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Aspects of the Language of Latin Prose$
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Tobias Reinhardt, Michael Lapidge, and J. N. Adams

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263327

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263327.001.0001

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Poetic Influence on Prose: The Case of the Younger Seneca

Poetic Influence on Prose: The Case of the Younger Seneca

Chapter:
(p.211) Poetic Influence on Prose: The Case of the Younger Seneca
Source:
Aspects of the Language of Latin Prose
Author(s):

H. M. Hine

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197263327.003.0010

Seneca used poetic vocabulary in his prose. Such statements seem ultimately to be based on the work of Summers and Bourgery. The work of Summers is the best short introduction to Seneca’s prose style. Bourgery spread his net rather more widely than Summers, listing first phrases in Seneca’s prose that are reminiscences of specific passages of earlier Latin poets. Five general observations on the methodology used by Summers and Bourgery are shown. The chapter also takes account of these observations as it first revisits the approach of Summers and Bourgery, and then shows how different approaches can be used to look for poetic elements in Seneca’s prose. The categories of word, namely (1) words absent from both Cicero’s and Seneca’s prose, (2) words whose absence from Seneca’s prose is probably accidental, (3) words that are common in earlier prose but not found in Seneca’s prose, and (4) words mainly found in poetry, but also in Cicero’s prose, are described. There have been a number of predominantly poetic words that are used by Cicero in his prose, but not by Seneca in his; and it is seen how genre and context are important for understanding Cicero’s uses of these words.

Keywords:   Seneca, poetic vocabulary, prose, Summers, Bourgery, Cicero, poetry, words

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