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Seneca's De Beneficiis (On Benefits) is the only work surviving from antiquity that discusses the exchange of gifts and services. Though the topic is of great importance, in practical moral philosophy, sociology, and in the historical study of how Roman society worked, the treatise has received comparatively little scholarly notice in modern times. Divided into three sections, the volume firstly defines the phenomenonSeneca treats in De Beneficiis, pointing out his Stoic orientation and the relevance of his discussion to the Roman elite's code of conduct and to the phenomenon of the Princeps. The second section explores the work itself: its date, addressee, structure, teaching strategy, its relation to other works of Seneca, and its later reputation up to the Renaissance. The final section provides a detailed synopsis of each book, accompanied by notes in commentary form, as well as separatebiographical notes on the personmentioned in De Beneficiis.
Miriam T. Griffin is Emeritus Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford.
Table of Contents
Preface Abbreviations Introduction Part One: The Subject Matter of De Beneficiis 1. Cicero and Seneca 2. De Beneficiis and Philosophy 3. De Beneficiis and Roman Society Part Two: Seneca's Treatise 4. The Date and Addressee 5. The Title 6. The Structure 7. The Paedagogic Strategy 8. De Beneficiis and Seneca's other Philosophical Works 9. The Afterlife of De Beneficiis up to the Renaissance Part Three: A Map of De Beneficiis Synopsis of Book 1 Notes to Synopsis of Book 1 Synopsis of Book 2 Notes to Synopsis of Book 2 Synopsis of Book 3 Notes to Synopsis of Book 3 Synopsis of Book 4 Notes to Synopsis of Book 4 Synopsis of Book 5 Notes to Synopsis of Book 5 Synopsis of Book 6 Notes to Synopsis of Book 6 Synopsis of Book 7 Biographical Notes on Persons in De Beneficiis Bibliography Index Locorum General Index