Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Cosmic ViewpointA Study of Seneca's Natural Questions$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Gareth D. Williams

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199731589

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199731589.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 09 December 2019

Earthquakes, Consolation and the Senecan Sublime

Earthquakes, Consolation and the Senecan Sublime

(p.213) 6 Earthquakes, Consolation and the Senecan Sublime
The Cosmic Viewpoint

Gareth Williams

Oxford University Press

Book 6 of the Natural Questions is allegedly precipitated by Seneca's learning of the devastation wrought by the earthquake which struck Campania in early 62 CE. Rhetorical consolation is here combined with scientific rationalization in Seneca's systematic treatment of earthquakes and theories of their causation (whether by fire, earth, water or air, the latter his favoured cause). This chapter argues that, in his rationalizing process, Seneca applies a technique of intellectual control over nature that fortifies us against the sublime awe induced by the spectacle of natural disaster. The passive sublimity of submission to nature's majesty is thus offset by a positive sublimity (with Kantian overtones), thereby allowing us to see the effects of the Campanian earthquake in an alleviating perspective.

Keywords:   earthquake, sublime, consolation, Pompeii

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .