Epistula 121

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Taken from the project website (Accessed 2020-03-03):

In this site we can find the cooperative translation of Seneca’s Epistula ad Lucilium 121 (PROGETTO "OIKEIÔSIS").

This Epistula focuses on the stoic theory of the 'appropriation' (in Greek, oikeiôsis) of animals, i.e. the process according to which every living being 'appropriates' its own existence and begins to perceive its physical constitution, as well as the elements that are useful or harmful to it.

Epistula 121, in this sense, is to be considered an important starting point for anyone who wants to study and understand the 'theories of the animal mind' within Stoicism and, at the same time, to form a first orientation on the debate related to the intelligence of the animals that inflamed the philosophical schools during the imperial age.

The arguments of this debate, however, present some consonances (which deserve to be analyzed starting from the tools of cultural comparison) with those fielded in contemporary cognitive psychology, neuroscience, ethology and philosophy of language nowadays.

The Latin reference text used for the translation of the Epistula ad Lucilium 121 is the one published by L.D. Reynolds (L. Annaei Senecae at the Lucilium Epistulae Morales, Oxford 1965).

A digital edition of this text is available on the Packard Humanities Institute website.

The Italian translation made by the students is to be considered under the Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). It is specified that it is original and its authorship is to be attributed to the authors mentioned in the section Chi siamo of the website.