observes that "transfiguration" happens specifically through "figures" (figurae) such as metaphor. Along with the very important and exegetically theoretical (sec below) Epp. 94 and 95, Ep. 6 offers Seneca's most sustained treatment of precepts; see now Schafer 2009.

(3.) For an accessible account of exemplum with ample illustrations (Aristotle, Rhet. 2.20, 1393b4-8; Quintilian, Inst. orat. 5.11.1), see McCall 1969, 25-6, 187-9 (cf. Alewell 1913). For Seneca: Scarpat 1975, 250-7 (with illustrations); Mayer 1991; Castagna 1991, 91-8; Shelton 1995, esp. 158-62; Habinek 2000,266-7; Roller 2001, 88-108; Wilcox 2006 and 2008; Turpin 2008, 363-73. Alewell (1913) has a brief discussion at 56-8 (catalogue at 106-13). For the Republic and early Empire more generally, Gazich 1990 (on Quintilian); Litchfield 1914; Lind 1979, 11-5; Wilkes-kamp 1996; Richlin 1997, 92-3; Chaplin 2000; Stemmler 2000; Wiedemann 2000; Roller 2004 and 2009; Kraus 2005; Langlands 2006, 362-3; Stem 2007; Turpin 2008, 373-400; Braund 2009, 61-4; Gowing 2009, 333-4. On philosophical use: Martin 1974, 119-23; Rutherford 1989, 55-9; Nussbaum 1994, 316-41; Inwood 2005, 341-4; Reydams-Schils 2005, 18-24. On metaphor in Seneca: Armisen-Marchetti 1989 and 1995 (cf. Steyns 1907); Inwood 2005, 31-2 note 15; and Bartsch 2009, esp. 188-92. General discussion in Boys-Stones 2003, 31-150.

(4.) Except Codoner 2005 (see further [section] 4); Alewell (1913, 20-4) starts from their connection at least; see comments on Bartsch 2009 below.

(5.) In the following, I use the word metaphor with the broadest possible reference to capture those figures depending on likeness (simile, comparison, etc.) and entailing conceptual metaphor, as well as a species of those figures, metaphor proper (e.g., "Achilles is a lion") or linguistic metaphor (Kovecses 2010, 3-4). Note, however, that whereas for us the term metaphor does double duty, denoting both genus (conceptual metaphor) and species (linguistic metaphor), for the Romans the term similitudo did double duty, denoting both genus (conceptual metaphor, likeness) and the species, simile ("Achilles is like a lion")--at least to the extent that one can synthesize and generalize their discussions (more in [section] 3).

(6.) Exemplum came to resemble simile as a species of metaphor even more in the case of exempla anonyma (Alewell 1913, 95 with Seneca, Helv. 10.7 and Prov. 4.8 above).

(7.) For similitudo as metaphor, see Cicero, Top. 32 and De orat. 3.155. For the identity of exemplum and similitudo or specifically exemplum as "a special case of the broader similitudo" (Lausberg 1998, [section] 410 and [section] 422; Lausberg is hereafter abbreviated as LR), see Quintilian, Inst. orat. 5.11.5-6 (cf. 4.1.70; 5.11.22; 9.1.31); cf. Cicero, Top. 44; Inv. rhet. 1.49; Part. or. 95-6; De orat. 3.205; also below, [section] 3.

(8.) "Transformation" (Edwards 1997) such as "persuasion" (Shelton 1995; cf. Alewell 1913, 27); more globally, Lowrie 2009, viii.

(9.) To put this in terms of the four components of "exemplary discourse" noted by Roller 2004, 4-6 (action, audience, commemoration, imitation; cf. Roller 2009, 216-7), I suggest that Seneca takes it as a given that exemplum has an action for its subject and focuses his theory and practice on what Roller calls components of audience and imitation: the first through representation (of the action to an audience, which simile also does); the second, through imitation or persuasion, which changes the behavior of the audience and thereby transforms them.

(10.) Cf. Lowrie 2007, 111-2. It seems appropriate to emphasize here the extent to which, following the Romans themselves (see [section] 6), scholars (e.g., Wiedemann 2000, 517-8) still tend to shy away from attributing robust theoretical projects to Roman thinkers.

(11.) That is to say, some scholars (Griffin 1976, 182-94; Gowing 2005, 69-81 and 2009, 337; Kraus 2005, 183-4) attend to the social historical conditions that problematize the application of exemplum for Romans. For a material correlate to the sociopolitical problem of inclusion, see the discussion of the ius imaginum in Flower 1996, 53-9; cf. 46-7 (also Polybius 6.53-4, with Roller 2004, 1-2, 7 and Bartsch 2006, 125-9; also Gowing 2005, 143-8 on the collection of the summi viri in the Forum of Augustus). More generally, Lowrie 2009, 301-26.

