Who was the first stoic philosopher

Philosophy and Politics in the Early Principate

Published in: Ancient Thinking - Modern School. Contributions to the ancient foundations of our thinking. Edited by H.W. Schmidt and P. Wülfing. (Gymnasium. Supplements. 9.). Heidelberg: Carl Winter University Press. Pp. 151-179.

I.

In the biography of his father-in-law, Tacitus also speaks of Agricola's intensive preoccupation with philosophy [1]:

"I remember that he used to say that in his early youth he had absorbed the study of philosophy more passionately than a Roman and senator, if his mother's wisdom did not tame his ardent and ardent mind Of course, a proud and sublime mind sought to attain the beauty and image of great and lofty fame more ardently than cautiously. Soon reason and age had a mitigating effect, and he retained what is most difficult from philosophy the sense of proportion back [2] ".

Agricola's reminiscence makes clear the fascination that could emanate from philosophy, and especially from Stoic philosophy, in the fifties of the 1st century AD [3] - the problem was the connection between theory and practice, with disadvantageous consequences for the career [4]. Agricola's mother's advice is only original in that it comes from the mother. Traditionally, such a hint came from the mouth of the father, as for example with Seneca [5]. However, Agricola's father, who was also known as a writer, was already dead at the time of his studies in Massilia. Julius Graecinus had to pay with his life for his oppositional or at least independent attitude under Caligula [6].

What made Agricola's mother so anxious, perhaps in memory of her husband's death, the preparation for political practice also through the study of philosophy, did not, however, be a disadvantage for very long. The relatively short phase of Roman history, which extends from Nero to the Flavians, when the confession of the Stoa was viewed by the mighty as a threat to their security, will be classified in the history of the 1st century AD, with a look back into the late republic, and a look into the time when Marcus Aurelius became Princeps, whose philosophical reflections are more important to us than his campaigns.

II

In the last century of the republic, philosophical knowledge became a part of every demanding education. Interested Romans did not necessarily have to go on an educational trip to receive instruction from philosophers [7]; all schools were in Rome in the 1st century BC. Represented by Greek representatives [8].

The spread of the Stoa in the Roman upper class was facilitated by the fact that its teachings - at the latest in the forms imparted by Panaitios - were very much in keeping with Roman conventions [9]. As a rule, the Stoa also expected serious philosophers to participate in the fate of the community [10], it approved the state institutions of the republic and even gave them the seal of approval of a well-mixed constitution [11], it recognized and recognized the maintenance of the state religion even got involved in the mantic [12].

Much of the conventional Epicurean doctrine contradicted the ideas of the Roman upper class just as the Stoa conformed to its principles [13]. The gods were distant [14] and the question of participation in public life was rather unimportant; only the striving for inner independence was significant [15]. The philosophical positions of the Epicureans were therefore difficult to reconcile with the traditional lifestyle of a Roman senator. Nevertheless, the professional representatives of the school made every effort to gain a foothold in Rome; Cicero, for example, attended lectures at Philodem in the 1980s [16]. The Panaitios of the Epicureans became Philodem of Gadara; he evidently adapted the Epicurean teachings better to the requirements of Roman life. It is no coincidence that fragments of a work entitled "On the Good King According to Homer" were preserved by him of all people. Here an Epicurean philosopher gave Roman senators advice on their behavior in political life [17]. In the time of Cicero there were some very active senators who had joined Epicurus in philosophy [18].

At that time Epicureanism was not only represented in Rome, but also in Italy [19]. Cicero knows the Epicurean circles of friends in Campania; he knows Philodem, and also Siro, the teacher of Virgil [20]. At the height of the effectiveness of Epicurean teachings, Lucretius' didactic poem was published, which, taken literally, could actually have shaken the foundations of the Roman community [21].

At that time, the Stoic or Epicurean teachings were especially important for the personal coping with life of the noble gentlemen, especially at this time when the ties to the old Roman religion had weakened and Eastern cults rather gave orientation to the lower classes [22]. This function of philosophy becomes recognizable, for example, in the meaning of the literature of the Consolation. For Cicero, the arguments of philosophy primarily offer help in his grief over the early death of his daughter Tullia [23], and only occasionally in his struggle for the right political stance during the civil war [24]. Appeal to the teachings of Greek philosophers in everyday politics was always considered suspect. Who his public appearance at the praecepta the Greek orientated, did well not to point it out openly, or ran the risk of offending [25]. Cicero adhered to these rules, and he liked to play off the prejudices against Cato if he expected something from them [26]. The exception of the younger Cato only confirms the Roman rule. His undisguised reading of special Stoic literature in this demonstrative form was only allowed to him as a member of one of the "large families" [27]. The usual prejudice corresponded to Cato's enthusiastic supporter Favonius, still in later times the often cited example of an annoying philosopher [28]. The enthusiastic commitment to a very specific doctrine was probably the exception anyway. When Cicero explicitly admitted to the skeptical academy at the time of his philosophical writing, it should have been a surprise for many of his friends [29].

If there is hardly any evidence of a consciously philosophically founded political stance for the later republic, except for the time of Caesar's autocracy, this also explains, of course, that the most important schools of the time, Epicureans and Stoics, were not politically determined in such a way that they specifically for the system of the republic, the libera res publica, could provide certain rules of behavior. Nevertheless, Greek philosophers and tutors may have occasionally had the opportunity to give philosophically justified advice to a Roman senator. It was good form to have a philosopher as a housemate. It was important to Scipio that the Roman public was aware of his relationship with Panaitios [30]. Blossius von Cumae was Tiberius Gracchus's host, Cato had his Athenodorus, Caesar's father-in-law Piso housed the Epicurean Philodem, and the Stoic Diodotos lived with Cicero [31]. The ambition of the individual gentlemen sometimes corresponded to the rank of the philosophical friend of the family - Pompey felt it owed himself to have Poseidonios counted among his friends [32]. A conversation between Pompey and Kratippus after the defeat of Pharsalus is noteworthy. Pompey seems to have attached great importance to such "therapeutic" conversations [33].

