Adriaan Lanni: Law and Order in Ancient Athens

Werner Riess
2018 Gnomon. Kritische Zeitschrift für die gesamte klassische Altertumswissenschaft  
us from identifying with their characters. 1 Nussbaum saw this point as a forerunner of Bertolt Brecht's 'epic theater'. Curiously, A. only briefly engages with this argument. He prefers to investigate whether Seneca's plays can be related to the genre of epic, rather than engage with Nussbaum or Brecht's dramaturgy (140). A.'s argument that the true nature of some of Seneca's characters' souls can be read via their bodies on one level links up well with Seneca's philosophy and ancient theories
more » ... of physiognomy. Yet in his philosophy, Seneca also problematizes this link. This fact can be seen in the attention he pays to the uncontrollable, pre-rational first movements of emotion (Ira 2.2.1-2.4.2, Ep. 57.3-5). In Ep. 11.1-7, Seneca states that a blush can indicate several different psychological states. Thus, in Seneca's philosophy, the body does not always unambiguously reflect of the state of the soul within. 2 This point may complicate the connection between bodies and souls that A. sets up in Seneca's plays. Despite these critiques, this book provides an important contribution to Senecan studies. Beyond its insights into the question of the relationship between Seneca's two main bodies of work, some of the most original points are to be found in A.'s discussion of Seneca's dramaturgy and his call for us to pay close attention to Seneca's characters' gestures and silences. Middlebury
doi:10.17104/0017-1417-2018-6-516 fatcat:j2wzkmkswrcuvlhct3hwnsz6l4