(12.) Roller 2001, 66: "Seneca suggests to his aristocratic readers that, if attentive to his ethical reforms, they stand to reclaim certain privileges...." Habinek (1998, 5-7, esp. note 2; also 61 note 67) traces the origins of his own politically conscious criticism to new historicism and cultural materialism (see Pieters 2000 on Brannigan 1998; both useful introductions). For the originally Mancian materialist underpinnings of new historicism, see Gallagher 1989; relatedly, in classics: Hinds 2001, 221-4; Milnor 2005, 13-4; Farrell 2006. In all the instances of historicist analysis of exemplarity, the logic assumed to be at work is most!), that of authority (see [section] 6 below) as recognized in sociology, on which see Bourdieu 1991a, 163-70.

(13.) See Seneca, Epp. 106 and 117 with Inwood's 2007 commentary; also Long and Sedley 1987, 44E and 45 (Long and Sedley hereafter abbreviated as LS, followed by section and testimonium, unless otherwise indicated); cf. White 2003, 128-33.

(14.) Particularly Lowrie's 2008b attempt at combining "form" (as in formalism, the literary approach) and "ideology" (with its historicist resonance; more below in [section] 6); cf. Lowrie 2007, 106-7; 2008a; 2009, ix, 9-13.

(15.) See Langlands 2008, 164 where she distinguishes her interpretation from those in which exempla function as "fundamentally coercive and authoritarian," with important bibliography on studies of exemplarity in other European languages and cultures.

(16.) On subjectivism and its (socio-historicist) correlate, objectivism, see Bourdieu 1990, 1-51.

(17.) Cf. Plato's extension of rhetoric to private life in Phdr. 261A7--B1 (en idios, 261A9); cf. Grg. 452E1-8.

(18.) For a relevant genealogy of the concept of value-neutrality in our cultural theory; rooted as it is in 'scientific' sociology (or "scientism," on which see Stenmark 1997), see Jameson 1988; for origins and alternatives in one main current, that of Marxism, West 1991, esp. 117-37.

(19.) Horace, Sat. 1.4.106: ut fugerem exemplis vitiorum quaeque notando; 115-8: sapiens, witatu quidque petitu/sit melius causas reddet tibi: mi satis est si/traditum ab antiquis morem servare. See Lejay 1911, 130 for sapiens as philosopher; cf. Alewell 1913, 89, also citing Seneca, Marc. 2.1: quosdam ratio ducit, quibusdam nomina clara opponenda sunt et auctoritas (Giving an account compels some people; others must be confronted with famous names and authority). On authority, see below, [section] 6; cf. Turpin 2008, 367-8. For an identical scene and possible source, see Plato, Prt. 325C5-326A3.

(20.) Goldhill 1994, 50.

(21.) See Nightingale 2004, 90-2 for a Platonic prototype. Roller (2004, 23) alludes to the second mode of theory in identifying Seneca's other great letter on exempla (Ep. 120) as "part of a larger Senecan project to offer a theorized Stoicism" in light of social and political change; cf. Wilcox 2008, 459 note 19, and below [section] 6. More generally, Compagnon 2004, 10-1.

(22.) R. Williams 1983, 318. In his remarkable study on the concept of "Theory and Practice," Lobkowicz (1969, 50-1) calls "logical" the way of living associated with the Stoics which I here call "dialectical."

(23.) Seneca, Ep. 95.10: philosophia autem et contemplativa est et activa: spectat simul agitque (cf. Marc. 2.1) with Bellincioni 1979, 238; cf. De otio 5.1-8 with G. Williams 2003, esp. 99-100, for contemplatio as theoria; cf. LS 661 and 66J; Aristotle, Pol. 7.2-3, 1324a25-1325b29 with Nightingale 2004, 18-20 (cf. 209-16 on Eth. Nic. 10.7, 1177b1-15). In general, with this move Seneca one-ups Cicero: "While one might be able to defend theory as a kind of practice, Cicero himself does not" (Lowrie 2007, 101; more generally, 99-100).

(24.) Seneca, Ep. 94.31 (= LS 661); cf. Bellincioni 1979, 17-20, 237-8; Schafer 2009, passim. Cf. Seneca, Ep. 95.65-6: "Posidonius says that description idescriptiol of each virtue will also be useful, rendering the signs [signal and marks [nota] of each virtue and vice, so that like can be isolated from like among them [similia discrimi nentur]. This thing [res] has the same power [vis] as offering precepts [praecipere]; for the person who offers a precept says, 'You'll do [fades] this if you want to be temperate'; the person who describes says, 'The person who is temperate does this, abstains from that.' What's the difference, you ask? One gives precepts of virtue, the other gives a model [exemplar]"; cf. Turpin 2008, 370-1 and Schafer 2009, 108.

(25.) Rilke, "Archaischer Torso Apollos" (14): "Du mat dein Leben andern," in Arndt 1989, 102; see Waters 2004 and Lowrie 2009, 7.

(26.) Cf. Lowrie 2007, 96, 101.

