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Extra info for Anglo-Latin and its Heritage (PJML 4) (Publications of the Journal of Medieval Latin)
In response to this claim, Seneca argues that we have the internal power to defeat this and the other passions. We need to work at it through constant mental exercise. 69 Thus, Seneca argues along standard Stoic lines that humans have the power to rid themselves of all passions and indeed must do so. He states that no passion (adfectus) is truly independent (sui iuris). We have ultimate power over them, but it takes training, adsidua meditatio, to conquer and tame thoroughly (vincat, perdomentur) every emotion.
Ep. 29–30)11 Similarly, in De benefi ciis Seneca writes, “Who will you admire more than the man who commands himself, than one who has power over himself? 12 Elsewhere, Seneca contrasts the dissolution of the present age with the simplicity of the golden age. He states that during the early period of human history people were immune to contemporary vices because they “commanded themselves” (qui sibi imperabant, Ep. 18). Seneca’s theory of command engages with both Stoic ideas and traditional Roman ones.
Q Nat. 48 Seneca turns Lucilius’ attention from the dangerously fraught Sicily by asking him to consider why the Nile floods regularly (Q Nat. 1). 49 In his investigation in book 6 of the causes of earthquakes, Seneca again returns to the mysteries of the Nile’s flooding. He praises Nero for sending out an expedition and notes that he listened to the reports of the two centurions after they returned (Q Nat. 3–4). 52 On this topic his opinion seems to continually waver. We can surpass Hannibal, Caesar, and Pompey; yet such feelings of superiority risk making us just like the ambition-driven generals of the past.