Which crucified leader used Seneca. De Ira I, 2, 2 as an example?
Léon Herrmann’s attempt at identifying the six anonymous leaders presented by Seneca in his De ira as exempla of the victims of anger has met little interest so far. As in the sixth one he wanted us to see Jesus of Nazareth, it is no surprise that his attempt remained neglected as a whole, since his method of discovering new non-Christian testimonies to Jesus and early Christianity has rightly fallen into disrepute as being almost non-scientific. Seneca’s leaders, however, do not draw too much attention even of his modern commentators or translators who only now and then try to identify them and never more than two of them. Herrmann’s attempt and the few reactions to it thus at least increases the number of candidates and some clues are even at hand for better verification of all the identifications as yet suggested of these sixth leaders. Following these clues, there are some conditions, yet certainly very unlikely to have actually occurred, under which Jesus could be considered to have been in Seneca’s mind. Further interesting speculations on the date of the De ira and the conditions of the early Christian community in Rome can be added, yet bearing in mind the very frail basis upon which they rest.
Univerzita Karlova, Filozofická fakulta, Ústav řeckých a latinských studií, Nám. Jana Palacha ½, 116 38 Praha 1, Czech Republic
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