A real influence on political decisions through philosophical education in general, and such conversations in particular, is at best likely for politics towards subjects. There were senators whose correct demeanor in the provinces was undoubtedly influenced by their commitment to stoic philosophy - a commitment which, however, could easily be reconciled with the strict observance of the mos maiorum traditional rules for behavior towards subjects [34]. The teachings of the Stoa were of course also very useful when they helped to justify the rulership of the weaker by the stronger. In this sense, the Stoic philosophy at the time of the republic was anything but a threat to the existing balance of power [35]. It goes without saying that no one wanted to go so far as to take the stoic doctrine of the fundamental equality of all human beings so literally that the rigorous class differences or even the institution of slavery were endangered [36].

The philosophical engagement of individuals or a group has never become a domestic political problem for the Senate during this time and no one would have thought of seeing a danger in the dissemination of stoic ideas, as was later the case with the Stoics of the Principate's time. The Epicureans' thoughts of retreat were also harmless. In the last century of the republic there was no need for a philosophical justification of participation in the community - more than enough applicants fought for honorary posts, so that occasionally legal measures had to be taken against election fraud [37]; in the age of the principate that was to change [38].

The philosophical engagement of senators only became a political problem in the last phase of the republic, during the civil war and the sole rule of Caesar. Cato's stoic energy derives its strength from the opposition to Caesar, who, as Cato thought, threatened to destroy the old constitution. But even Cato did not use explicitly philosophical arguments in the political struggle; none of his opponents at that time could accuse him of the certainly popular reproach that he defended the republic of the optimates with theorems of the Stoic specialist literature [39]. Above all, Cato was stoic in gaining steadfastness in defending his own political position, which had once been recognized as correct [40]. Here, stoically correct, it did not even have to be guaranteed that this position could also be accepted by others [41].

Caesar himself had a distant relationship with philosophy. In contrast to many of his peers, he never seems to have had a house philosopher [42]. Of course he was not afraid of philosophers either; the intention is passed on from him as part of his educational policy liberalium artium doctores, thus also to bring philosophers to Rome through discounts [43]. His offer to accept C. Sextius, later the only more or less original Roman philosopher, into the Senate is remarkable [44]. Sextius refused at the time, probably more for reasons of his philosophical vocation than out of opposition [45]. In the camp of Caesar's friends there were many philosophically engaged men [46]. Philosophy as such could not give a clear instruction; whoever did not consider Caesar to be a tyrant could make his peace with him as an Epicurean and as a Stoic. Brutus in particular, who attached so much importance to his philosophical publications, was able for a long time to endure sole rule and to take advantage of it [47]; only Caesar's reference to Brutus' willpower is a surprising anticipation of the philosophically based constantia opposition senators of the Principate's time [48].

If many were able to reconcile their philosophical belief with the service under Caesar, on the other hand it cannot be overlooked that philosophy also played a certain role in the struggle against Caesar. Cicero's philosophical writings in Latin - reached a whole new dimension through the spread of philosophical education in Italy [49] - are by no means written in a Caesar friendly tone; they make it clear again and again, if more incidentally, that tyrannical autocracy could not be justified legally. Those who wanted could be instructed by Cicero in this sense about Caesar's illegal position in the state [50]. Before the Ides of March there were of course discussions about the justification of tyrannicide - Favonius of all people considered tyrannical rule to be less bad than a new civil war [51]. And the leader of the conspiracy against Caesar was not the stoic-academic Brutus, but a converted Epicurean: Cassius, who had only converted to his new faith in 45 [52]; he could have taken the view that his Epicurean peace of mind was better guaranteed by conditions of freedom than by the rule of Caesar [53].

III

Scipio Aemilianus and Pompeius had conversations with Greek philosophers and perhaps even let themselves be influenced by them. Caesar's personal distance to philosophical housemates then anticipates the lesser importance of court philosophers in the Principle. This development is by no means self-evident if one takes into account that philosophers of the Hellenistic period made themselves available to their rulers as advisers [54].

Of course there were also house philosophers among Augustus and his successors, but they did not have the meaning of Panaitios or Poseidonios. Augustus himself occupies a middle position, who does not seem to have stood entirely remote from Stoic philosophy, even if he did not expressly admit to it [55]. Suetonius mentions his lost early work Hortationes ad Philosophiam[56], a protreptic script that was certainly not created without the good advice of his philosophical teacher and confidante Areios: this man was written by Augustus in the year 30 BC. also used very skilfully for the extraction of Alexandria [57]. After the victory, Augustus probably saw his philosophers as more tools for his Ostpolitik than that he would have valued their political advice. The old counselor, Athenodorus, had to see to it that everything was right for him in Tarsus [58]. It corresponds to the modern times that Livia obviously needed philosophical help more than the ruler himself; Areios had to comfort Livia over the death of her son Drusus according to all the rules of the art of consolation [59].

Areios and Athenodoros are reminiscent of the famous house philosophers of the republican era; Augustus' successors attach even less importance to such companions. Tiberius did listen to the Stoic Nestor, but in the end he preferred the company of astrologers [60]. And Seneca was chosen by Agrippa not in his capacity as a philosophical writer but as a rhetor of praetorical rank as an educator for Nero [61].

What the philosophers then lost in closeness to the leading men, they gained in general popularity in Roman society. There are many testimonies that prove the fascination of philosophical doctrine and philosophical lifestyle, especially for the youth of the upper class. The turn to philosophy must at times have had the character of a more or less religious conversion - Agricola's enthusiasm in Massilia must have been typical [62]. After such experiences one later decorates one's villa with the portraits of the philosophical masters just revered or with a beautiful mosaic of philosophers [63]; those who could afford it bought a library of specialist philosophical literature [64]. The main schools are also in the 1st century AD. the Epicureans and the Stoics. The Cynics play - at least within the ruling class - a very subordinate role [65]. Epicurus had no fewer followers in the 1st century than in the outgoing republic; If confessions to the teachings of the master of the intensity of a Lucretius for this time have not been handed down, this can also be explained by the fact that this philosophy did not exactly correspond to the official conception of the state [66]. Of course, there were not only Epicureans who fit the stereotype of lazy selfishness. As in the republic, Epicureans are also known who were able to combine their philosophical commitment with active participation in the community. The Epicurean senator of influence from the time of Caligula mentioned by Josephus is perhaps identical with Pomponius Secundus, who was honored by Tacitus as a poet and intellectual [67]. The historian Aufidus Bassus [68] was also Epicurean. Incidentally, Tacitus himself should not be forgotten in this context; there is evidence to suggest that he was closer to the school of Epicurus than any other [69].