(27.) Austin 1975, 94; cf. Stierle 1973, 348-50, 354-6; Petrey 1990, 3-7, 31-6; Goldhill 1994, esp. 56-60; P. A. Rosenmeyer 1995; Lowrie 2007, 97 note 14. After the excellent analysis of Schafer 2009, 59-65, 105-9, it is indisputable that Seneca followed this insight of speech act theory avant la lettre to its logical conclusion so as to treat even propositions, such as praecepta and decreta, as performatives.

(28.) Parker and Sedgwick (1995, 2-3) term these performativities theatrical and deconstructive; cf. Lowrie 2009, 306-8; more below in [section] 4.

(29.) For something of that kind, see Gorman 1999, 97-8, 102-3.

(30.) Following the work of Judith Butler, the idea of performativity appeared often in discussions of the naturalness or essentialness of gender, as compared with its being socially constructed or a product of culture (and therefore performative): thus, in her discussion of Roman rhetoric and its production of masculinity, Richlin (1997, 91) cites Butler's (1990, 25) definition of performative as "constituting the identity it is purported to be." For developments and differences with this definition, see Halperin 2002, 10-3 and Butler herself (1993, 10-1; cf. Bell 1999, 165-6). Here I only note, with Connolly 2007b, 95, that there is a difference between performance (what you are is what you do) and performativity (saying is doing).

(31.) Cf. Butler cited in Bell 1999, 164 on Austin: "And he gives us a fantasy He charts, without knowing it, a fantasy of sovereign power in speech"--although such may not have been as true for Austin as it was for Searle (Petrey 1990, 63-9); see below [section] 5.

(32.) "Social" since even domination and exploitation are social. As Mauss (2005, 4-5) puts it, the social is what holds for groups rather than individuals.

(33.) Accounts emphasizing the role of the self in Senecan moral discourse from a variety of angles include Mayer 1991, 168-9; Edwards 1997, 29-30; Habinek 1998, 137-50; Roller 2001, 64-126; Inwood 2005, 341-4; Bartsch 2006, 188-216; Bartsch and Wray 2009. But see Turpin 2008, 372-3 on Seneca, Tranq. 1.12.

(34.) Even within sociology, whose emphasis on cultural context has been adopted by literary studies (sec Compagnon 2004, 166-7), scholars have felt the need for this differentiation; see Emirbayer 1997, 286-91.

(35.) See Seneca, Ep. 9.1, 3-5, 8, 12-9 (cf. Epp. 52.3; 55.9-11; 63.10-2; 74.23-4, 30; 78.4; 104.11-2), with Reydams-Schils 2005, 51, 81-2; cf. Graver 2007, 182-5. In general, Hely. 5.1, 13.4; Constant. 2.1, 5.4-7, 6.1-8, 8.3, 15.3-5, 19.4; Vit. beat. 26.4; Tranq. 13.3; Prov. 2.1-2; Ben. 7.2.4-5, 7.3.2-3, 7.8.1; De ira 3.25.4; Epp. 5.3, 7; 55.45; 58.32; 59.11, 14; 62; 66.45; 67.1; 68.5-6; 71.26-8; 72.7; 73.4-5, 13-4; 76.35; 81.12-22; 84.1; 85.37-41; 111.4; 120.12-4, 18; cf. Bartsch 2006, 204-5.

(36.) See note 7 above and Martin 1974, 121-2. More generally, Cicero, De. or. 3.155, 157 for the Greek background; cf. Quintilian, Inst. orat. 8.6.4 and Aristotle, Rhet. 3.4, 1406b20-1407a20, with Kennedy 2007, 205-6 and Kirby 1997. On ancient sources, Armisen-Marchetti 1991, 99-101. For the Stoic predilection for similitudines, see Cicero, Tusc. 4.27 with Turpin 2008, 363, esp. note 20; harsher on their use of paradeigmata is Sextus Empiricus (Math. 8.409-10 = SVF 2.85 = LS 27E); cf. Barstch 2009, 189 note 3. The founder of the school, Zeno, may have also emphasized likeness (to homoion) in his definition of paradeigma (SVF 1.84; but cf. DiIts and Kennedy 1997, 45 cited in Turpin 2008, note 24).

(37.) Armisen-Marchetti 1989, 22-9 (cf. McCall 1969, 161-77). For the terminology (on which more below): Seneca, Epp. 59.6-7; 108.35; 114.1, 10; Ben. 2.34.2, 4.12.1, 7.23.1-3 on "necessary metaphor" with Quintilian, Inst. orat. 8.6.34 (cf. 8.2.6). For analogia as a philosophical capacity, Ep. 120.4 (cf. Cicero, Orat. 134) with Armisen-Marchetti 1989, 26-7; Pittet 1937, 187; Inwood 2005, 271-301 and 2007, 325. See below, [section] 4.

(38.) Cf. Rhet. Her. 4.59-60. Metaphor (translatio) does the same at Rhet. Her. 4.45, as does demonstratio at 4.68. Barwick (1957, 95 with Gazich 1990, 79-80) ascribes this metacategory to old Stoic accounts of rhetoric, of which the disparate lists of the Ad Herennium are, in Calboli's (1993, 416-7) phrase, the "pulverazzione atomistica."

