At the beginning of 40th Letter to Lucilius, Seneca reflects on the nature of his correspondence with his friend and of epistolary genre, and sets up an antithesis between letters on one hand, which bringing on themselves the tangible traces of sender’s hand are capable to eliminate distances and make one feel the real presence of an absent friend, and imagines amicorum absentium on the other hand, which are unable to generate the same effect. The term imagines has always been understood as meaning ‘portraits’; in this paper I argue that it must rather mean ‘mental representations’, a sense corresponding to Greek term phantasiai or phantasmata.

Imagines amicorum absentium. Per l'interpretazione di Sen. epist. 40, 1

BERTI, Emanuele
2014

Abstract

At the beginning of 40th Letter to Lucilius, Seneca reflects on the nature of his correspondence with his friend and of epistolary genre, and sets up an antithesis between letters on one hand, which bringing on themselves the tangible traces of sender’s hand are capable to eliminate distances and make one feel the real presence of an absent friend, and imagines amicorum absentium on the other hand, which are unable to generate the same effect. The term imagines has always been understood as meaning ‘portraits’; in this paper I argue that it must rather mean ‘mental representations’, a sense corresponding to Greek term phantasiai or phantasmata.
Seneca; epistolary topoi; imagines
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11384/55298
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