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Aulus GelliusAn Antonine Scholar and his Achievement$
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Leofranc Holford-Strevens

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199263196

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199263196.001.0001

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(p.260) 14 Philosophy
Aulus Gellius

Leofranc Holford-Strevens

Oxford University Press

Gellius constantly expresses the Roman disdain for philosophy not directed at improving human life, yet although he lacks the aptitude for abstract speculation his interests range further than ethics. Many chapters are more concerned with philosophers' lives than their ideas. Gellius ranges over all the schools without indicating a clear preference for any, despite a mild sympathy with Stoicism or Stoicized Platonism; he can even be fair to Epicurus, and condemns Seneca the Younger, who had dared to criticize Cicero's taste for Ennius, as unfit for youth to read. He studies philosophy in Greek, making less use of Cicero than of Plutarch. An excursus finds his interest in the supernatural confined to the official Roman religion.

Keywords:   Cicero, ethics, philosophy, Platonism, Plutarch, religion, Seneca the Elder, Stoicism, superstition

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