(39.) Ut et dicentem et audientem in rem praesentem adducant, on which see [section] 4. Also Bartsch 2009, 192 note 11 on Seneca's use of terms; cf. Armiscn-Marchetti 1989, 271 and Alewell 1913, 19, 28-34.

(40.) Henderson 2004, 152: "straddle between Sextius and Seneca" (cf. Inwood 2005, 343-4). Cf. Ep. 64.3-4, again with the additional layer of Vergil at Ep. 72.15, building on the same at Ep. 48.11. Cf. Seneca's remarks on his early teacher, the Roman Stoic Attalus (Ep. 108.2-3, 13-6, 23) who frequently models imagistic language (Ep. 72.8: solebat Attalus hac imagine uti ... [Attalus used to use this image. .1) in ways similar to Sextius: Epp. 9.7; 63.5-7; 67.15-6; 81.22; 108.3 ("idem" inquit ... 110.14-20. Seneca disagrees with Attalus at Ep. 63.7 (ego non idem sentio [I for my part do not feel the same (idem)]) and Ep. 81.2, but even these negations are consistent with Seneca's assimilations of Sextius (a) in form (note the idem tag of the image-hinge) and (b) as inverse exempla, on which more shortly.

(41.) Seneca, Ep. 59.9: ne ab alia imagine ad aliam transeamus.

(42.) This subspecies of exegetical theory is identified as Handlungsverstehen, in contrast with Redesverstehen, by Stierle 1973, 348; Schonegg (1999, 116-7) identifies this distinction as bildhaft-explicativ. Along the same lines Valerius Maximus recognized a "certain scale" (certo pondere, 3.7) whereby, as Langlands (2011, 14) writes, "reading exempla is certainly one way to learn how one should measure and evaluate oneself" and "an established exemplum might be posited as a 'certain scale' against which readers might measure themselves"; see Langlands 2008, 170-3 for further examples and discussion. For the related immanence of literary history in a given text, see Schmidt 2001, esp. ix-xii; cf. Trinacty 2009 for a treatment of instances of double-Senecan intertextuality about mimesis.

(43.) On polyphony in Seneca, see Mazzoli 2000 (cf. Edwards 1997, 33-4); on interlingualism, Dubuisson 1981, 284 (discussing Plautus's Maccius vortit barbare [Asin. 101); cf. Fowler 2000, 53 note 38 on "shifts of focalization."

(44.) On the technical terminology of metaphor, see below.

(45.) Below I give examples where the point of resemblance and change does not require the idemfacere (see [section] 4).

(46.) It can also shed light on his theory of precepts; cf. my analysis of exemplarity here with the analysis of giving precepts in Schafer 2009, 107-8.

(47.) The terms content and subject derive from Lausberg 1998, [section] 846; my terminology otherwise is standard. But see Silk 1974, 8-15 and McCall 1969, 171.

(48.) Cf. Seneca, Prow. 2.4, 3.3-4, 4.8, 5.4; Pol. 11.4; De ira 3.30.1, 3.43.2; Vit. beat. 8.4-6, 26.3; Clem. 1.16.4-17.2, 1.19.4, 1.19.9, 2.7.1-2; Ben. 2.17.3-4, 3.21.1-2, 3.29.5-6, 4.10.1-2, 5.19.1, 7.29,2; Epp. 2.2; 14.8; 16.2; 34.2; 38.2; 39.4; 42.7-9; 45.8; 53.8-11 (bis); 56.9-10; 59.7, 12-3; 66.19-20 (his), 41-3 (bis); 68.3-4; 70.4; 72.8; 74.8; 80.7-8; 87.5-6, 18; 91.16; 94.4-6 (bis); 95.28-30, 63-4; 122.17; Q Nat. 1.2.7, 1.5.9, 2.34.3, 2.38.2, 3.26.4, 4b.11.4, 5.1.2, 5.9.5, 5.17.4, 6.2.9, 6.17.2, 7.1.5, 7.29.2. Note also that the idemfacere image-hinge is not standardized; cf. Ep. 66.13 (Magnus Scipio ... aeque reliqua quo que inter se paria sunt, tranquillitas) and Ep. 66.50. All feature the use of exempla and similitudo. Beyond a few actual 'ethical' metaphors, I have not included the image-hinges that characterize the scientific arguments of Natural Questions; but see Armisen-Marchetti 1989, 284 and Owen 1966, 176.

(49.) Seneca, Ep. 92.13: quod de veste dixi, idem me dicere de colpore existima; cf. Bartsch 2009, 202.

(50.) Seneca, Ep. 114.23-4: rex mister est animus ... quoniam hac similitudine usus sum, perseverabo. animus foster modo rex est, modo 51rannus; cf. Ep. 13.3; also Prov. 6.4, Tranq. 1.17, Ben. 2.17.3 (with Codofier 2005, 153); cf. imagine at Ep. 72.8 (cited above with Attalus).