It was very easy for a Stoic to come to terms with the Principate in its Augustan form.Even if Panaitios may have considered the constitution of the republic to be particularly excellent, according to Stoic doctrine the rule of an excellent monarch, who Augustus was to be regarded as at least after the death of his opponents, was not to be rejected. There was no stoic doctrine that could have been used expressly against the new form of government. Apart from the mixed constitutional form of the Roman Republic in Panaitios' time, kingship was in any case the best of the unmixed forms of government [71]. The basic approval of the monarchy by the Stoa is documented by the advisory work of Stoics at Hellenistic royal courts and by the writings "peri basileias" [72].

Much more important than the individual form of government for a Stoic was the question of whether the respective ruler was doing his job in a reasonably satisfactory manner. Augustus as he is in the Res gestae stylized, was certainly philosophically tolerable. The philosophical approval of the novus status however, was not synonymous with an active interest in politics. In contrast to the school of Epicurus, the Stoa was regarded as a representative of a philosophically justified participation in public life, but despite the widespread prejudice, this teaching was not necessarily connected with political activism [73]. A good example is the educational history of the poet Persius. He was a wealthy young man of knightly origin and through his relatives and acquaintances he was close to the circles of the Stoic opposition at the time of Nero [74]. From the age of 16 he studied stoic philosophy, particularly influenced by the teacher Annaeus Cornutus [75]. When he died at the age of 27, Persius left behind a well-stocked library of special Stoic literature [76]. Because of his connections, Persius would have had every opportunity to start a senatorial career [77]. But he did not choose it, but rather his poetry. There is no reason to believe that this was a demonstrative waiver, especially since his stoic friends, including Thrasea Paetus, placed great value on political activity. Persius' stoic standpoint was just as justifiable as the position of political activism: he wanted to perfect himself philosophically [78].

It is characteristic of the tradition, which is mainly interested in main and state actions, that stoics like Perius are much less likely to take shape than stoically oriented politicians. Agricola's study of Stoic philosophy with the intention of later turning to civil service has probably happened much less often than a conversion in the style of Persius, with the following focus on studies. The contemporary prejudice that Stoics as well as Epicureans were supposed to want to disguise their inclination for comfort with philosophical phrases is incomprehensible [79].

The turn to philosophy in the 1st century AD. is not only a phenomenon of cultural history, but also has a political side. The intensity with which the offspring of the old ruling class occasionally surrendered to philosophy can only be correctly assessed if the steadily growing superiority of the princeps and his court is taken into account. The old political elite was more and more robbed of its power, if Augustus also took its prestige needs into consideration. For senatorial independence, libertas, in the sense of the old republic, the clock was up [80]. The history of omnipotence in the second half of the first century is illustrated by the writings of Epictetus, who himself was relieved of such class problems [81]. Augustus and his successors steadily expanded their position of power, but on the other hand they were also urgently dependent on the cooperation of the knights and senators; the philosophically justified turning away from public life in favor of one's own well-being, made even easier by the reference to the peace and order guaranteed by the Princeps, could in the long run have posed problems for the administration of the empire and the senate. Not for the republic, but only in the Augustan period, the regulation can be proven that the descendants of the ruling class had to be forced to move to office [82]. In the age of Cicero there was no need for a penal provision for men who were before cursus honorum wanted to press, but take action against ambitus Election bribery [83]. This is a development that comes primarily with the change from the libera res publica can be explained as sole rule and the resulting demotivation of the ruling class, but this tendency has been strengthened and not weakened by the tendency towards the philosophical way of life. In this sense it is understandable when the Epicureans are described by Epictetus as perishable for the state [84].

IV

In his letters to Lucilius, Seneca mentions among the absolutely unfounded reproaches that are made against the - stoic - philosophy that it turns its adherents into opponents of the authorities. [85] He is absolutely right - not a single doctrine could have made a stoic an oppositionist. The best example of a cooperative stoic is Seneca himself. His waving between Nero and the Senate meant that he was never counted among the philosophical heroes - it is no accident that Marcus Aurelius does not mention his name [86].

Not only will many dutiful employees of the court - like Seneca - have regarded themselves as stoics; some members of the dynasty may also have been Stoics. Augustus' philosophical writing has already been mentioned [87]. Germanicus, the father of Claudius, translated the didactic poem of the Stoic Aratos and was certainly not far removed from this philosophy [88]. Claudius knows the intricacies of stoic distinctions from ira and iracundia[89]. Nero received the Stoic Chairemon from him as an educator [90]. Whoever wanted could therefore declare stoic philosophy to be the "official" state philosophy without being unbelievable.

The opposition to Augustus and Tiberius initially had no philosophical character, but appealed to the tradition of the Republic and the Senate, to freedom of speech and thought. The senatorial resistance acquired philosophical coloring in the time of Caligula at the earliest [91]. Seneca mentions a certain Julius Canus, who was sentenced to death by Caligula and who had a conversation about immortality before his execution [92]. Nothing in this respect has been handed down for the Principate of Claudius; It is noticeable, however, that those who later belong to the philosophical opposition to Nero belong to a group which already had difficulties with Claudius [93]. The first princeps who demonstrably feels threatened by stoic philosophy, and must feel threatened, is Nero - because of the political influence of those who formulate their criticism of the princeps in a stoic spirit.

Time and again there will have been gentlemen who have expressed their criticism of the course of time with a philosophical air; but as long as they were far from real power, this only looked ridiculous to the Roman public - and the princeps. Tacitus' report on an intervention by Musonius Rufus in the civil war of 69 shows this clearly [94]:

"Joined was the ambassador Musonius Rufus, a man from the equestrian order [95] who had made occupation with philosophy and the stoic doctrines part of his life [96]. He pushed himself among the maniples and began to teach the armed men good lessons by explaining the advantages of peace and the dangers of war. [97] Many scoffed at this, but the majority found it a nuisance; there were even some who kicked him with their fists, but on the advice of the prudent and after He abandoned threats from others from his untimely teaching of wisdom [98] ".

Here Musonius appears in person and is only perceived as bizarre - perhaps not by today's readers of the histories, but by his contemporary audience.

In a report on the year 62, Musonius meets Tacitus in a different role than the companion of Rubellius Plautus. In connection with the exile and murder of this man, Tacitus points out for the first time in the annals that the Stoics were perceived as a threat by Nero and his advisors.

Rubellius Plautus was of course not just any senator, but because of his rival Nero, should there ever be an attempt to replace him [99]. His blue blood made him acceptable not to the Senate but, more importantly, to the Army. Belonging to the dynasty, albeit distant, made him dangerous, and his ostentatiously modest way of life also showed what he thought of the current style of the princeps [100]. In 1960 he had had to do Nero the favor of retiring to his estates in Asia Minor [101]. With Tacitus it is Nero's evil spirit Tigellinus, who in 62 shows the princeps the philosophical - stoic - character of Rubellius' lifestyle and wants to destroy him with it [102]. Tigellinus is absolutely right in making Rubellius Plautus a stoic; even in exile he has with him philosophical companions in the style of the republic, the Greeks Coeranus - and the just mentioned Musonius Rufus [103]. Such teachers did not stir up a riot, but they encouraged Rubellius in the half-stoic, half-traditional revival of ancient Roman customs. A poet like Persius poses no threat as a stoic; Rubellius Plautus, on the other hand, was dangerous, and all the more if the rumor, which Tacitus did not conceal, that he had contacted Nero's dissatisfied general Domitius Corbulo shortly before his execution was true [104]. Stoic philosophy and politics - from the princeps point of view - enter into an explosive connection at the moment when potential rivals break away from the praecepta Let philosophy guide you and allow others to draw their conclusions. Domitian was not so wrong when he said that the rulers should not believe a discovered conspiracy until they were killed [105].

As with Rubellius Plautus, the Stoa was not of doctrinal importance for Thrasea Paetus' behavior [106]. The princeps had this man executed in the year 66. In the biography that one of his younger followers, Arulenus Rusticus, wrote under Domitian, he was stylized as a stoic martyr [107]. Tacitus, on the other hand, made a careful historical judgment between Thrasea's appearance as a senator and his personal philosophical convictions. He recognized that the philosophical opposition was dangerous not only because of its exemplary principles, but also because of the political weight of its representatives, which was completely independent of philosophical convictions. In addition to the spiritual bond of shared convictions, there was something that unites them even more: kinship, friendship, class interests [108]. With Tacitus we only learn through Thrasea's death scene that he was interested in philosophical questions - he is talking, half Socrates, half Cato Uticensis, with a cynic about the immortality of the soul [109]. Only by other evidence is it unequivocally proven that Thrasea was actually a stoic, incidentally one of the mild tendency, not of the strict observance that made cheerful contemporaries so unsure [110].

Unlike Rubellius Plautus, Thrasea was a social climber, a homo novus from the Transpadana [111]. At the beginning of his career, philosophy did not seem to stand in the way of ambition. The first promotions are perhaps due to the influence of Agrippina [112]. Under Claudius he was probably praetor and then administered an imperial province, probably Cilicia [113]. The news that Persius accompanied Thrasea on a journey will also relate to the activity in a province [114]. The younger Pliny narrates an important episode from these years. As a son-in-law, Thrasea stood by Caecina Paetus and his wife Arria after the failure of Camillus' elevation to death. Out of admiration for his father-in-law, he adopted the Cognomen Paetus, a demonstration from pietaswhich some may have interpreted as highly political [116]. In 56 Thrasea was a suffect consul [117]; During this time he also became a member of the illustrious college of Xviri sacris faciundis, further proof of the respect he enjoyed among the mighty. These awards come at a time when Seneca and Burrus had a noticeable influence on Nero [118].

In the annals, Thrasea is mentioned for the first time in the year 58, on the occasion of a vote on the number of gladiators that Syracuse should be allowed for a festival - an unimportant topic in Tacitus' view, which was enhanced solely by an opinion of this apparently very influential man [119]. After Agrippina's murder in 59, Thrasea was the only one who refused to tolerate the servile decisions of the Senate [120]. At that time Seneca wrote the official communiqué on the course of Agrippina's alleged conspiracy [121]. In the year 62 Tacitus shows how cleverly Thrasea undermined Nero's attempt to reintroduce the high treason law [122]. At that time he speaks of the publica clementia and thus takes up a key word that has been relevant to the subject since Seneca's writing [123]. In the vote, the large majority of the Senate supports the milder proposal, to Nero's displeasure [124].

Thrasea has pursued a purposeful policy with such initiatives; he adhered to the government declaration of the year 54 formulated by Nero von Seneca, according to which the princeps wanted to respect the usual division of tasks between princeps and senate [125]. In the first few years of Nero's reign, the Senate really had the opportunity to work responsibly. Thrasea and his friends were concerned with maintaining and - if possible - strengthening the position of the Senate vis-à-vis the Princeps - no less, but no more, as Thrasea's strict views on the relationship between Rome and its provinces show [126].

Libertas was always just the freedom of the senators. The homo novus from the Transpadana took over the role of senator to a much greater extent than the remaining aristocrats, who possibly had their reserves for this untimely zeal [127].

The direct conflict between Thrasea and Nero did not break out until the year 63. When the Senate wants to convey its congratulations to the Princeps on the birth of their daughter Claudia, Thrasea is demonstratively prevented from accessing the Princeps [128]. This rejection amounted to a termination of friendly relations [129]. Then in 66 Thrasea was accused of not having entered the Curia for three years [130]. This is presumably an exaggeration, but so much will be correct that Thrasea no longer carried out its duties as actively as before. Withdrawal from political life has been used as a sign of protest before, but this act was not actually a criminal offense [131]. Thrasea's behavior in the last years of his life has caused a sensation beyond the borders of the capital [132]. For the princeps this was a challenge. Thrasea's demeanor was by no means stoic-doctrinal. Not a word in Tacitus' report gives rise to the assumption that Thrasea was adhering to anything other than that placita maiorum. For a princeps like Nero, however, Thrasea's behavior was a silent reproach that had to remind him of the broken promise in the government declaration of 54; the Senate could gain new self-confidence with such a man and perhaps go in search of another princeps [133]. Stoic about Thrasea's demeanor - perhaps based on Cato's example, about whom he wrote a biography [134] - is at most the unshakable adherence to the politics once recognized as correct, a firmness for which one does not necessarily need philosophical instruction [135]. Only in the deliberately low-level speech of the prosecutor Cossutianus Capito does the accusation arise that Thrasea allowed himself to be guided by the teachings of the latter secta who have already produced a bizarre man like Cato's night-striker Favonius. Tacitus leaves it to the unpleasant delatorto recall the prevailing tradition over Thrasea [136].

The impact of Tacitus 'report on Thraseas' last hours is increased by the sudden interruption of the annals at this point.Only here does Tacitus reveal that Thrasea actually had philosophical interests. It is strange that the Stoic should have his last conversation with the Cynic Demetrios [137]. What is remarkable is the lack of any utterance against the princeps. Thrasea's words to the quaestor who delivered the death sentence are his political legacy - a reminder to the constantiabut not for active resistance against the tyrant [138].

If Tacitus in his report on Thrasea put the accent on his moderate in political and philosophical matters, he wants to make it clear that there was a development in the daily political debate in the commitment to philosophy that began in the Neronian era and only reached its climax under Vespasian. This development towards a clearer commitment to philosophical convictions than was the case with Thrasea is personified by Thrasea's son-in-law Helvidius Priscus. Even more than Thrasea, he was a social climber; as the son of a Primipilus from Samnium, he may not even have been knightly at his birth [139]. He owes his entry into the Senate to Claudius [140]. Perhaps there was a family relationship between the Helvidii and those circles that were traditionally critical of the Princeps [141]; in this way, Thrasea's selection of precisely this not very noble man as son-in-law would be better explained [142].

Helvidius Priscus is honored by Tacitus in a relatively detailed biographical note in Book IV of the Histories [143]. Obviously he studied philosophy with a similar intensity to Persius, i.e. beyond the conventional level of general education, and this even at a time when his contemporaries hungry for success turned to rhetoric - e.g. B. the young Tacitus, listener at the debates of Dialogus [144]. Helvidius' studies represent an "experience" of philosophy that he apparently shared with Agricola. If Tacitus only paraphrases the philosophical creed of Helvidius without mentioning the actual name "stoic", this is no small recognition [145]. He gives a reason for Helvidius' philosophy study, which is originally probably a self-testimony: "in order to be better armed against the accidents of life to embark on a political career" [146]. The speaker Marcellus declared his attitude of this kind to be out of date: Marcus Aurelius, on the other hand, studied philosophy for similar reasons [147].

Helvidius' behavior in 70 cannot therefore easily be related to Thraseas moderate because he found a completely different situation: the end of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, a civil war, and then the uncompromising assertion of the new dynasty by Vespasian [148]. Helvidius and his friends recognized the Principate as a form of government no less than Thrasea earlier. At that time, however, Helvidius did not want to accept that Vespasian forced his son Titus on the Senate as heir to the throne. After the precedent of the adoption of Pisos by the childless Galba, the senators of this direction preferred a succession through adoption [149]. Helvidius did not give in here. In contrast to Thrasea, for example, who disapproved of Nero's decadent goings-on, Helvidius did not criticize Vespasian from a moral point of view - for which he probably would not have had much reason [150] - but opposed him on a political question. The legality in principle and - from Vespasian's point of view - the enormous danger of the position represented by him can be read from the fact that the princeps was forced to banish the uncomfortable man [151]. A loyal servant, perhaps Titus himself, had Helvidius murdered a little later [152]. At that time the Maternus des Dialogus wrote a "Thyestes", perhaps a reference to the hardness of the Flavians in dealing with their opponents, which can hardly be grasped in the surviving tradition [153]. It is not surprising that the time of Vespasian, in Marcus Aurel's self-reflection, is an example of unpleasant conditions at the court of a princeps [154].

Helvidius expressed the connection between philosophical conviction and political action in an unprecedentedly active way and paid for it with his life. Since then, the Flavians have had little patience with troubled philosophers. The adaptable Statius avoids mentioning Stoics in his poems; he appreciates the comfortable Epicureans who let the princeps do his duty and do not interfere further [155]. At most a man like Silius Italicus is tolerable as a stoic, who not only wanted to achieve something as a poet, but also enjoyed a dubious reputation in politics [156].

In the nineties, Domitian was confronted with a group of senatorial critics who by no means distinguished themselves through active resistance. It was only by demonstratively staying away from politics and praising men like Helvidius and Thrasea that they indicated that they considered the present princeps to be a tyrant. These include the son of Helvidius Priscus [157], Q. Iunius Arulenus Rusticus, who in 66 had wanted to save Thrasea through his veto as a tribune of the people [158], his brother Iunius Mauricus [159] and Herennius Senecio [160]. In the year 93 Domitian struck a blow against this group, combined with an effective expulsion of professional teachers of philosophy [161]. How people thought about such people at the time can be read in Quintilian [162].

V

After Domitian's assassination, there was a noticeable change in the atmosphere of the rulers' behavior towards the Senate - probably not just out of inclination, but also out of the mere necessity of having to be different from Domitian, the tyrant. Nerva knew what was important. The union of Principatus and Libertas was announced [163], and for a short time the coinage even spoke of the Providentia Senatus[164]. The surviving members of the opposition were invited to Nerva's banquets; It was, however, a realpolitical move that less well-reputed, but influential senators were allowed to be present [165]. Nerva is one of the Principes who swore never to sentence a senator to death, meeting the need for security of the Senate [166]. That the Senate then had no influence whatsoever in determining Nerva's successor should have been a disappointment. At the beginning of his rule, Traian also played with the slogan of Principatus and Libertas, but he did not show great perseverance in doing so. The incantations of the vanish on his coins Libertas quite quickly to make way for stronger titulatures [167]. Behind the torrent of words in Pliny 's Panegyricus hides the realization that Traian's offer to the Senate for independent cooperation should not be taken too literally [168]. The Princeps was admittedly skillful enough to meet the Senate's need for prestige through formalities; The literary tradition, which is very poor here, at least shows that he made it a point to do better than Nero or Domitian. Civilitas is the motto in dealings with the Senators [169]. Traian let himself be celebrated by Pliny as a friend of the wisdom scholars [170] and covered his distance from such questions by patiently listening to the speeches of Dio Chrysostom on the right kingship [171].

The philosophers of the Traian era only have to offer their students something that is conducive to their careers. Euphrates from Syria gave Pliny courage when he complained about his much work and declared that his pupil had fulfilled his duty for the completion of philosophy [172]. It is remarkable how this form of Stoic philosophy in the circle of Pliny can be connected with the honorable memory of the martyrs around Thrasea and Helvidus. Your cooperation under Traian, the Optimus Princeps, is assumed, perhaps rightly so. A successor to Helvidius would hardly have had an audience in the Traian Senate. There were no longer any confident advocates of the Senate tradition, and the princeps was considerate of vanity. The survivors of the circle around Thrasea and Helvidius were allowed to demonstrate independence [173].

At the end of the development outlined here there is a princeps who not only - like Hadrian - wore a philosopher's beard [174] but was also really a philosopher. According to the testimony of his notes that were not intended for publication, Marcus Aurelius actually tried to do justice to the maxims of Stoic philosophy as a princeps [175]. There is even a direct link between Marcus Aurelius and the 1st century martyrs. One of his revered teachers is called Junius Rusticus, grandson of the Rusticus who wanted to save Thrasea in 66 through his tribunician veto. Marcus Aurelius owes his knowledge of Epictetus to him [176]. Through the teaching of Epictetus he gains stability, his own persona as princeps to meet [177]. Epictet's remarks about the unfree life of the politically active were not a deterrent for Marcus Aurelius and his circle, but an incentive to do better. Epictet's criticism is based on the conditions of a tyrannical epoch that has become a thing of the past under the Antonines - an impression that is confirmed by the prevailing tradition [178].

VI

Tacitus' remark about Agricola's studies is quite time-bound. As has been shown, by comparing Agricolas with the philosophical martyrs, it belongs to the time shortly after Domitian's death. Only a little later, the Stoic philosophy begins to become a kind of imperial religion of the ruling class. Men who have military and political competence with more than just average philosophical education can be found not only with Marcus Aurelius, but already in Traian's environment [179]. Quintilian's attacks on philosophy would have been difficult to imagine at the time [180].

An important factor for the disappearance of the old Roman prejudices against philosophy in the 2nd century is undoubtedly the increased representation of Greeks in the higher positions of the imperial administration and in the Senate; and these Greeks, like the teachers of the younger Pliny, always came from the best circles in their homeland [181]. At that time the study of philosophy lost its dangers. The mothers of the young students who appear in Gellius' Athenian tales no longer had to worry [182].


  1. Tac. Agr. 4,3: “Memoria teneo solitum ipsum narrare se prima in iuventa studium philosophiae acrius, ultra quam concessum Romano ac senatori, hausisse, ni prudentia matris incensum ac flagrantem animum coercuisset adpetebat Mox mitigavit ratio et aetas, retinuitque, quod est difficillimum, ex sapientia modum ". Translated following K. Büchner, Tacitus. The historical experiments, Stuttgart 1963, 85.
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  2. Agricola's sentence is reminiscent of Callicles' opinion in Plat. Gorg. 484 D; see Ed. Norden, Die Germanische Urgeschichte in Tacitus' Germania, Darmstadt, 4th edition 1959, 144. Tacitus presents "ratio" and "philosophia" as opposites; an example of the criticized excess should be Musonius' appearance in 69 (note 94).
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  3. Agricola was born in the year 40 (Tac. Agr. 44, 1); see A.R. Birley, The Fasti of Roman Britain, Oxford 1981, 73. Mark Aurel studied philosophy at the age of twelve (SHA Marcus 2,6).
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  4. In the time of Traian, theory and practice, as Pliny 's teacher Euphrates said, are perfectly compatible (note 172). See also Plut, Kleom. 2.10 on the dangers of stoic philosophy. Of course, Tacitus' words about the possible consequences of studying philosophy do not refer to "subversive" thoughts (note 36).
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  5. Seneca's father rejected the ascetic tendencies of his son (ad Helv. 17,4; Ep. 108,22). Agrippina too fears that her son might get too involved (Suet. Nero 52). Cf. Musonius XVI (p. 81ff. Hense) about a young man whose father wants to forbid the study of philosophy. Severus' father: SHA Severus 14.5.
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  6. PIR I / J 344; Tac. Agr. 4.1; Sen. Ep. 29,6 ("vir egregius").
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  7. See L.W. Daly, Roman Study Abroad, AJPh 71, 1950, 40-58.
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  8. E. Rawson, Intellectual Life in the Late Roman Republic, London 1985, 79ff. The tendency is for serious students like Seneca to study not in Greece but in Rome (Sen. Ep. 108,3 on Attalus).
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  9. M. Pohlenz, The Stoa. History of a spiritual movement, 2 vol., Göttingen 3rd edition 1964; A.A. Long, Hellenistic Philosophy, London 1974, 107ff .; F.H. Sandbach, The Stoics, London 1975.
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  10. Horace takes up a widespread prejudice about the Stoics (Epist. 1,1,16-17): "Nunc agilis fio et mersor civilibus undis verae custos rigidusque satelles". - "Agere negotium publicum" becomes "pulcherrima pars philosophiae" in Euphrates (Plin. Ep. 1, 10,10 - note 172).
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  11. Mixed constitution: Diog. Laert. 7.131 = SVF III n.700; Panaitios: Cic. rep. 1.34 = Frg. 119 BC Straaten.
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  12. State religion; see Cic. Nat. Deor. 2.8; Mantik: Cic. de div. 1,118 (= SVF III n. 1210)
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  13. N.W. DeWitt, Epicurus and His Philosophy, Minneapolis 1954; A.A. Long, as notes 9,14ff .; for the Epicureans in Rome see especially A. Momigliano, JRS 31, 1941, 149-157; V. Giuffrè, Atti d. Accad Pontoniania N.S. 21, 1972, 161-204; G. Sauron, MEFRA 92, 1980, 277-301.
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  14. See Lucr. 3.18-24.
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  15. They preferred the company of their friends; see J.M. Rist, Human Value, Leiden, 1982, 94ff.
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  16. See Cic. Fam. 13,1,2; Nat. Deor. 1.93; see also A.E. Raubitschek, Hesperia 18, 1949, 96-103.
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  17. T. Dorandi (Ed.), II buon re secondo Omero, Naples 1982; O. Murray, JRS 55, 1965, 161-182; ders., cron. Erc. 14,1984,157-160.
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  18. The most important is certainly L. Calpurnius Piso cos. 58, the patron of Philodem and Cicero's sacrifice in the speech In Pisonem; other names in A. Momigliano, JRS 31, 1941, 150f.
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  19. Cic. Tusc. Disp. 4.7; H.M. Howe, AJPh 72, 1951, 59f.
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  20. Cf. M. Demmel, Cicero and Paetus (ad fam. IX 15-26), Diss. Phil. Cologne 1962, 291ff .; M. Gigante, Virgilio sotto il Vesuvio, Par.Pass. 36, 1981, 271-294; E. Rawson, see note 8.22f.
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  21. See O. Regenbogen, Lucretius. His figure in his poem (1932), in: O.R., Kleine Schriften, Munich 1961, 296-386; T.P. Wiseman, The Two Worlds of Titus Lucretius; in: T.P.W., Cinna the Poet and other Roman Essays, Leicester 1974, 11-43.
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  22. See O. Rainbow, as note 21,303f. Pythagoras could offer otherworldly consolation of a better kind; The followers of this doctrine met in the house of Nigidius Figulus (Scholien zu Cic. Vat. 14, p. 146 Stangl). Appius Claudius Pulcher cos. 54 knew how to necromancy (Cic. Tusc., Disc. 1,37; Div. 1,132). Even seasoned Epicureans were not polished before being challenged; see Plutarch's report on a proconsul from the 1st century AD who becomes an admirer of Mopsus (Mor. 434 D-F).
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  23. See Cic.Att. 12,14,3; Tusc. Dips. 3.76ff.
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  24. Plato as counselor: Cic. Fam. 10,8,6; a Greek "exercise in style" that is more committed to rhetoric is provided by section Cic. Att, 9.4.2.
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  25. Cic. Off. 2.2: "tamen interdum vereor ne quibusdam bonis viris philosophiae nomen sit invisum". See Ennius Scen. 376 (Vahlen): "philosophari est mihi necesse paucis, nam omnino haud placuit". The older Cato is sharper: "vos philosophi mera estis mortualia" (ap. Gell. Noct. Att. 18,7,3). It takes a very long time before the philosophical justification of political action can be spoken of in a positive sense (note 180).
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  26. Cic. Mur. 60ff.
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  27. Cic. Fin. 3.7. Cf. Cato's words to Cicero (Fam. 15,4,16): "philosophiam in rem publicam deduximus".
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  28. Ms. Münzer, RE Favonius; J. Geiger, RSA 4, 1974, 167-170. See also the inglorious role of the "preachers" Crispinus, Fabius and Stertinius in the satires of Horace.
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  29. Cic. Nat. Deor, 1.6.
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  30. Cf. Poseidonios Frg. 30 Jacoby (= Frg. 254 Edelstein-Kidd = Frg. 125a Theiler); J. Malitz, Die Historien des Poseidonios, Munich 1983, 250.
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  31. Blossius: Plut. Ti. Gracch. 20.7 and Cic. Lael. 37, with D.R. Dudley, JRS 31, 1941, 94ff .; Athenodorus: Plut. Cat. min 16.1; Philodem: Cic. Pis. 68; Diodotos: Cic. Tusc. Disp. 5.113.Tradition-conscious gentlemen set this custom in the 1st century AD. away; see note 103 on Musonius.
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  32. See J. Malitz, as note 30, 24ff.
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  33. Plut. Pom. 75.4-5.
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  34. Cf. Diodor 37.5 (= Poseidonios Frg. 213 Theiler) on Q. Mucius Scaevola and P. Rutilius Rufus; J. Malitz, see note 30,334f.
