Ítaca: Quaderns Catalans de Cultura Clàssica, Núm. 28-29 (2012-2013)

Intempestiua philosophia? Éloquence déclamatoire et éloquence philosophique au Ier siècle ap. J. C.

Charles Guérin


Whereas Cicero and Seneca the younger always argued in favor of a rigid stylistic distinction between philosophy and oratory, this conceptual barrier does not seem to have been as widely accepted as they would both have wanted: besides their philosophical virtues, philosophers could also be praised for qualities of expression that Cicero or Seneca would have thought entirely irrelevant to the philosophical sermones or disputationes. As Pliny’s letters would later show, philosophical and oratorical styles could be mingled, or could at least influence each other. This article analyzes these two tendencies — rejection or influence— by taking into account the point of view of the declamatory tradition from the 1st century CE onward and by focusing on Seneca the Elder’s approach to the problem. Using Seneca’s commentaries on Albucius Silus and Papirius Fabianus’ declamations, it tries to show that while he boldly rejected any kind of philosophical influence, Seneca regarded the declamatory way of speaking as the perfect path to achieve an effective philosophical style. The scholastici thus tried to assert their practice as a training equally fit for any genre of prose expression.

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ISSN: 2013-9519 (edició electrònica); 0213-6643 (edició impresa).

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