(51.) Quintilian, Inst. orat. 8.6.9: comparatio est cum dice fecisse quid hominem 'ut leonem,' tralatio cum dico de homine 'leo est'; cf. Armisen-Marchetti 1989, 226.

(52.) Armisen-Marchetti 1989, 24-5 and Bartsch 2009, 193.

(53.) See, e.g., Aristotle's katagorema, where "categories classify things, not words" (Akrill 1963, 71).

(54.) In fact, as we learn in Seneca's Ep. 117, he does not (Inwood 2007, 294-302; cf, Menn 1999, 217-21); see Barstch 2009, 196-7. More generally, Rist 1989; Cooper 2004, 309-45; Inwood 2005 cited in Turpin 2008, 372.

(55.) This happened, according to Cicero, in the invention of style, when the first language users surprised themselves as their speech assumed a shape and "they themselves had to imitate themselves" (ipsi sibi imitandi fuerunt, Orat. 177). More common in ancient accounts is the opposite model of art or representation, in which "the arts" become "instrumental and accessory," as says Mazzoli 1991, 187 (cf. 189-90; also 1970, 24-6); Traina 1974, 125-6 on Ep. 108.9 and 39-40 with Epp. 33.6; 94.27; 108.26; Wildberger 2006b, 76.

(56.) This would be a 'modern' model of representation. So Shklovsky's (1990, 3) description of symbolism: "The image ... serv[es] as a constant predicate to a succession of changing subjects"; or Levi-Strauss 1987, 37: "The signifier precedes and determines the signified." As far as I can tell, only Henderson (2007, 151-5) and Bartsch (2009, 194-200) recognize and explore this possibility.

(57.) Seneca, Ep. 59.4: habes verba in potestate, non effert te oratio nec longius quam desti-nasti trahit (Language does not carry you off or draw you further than you aimed).

(58.) Lowrie 2007, 101: "The difference between being the thing itself and the exemplum thereof, between actor and theorist, short circuits."

(59.) On the play of likeness, Wilcox 2008, esp. 459-60 with Roller 2004, 23; on the ambivalence of exemplum (positive, negative), see Lowrie 2007, 94 and 112 (with Quintilian, Inst. orat. 5.11.6).

(60.) On the moral ambiguity of Alexander for Seneca, see Andre 1990, 23-4. More on mala exempla at Turpin 2008, 367-8; note esp. his discussion (367) of "unexpected exempla virtutis"; cf. T Rosenmeyer 1989, 14-35.

(61.) Seneca. Ep, 12.8-9: bebiotai, bebiotai ... hoc quad ilk ex mala conscicntia faciebat nos ex bona faciamus. Seneca theorizes this exegetically at Ep. 120.8: sunt enim, ut scis, virtutibus vitia confinia, et perditis quoque ac turpibus recti similitude est (Defects are in fact, as you know, coterminous with excellences, and a likeness [similitudo] of rightness can be found even in the dissolute and base).

(62.) Seneca, Ep. 95.4: beata . . . vita constat cx actionibus rectis (the good life consists of right actions); cf. LS 27B, 29, 45A--D, with LS I: 163-4.

(63.) Schafer 2009, 71: "Seen globally, moreover, the entire work is itself a master exemplum of philosophical friendship and moral reform." On the matter of the point of change in the production of exempla, note that, where Roller (2004, 6) writes of an "endless loop of social reproduction," Wilcox (2008, 460 note 21) posits a "reproductive imperative" that restores agency and language to the senders and receivers of exemplum. This "imperative" in exemplum distinguishes it not only from the representative mode of discourse that is similitude, but also from the other figure to which exemplum is most similar, fabula. For representational or "constative" modes of discourse, see Cicero, Part. or. 40, with Alewell 1913, 20; Aristotle, Rhet. 2.20, 1393ba30-1 with Martin 1974, 122; Seneca, Ep. 24.6); Quintilian, Inst. orat. 5.11.6 (on commoratio) as discussed by Lowrie 2008a, 165-7.

(64.) Compagnon (2004, 167-8) discusses the textualization of context effected by the (postmodern) notion of history as literature; sec below [section] 5 and [section] 6.

(65.) Seneca, Ep. 59.6; Armisen-Marchetti 1989, 28 ("en contact avec realite"); cf. Bartsch 2009, 192-3, 215.

(66.) Quintilian, Inst. orat. 4.2.123: multum confert adiecta ueris credibilis rerum imago, quae uelut in rem praesentem perducere audientis videtur. Note the identical use of perductus at Seneca, Ep. 30.15: libenter haec, mi Lucili, audio non tarnquam nova, sed tamquam in rem praesentem perductus (I listen to these things happily, my Lucilius, not as though they were novel but as though I were brought all the way [perductus] to the real thing); here Seneca speaks of the dying Aufidius Bassus. At Ep. 66.4, Seneca describes the dying Claranus as an exemplar of virtue after using the word to describe the Platonic Form throughout the previous letter (Inwood 2007, 158), again assimilating metaphysics and metaphorics.

