Seneca al bivio. Il paradigma di Eracle nelle lettere 66 e 115

Francesca Romana Berno


In the famous anecdote of Hercules at the crossroads (Xen. mem. 2.1.21-34), we find the personification of Virtue and Vice as two fascinating women, showing the way leading to each, one hard and difficult, the other  easy and pleasant. In my opinion this story may be regarded as a model for two epistles of Seneca (66 and 115). In these texts we find personifications of Virtue and Vice which correspond to those of Xenophon, but virtue’s beauty is hidden under an ugly appearance: this is Seneca’s way to express the contradiction between interiority and truth on one side, exteriority and falseness on the other.


Seneca; Hercules at the crossroads; epistle 66; epistle 115; personification; virtue and vice

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