(67.) Seneca, Ben. 2.4.2 (cf. 2.2.2): repraesentanda sunt benOcia; Ker (2007, 348) offers additional parallels (to which add Ben. 1.5.6, sub oculos [part of the language of enargeia]).

(68.) Benveniste 1997, 113-9 cited in Ker 2007, 349-50; cf. Lowrie 2009, 21.

(69.) Seneca, Ep. 11.9: o ftlicem ilium qui non praesens tantum sed etiam cogitatus emendat!

(70.) Ker 2007, 352.

(71.) Seneca, Vit. beat. 19.3: negatis quemquam praestare quae loquitur nec ad exemplar orationis suae vivere; cf. 20.1: non praestant philosophi quae loquuntur (Philosophers do not instantiate [praestant] what they speak). Cf. De otio 8.1 (imitation by a pattern), 8.4; Pol. 2.7, 5.1, 6.3, 17.4 (of discharging an exchange), 18.6; Hely. 13.2, 17.5 (of changing or producing something).

(72.) A 'law' of dialectical materialism in Engels 1987, 356-61. See Ep. 118.15-6 with Inwood 2007, 313-15 and Graver 2007, 173-4.

(73.) Seneca, Ben. 2.3.2: quanto melius adicere bona verba rebus bonis et praedicatione humana benignaque conmendare, quae praestes!

(74.) Seneca, Ep. 81.6: eo animo quidque debetur, quo datur, ncc quantum sit sed a quali pro-ftctum voluntate perpenditur. Cf. Ben. 2.33.2, 3.10.1, 4.21.2, 4.21.5, 7.14.1-6, 7.15.1-5, 7.16.1-4; Vit. beat. 20.4.

(75.) Horkheimer 2002, 19-24: "Given the evolution of productive forces in antiquity, even the materialist philosophers were forced in the face of suffering to elaborate techniques of interior life" (24).

(76.) Cf. Austin 1975, 108 (cf. 94-109); Searle 1969, 25 and 1979, 1-29; Petrey 1990, 59-69.

(77.) Seneca, Ep. 67.12: ita tu non putas Regulum ... indue magni viri animum; Ep. 70.4: idem evenire nobis puta. Building on Ep. 120, Star (2006) connects ethics, imperatives, and "self-fashioning" in the tragedies.

(78.) Lowrie 2009, 297: "Felicity in performatives is not the norm from which the failures are special cases; rather, citation lies at the heart of performative discourse so that its condition for success can also make a particular utterance infelicitous." More on citation in the next section.

(79.) Braund 2009, 291: "Seneca uses praestare in this part of the work (also 1.11.3, 1.11.4) several times, with different meanings."

(80.) For Searle 1979, 31, an "indirect speech act" or a "case ... in which one illocution"--here the exemplum--"is performed by means of another"; cf. Pachet 1978, 363-4, 369-70.

(81.) Cf. Tiberius's more dubious transformation as Seneca elsewhere reports it (Ben. 5.25,2): 'non memini,' inquit, 'quid fuerim' ("I do not remember," he said, "what I was"); cf. Roller 2001, 208-9 and Gowing 2005, 1.

(82.) Cf. Ker 2009, 94-5.

(83.) See further Shelton 1995, 166-88; Roller 2004, 36-7; Wilcox 2006, esp. 79-87.

(84.) Seneca, Q Nat. 2.13.2: necesse est enim ut et imus aether habeat aliquid aeri simil et summus aer non sit dissimilis imo aetheri, quia non fit statim in diversum ex diverso transitus.

(85.) Seneca, Ep. 90.46: virtutis materia. In Ep. 120, his other important letter on exemplum, Seneca writes of nature: semina nobis scientiae dedit, scientiam non dedit (She gave us the seeds of knowledge, but she did not give us knowledge, 120.4). Note here that the "seed" is activated by analogia (Ep. 120.5). From bodily health (corporis sanitas) and strength (corporis vires), we draw together or "infer" (collegimus) strength of the soul (animi robur); this process is, in effect, collatio, a term also used for the species of metaphor mentioned in Ep. 59; cf. Armiscn-Marchetti 1989, 234-5 on Epp. 50.8; 73.16; 87.25; 94.29; 108.8.

(86.) Especially if 'verbal' is thought to relate to logical'--where logical refers to logos (speech as much as reason) and where the world, as the Stoics believed, is logical: Sedley 1999, 400-1 and Graver 2007, 24.

(87.) Quintilian, Inst orat. 8.6.8: metaphora brevior est similitudo, with LR 558; cf. Aristotle, Rhet. 3.4, 1406b20 and Seneca, Ep. 94.43.

(88.) Seneca's understanding of action as a form of communication is discussed in Wildberger 2006a, 1: 193-4; it was probably influenced by his experience working through the elusive Stoic idea of the "sayable" (lekton, dictum: LS 1: 198-202).

(89.) Strictly speaking, the role model here cannot be a sage because the sage's virtue cannot be contingent on external conditions. Seneca's theory in this connection may reflect his commitment to ordinary circumstances and common conceptions; on this see Inwood 2005, 74-6, 261; Roller 2001, 75-7, 87; LS 1: 436.

(90.) See Wildberger 2006b and cf. Armisen-Marchetti 2006.

(91.) Cf. Cicero, Fat. 28-30 (= LS 55S); also cf. LS 62F on "cofatedness" (with Hankinson 1999, 533-4); Seneca, Prov. 5.8 (with Fontecedro 1992, 163-4); Hine 1981, 369-71; Andre 1995, 31-2, 35-6; Inwood 2005, 302-21.

(92.) Derrida 1982 (with Searle 1977) and 1977, on which see Petrey 1990, 13166; also Fish 1980, 220-31, who attempts to limit the relevance of "speech act theory" to literary studies but effectively ignores its social basis (beyond a few trivial examples at 275-7, 285-8), on which see note 95 below; Lowrie 2009, 297-8.

(93.) Derrida 1982, 310, 321-30; cf. Derrida 1977, 198, 218-20. For context in Austin, see esp. Austin 1975, 100 (cf. 52, quoted above); cf. Lowrie 2009, 292.

(94.) Note that this move forecloses the false closure, which Searle (1969, 50-2) aims at with his distinction between "brute" and "institutional facts," by asserting not that "reality" (which includes "brute facts") is a text (which is institutional in nature; see also Fish 1980, 199), but that reality includes texts, and the brute the institutional. This claim is applicable for the reality of the classical world in which institutions were comparatively less complex--or at least less explicitly disciplinary, autonomous, monopolistic, real, and hence more immanent, embedded, symbolic, etc. (Bourdieu 1990, 112-3, 122-34 and 1991, 117-26); cf. Edwards 1993, 31-2.

(95.) Derrida 1977, 184-95, 202-5, who offers in effect an advance analysis of the elements of ritual that Bourditu (1991a) identifies as representation, delegation, authorized imposture, and mediation, on the one hand (107-16), and boundaries, difference, constitution/institution, and signification/symbolism, on the other (11726). Langlands (2008, 162 note 9) identifies this aspect of Roman exemplarity, following its identification in a later tradition by Lyons (1989), as "iterativity and multiplicity."

(96.) Cf. Wildberger 2006a, 1: 87-9 (with 2: 609 note 476) on the Stoic "categories" (LS 28 and 29), pace LS 1:172.

(97.) Cf. Lowrie 2009, 280 on Horace's (literally performed) Carmen Saeculare: alme Sol .../aliusque idem/nasceris (Propitious sun, you are born different and the same ..., 9-11).

(98.) Roller 2004, 5 and 2009, 216; Langlands 2011, 15-6 (cf. 2008, 162 note 10).

(99.) Roller 2004, 23; Langlands 2006, 267-9; but cf. Kraus 1994, 13-5.

(100.) Cicero, Or. 120: exemplum ... affert auctoritatem orationi et fidem (Exemplum confers authority and faith on speech) with Stemmler 2000, 154 note 41; Quintilian, Inst. orat. 5.11.1 with Alewell 1913, 19; Zeno at SVF 1.84 with Turpin 2008, 364. More generally, Stemmler 2000, 152-3; Codoner 2005, 147-8; Fox 2007, 159-61. Aristotle (Rhet. 1.2.19, 1357b) presents exemplum (paradeigma) as epistemological rather than social (authoritative), with terms such as gnomiroteron and homoion pros homoion, on which see Stemmler 2000, 152-3; cf. Holkeskamp 1996, 312-3 and Lowrie 2007, 108-9.

(101.) On history and particularity, Stemmler 20(X), 172-9 and Roller 2004, 31-3 (but 2009, 225-9 for qualifications). On a comparable recourse to historical difference in Valerius Maximus (7.6.6), see Langlands 2011, 19-20.

(102.) See Keil 1870, 284, 7-8: inter exemplum et similitudinem hoc interest, quod exemplum historia, similitudo re approbatur, cited and discussed in Stemmler 2000, 154; cf. Alewell 1913,23-7.

(103.) Derrida 1977, 202 (cf. 210); on parasitism or parody, Derrida 1977, 182 and 1982.

(104.) But perhaps also recognized: Connolly 2007a, 239-54 and Fox 2007, chap. 6; on Augustan intimations, Lowrie 2009, 296-8.

(105.) Cf. Habinek 2000; Roller 2001, 64-126; Henderson 2004, 99; Cowing 2005, 69-81; Wilcox 2006, 76-8; Bartsch 2006, 188-208.

(106.) Connolly 2007a, 237-8. Koselleck (1985, 38) argues that the weakening of exemplarity through particularity defines the modern experience of history: "Every past example is always too late."

(107.) Esp. at Ep. 120.3-8; on the limits of virtue in times prior to Stoicism, see Ep. 90.44 (with Andre 2003, 153). On the adjustment of exempla to particular circumstances, see Langlands 2011, esp. 7-9.

(108.) Bourdieu 1991a, 111: "Believing that he was contributing to the philosophy of language, [Austin] was in fact working out a theory of symbolic expressions, of which the discourse of authority is only the paradigmatic form, and whose specific efficacy stems from the fact that they seem to possess in themselves the source of a power which in reality resides in the institutional conditions of their production and reception" (my emphases).

(109.) Marcuse 1972, 51: "A certain measure of freedom (voluntariness: recognition and affirmation of the bearer of authority, which is not based purely on coercion) and conversely, submission, the tying of will (indeed of thought and reason) to the authoritative will of an Other."

(110.) Cf. Lowrie 2009, 279-308.

(111.) Again, Seneca, like Arendt 1961, does not reject authority (cf. Epp. 77.10, 14; 83.10, with Alewell 1913, 88-9), but rather redefines it--progressively, in his case, and in a way that would have been especially urgent if, as Lowrie (2007, 108-9) suggests, auctoritas became something fundamentally different, and potentially scary, after Augustus; cf. Syme 1939, 3, 322, 519 and Galinsky 1996, 10-6.

(112.) Seneca, Ep. 24.11: non revoco te ad historias nec ex omnibus saeculis contemptores mortis, qui sunt plurimi, colligo; respice ad haec nostra tempora. Also Ep. 73.34: et quae praeterierunt et quae futura sunt absunt: neutra sentimus (Both that which is past and that which is about to be are not here: we do not feel either of them), on which see Sangalli 1988, 57-8; cf. SVF 2.509.26-7 and Seneca, Brev. vit. 8.1 on the nonexistence of time, an "immaterial thing" (res incorporalis) (with G. Williams 2003, 164-6); cf. praesens in Brev. vit. 10.1-6.

(113.) Cf. Traina 1974, 10; Andre 1995, 30; Connolly 2009, 188-90.

(114.) Seneca, Ep. 89.23; cf. Epp. 52.2; 55; 76.21; 109.12; 119.1 (negative versions: Epp. 59.11 and 108.6). See Nussbaum 1994, 316-41; Edwards 1997, 27-8, 32-3; Reydams-Schils 2005, 18-4; Inwood 2005, 341-4; cf. Foucault 1986, 51: "This activity devoted to oneself ... constituted, not an exercise in solitude, but a true social practice."

(115.) On the "confusion created by Seneca's use of the phrase viva vox" in Ep. 6, Shelton (1995, 162 note 2) writes: "The intent of the advice is clear; Seneca is encouraging Lucilius to visit and spend time with him rather than depending on an exchange of books and letters for guidance." Wilcox (2006, 96) rightly draws attention to the capacity of texts to disseminate virtue supposedly exemplified by people (on Caesar and Marcellus, through Brutus's De virtute, at Helv. 9.4; cf. Diogenes Laertius 7.2 on Zeno); see Turpin 2008, 365-6 and Lowrie 2009, 13-8.

(116.) On the Roman background, Lowrie 2009, 1-7, 23; the Derridean, Bass 2004.

(117.) Seneca, Ep. 95.67: quanta hoc utilius est excellentis animi notas nosse, quas ex alio in se transferre permittitur; cf. Turpin 2008, 371.

(118.) Translation of Valerius from Lowrie 2007 (cf. 2008b, 173); the Latin is non enim ibi consistent exempla, unde coeperunt, sed ... latissime evagandi sibi viam faciant; cf. Lowrie 2009, 300-1 and Roller 2009, 214-6. Derrida 1990, 92-3: "And, by the way, I think that the problematic ... of context ... is seriously missing in new historicism ..."; cf. Compagnon 2004, 152.

(119.) If this were the case, it would mark Seneca's immanent theorization (see note 42 above) of what Langlands terms "controversial thinking," based on its socio-historical connection with the Roman practice of the controversia; Langlands 2008, 160-1, 184-5 (cf. 2006, 78-80, 82-3, 125, 274).

(120.) Cf. Edwards 1997, 23-5, also adducing in note 5 Epp. 21.4 and 97; cf. Henderson 2004, 168-9 and Ker 2006, 32-3; more generally, Gambet 1970 and Inwood 2005, 315-6. Cf. Seneca's remarks on the historian Cremutius Cordus in Marc. (with Armisen-Marchetti 1995). For Seneca on historiography, see Q Nat. 3.praef. 5-7 with Wilson 2007, 428-30; also Castagna 1991; Hutchinson 1993, 15-7; Andre 1995, 28-31: Turvin 2008, 373-8.

(121.) Or both; cf. Bourdieu 1998.

(122.) My thanks to institutions and people for help with this article: the Simpson Center Society for Scholars at the University of Washington in the 2007-2008 academic year for support and insight, and especially to Jack Brown and Cathy Woodward; to James Ker, Christopher Trinacty, and Alain Cowing for valuable responses to the original presentation at the annual meeting of the American Philological Association; Will Altman for clarification, conversation, and encouragement; my friend and colleague Grant Nelsestuen; and finally Michele Lowrie for generous and incisive comments.
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