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  35. Cf. Poseidonios Frg. 8 Jacoby (= Frg. 60 Edelsten-Kidd = Frg. 147 Theiler) on the relations between Herakleoten and Mariandynern; J. Malitz, see note 30,141f.
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  36. See P.A. Brunt, Gnomon 51, 1979, 444; see also W. Richter, Seneca and the Slaves, Gymnasium 65, 1958, 196-218.
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  37. See Th. Mommsen, Römisches Strafrecht, Leipzig 1899, 865ff. Lucretius' rejection of the political "rat-race" is the exception to the rule (2.7-13).
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  38. See note 82 below.
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  39. Perhaps he would have relied on Panaitios' approval of the mixed constitution or of the Optimate Republic - can be appointed (note 11), or on Poseidonios' praise of the conservatives (see J. Malitz, as note 30,360f.)
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  40. For the history of the term "constantia" see M. Grant, Num. Chron., Ser. VI 10.1950, 34ff.
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  41. The stoic doctrine of the "personae" clarifies Cic. Off. 1,107ff., After Panaitios. The suicide was right for Cato, but not for Caesar's other opponents (Rev. 1,112).
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  42. In the tradition that has survived, only one encounter between Caesar and a philosopher is evidently attested - with Ariston of Alexandreia (Ael. Var. Hist. 7:21). In Alexandreia, Caesar is said to have heard philosophical lectures to pass the time (App. Bell. Civ. 2,89,376). Personally, he could have been closer to the teaching of Epicurus than anyone else (cf. F.C. Bourne, Class. Weekly 70, 1976 / 77,417-432).
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  43. Suet. Div. Jul. 42.1; see H.D. Jocelyn, BRL 59, 1976/77, 350.
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  44. Cf. Sen. Ep. 98,13.
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  45. Plut. Mor. 77 E-F writes about his self-doubts after starting his studies. He obviously does not see him as a forerunner of the "philosophical" opposition.
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  46. See A. Momigliano, JRS 31, 1941, 152f. The most important are Piso (note 18), C. Matius, and C. Vibius Pansa.
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  47. As a philosopher he confessed to the Older Academy, which at that time was not very different from the Stoa (Cic. Fin 5,8). De virtute: see M. Gelzer, RE 10, Sp. 987f. If Sen. ad Helv. 8.1 is a point of reference, Brutus attached importance to the statement that one could claim "virtus" regardless of the external circumstances.
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  48. Cic. Att. 14,1,2: "Magni refert hic quid velit, sed quidquid volet valde volet". For the wording see A. Dihle, HSPh 82,1978,179-186.
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  49. On the question of the knowledge of the Greek language among the Romans see N. Horsfall, Doctus Sermonis Utriusque Linguae?, In: Échos du Monde Classique (Ottawa) 1979, 79-95.
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  50. Cf. H. Strasburger, Cicero's philosophical late work as a call against the rule of Caesar, In: Jahrbuch d. Heidelberg Akad. D. Sciences for 1978, 38-40 (a full version will be published in Volume III of his Studies on Ancient History).
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  51. Plut. Brood. 12.3.
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  52. See Cic. Fam. 15,19-1-2; Judging from this letter, Cassius seems to have come to terms with Caesar's "clementia" for a while.
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  53. His arguments for the assassination attempt on Caesar near Plut. Caes. 66.2 are, however, completely "unphilosophical". On the problem of the Epicurean justification for the murder of Caesar see A. Momigliano, JRS 31, 1941, 156f.
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  54. See below note 72.
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  55. The language used by Augustus of the "statio principis" (cf. Gell. Noct. Att. 15,7,3) is likely to have been stoically influenced; see E. Koestermann, Philol. 87, 1932, 358-368 and 430-444 and P.A. Brunt, PBSR 43, 1975, 21.
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  56. Suet. Aug. 85.2.
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  57. Plut. Ant. 80; G.W. Bowersock, Augustus and the Greek World, Oxford 1965, 33f.
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  58. Strab. 14,4,14; C. Cichorius, Roman Studies, Leipzig 1922, 279-282.
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  59. Sen. ad. Marc. 4.2.
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  60. Nestor: Luc. Macrob. 21; C. Cichorius, as note 58, 278; Astrologers Tac. Ann. 6.20.2.
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  61. See M. Griffin, Seneca. A Philosopher in Politics, Oxford 1976, 65. He is supposed to keep his pupils from philosophical "experiences" like that of Agricola (cf. Suet. Nero 52).
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  62. See A.D. Nock, Conversion, Oxford 1933, 164ff .; ders., Essays on Religion and the Ancient World, Vol. I, Oxford 1972, pp. 469ff. Not only men, but also women were more strongly affected by philosophy than before - see Musonius III (p. 8ff. Hense) on women's education and on this E. Eyben, Hermeneus 48, 1976, 90-107.
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  63. Vlg. Th. Lorenz, Galleries of Greek philosophers and poets with the Romans, Mainz 1965; K. Gaiser, The Philosophers Mosaic in Naples, Heidelberg 1965.
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  64. Persius owned 700 scrolls of Stoic literature (note 76). The library of the Villa of Herculaneum is the special collection of an Epicurean; see Chr. Jensen, Bonner Jahrbücher 135, 1930, 49-61.
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  65. See D.R. Dudley, A History of Cynicism, London 1937, 125ff. The best-known cynic of this time, who was also well liked in "better circles", is Demetrios, Thrasea's interlocutor at the end of his life (note 137); see J. Kindstrand, Philol. 124, 1980, 83-98 and J. Moles, JHS 103, 1983, 103-123. Dedicated opponents of philosophy tried to blur the differences between Stoics and Cynics; B. Mucianus, Vespasian's helper (Dio 66,13,3 p. 147 Boiss.).
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  66. See R. Syme, Tacitus, Oxford 1958, 538.
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  67. Jos. Ant. Jud. 19, 32-36; Tac. Ann. 5.8. See M. Swan, Phoenix 30, 1976, 54-59.
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  68. Sen. Ep. 30,14.
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  69. See A. Dihle, Rhein. Mus. 115, 1972, 27-43.
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  70. See above note 11; Tac shows the decreased trust in the advantages of the "mixed constitution". Ann. 4.33.2.
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  71. See Sen. benef. 2.2.
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  72. Persaios was an advisor to Antigonus Gonatas (Diog. Laert. 7,36), Sphairos an advisor to Cleomenes (Plut. Kleom. 2,2). "Peri Basileias" was written by Persaios (Diog. Laert. 7.36 = SVF I n. 435), Kleanthes (Diog. Laet. 7.175 = SVF I n. 481) and Sphairos (Diog. Laert. 7.178 = SVF I n. 620 ). See also F.W. Walbank, in: Cambridge Ancient History Vol. VII 1,1984, 80f.
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  73. See M. Griffin, as note 61,340f.
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  74. "Sanguine et affinitate primi ordinis viris coniunctus" (Suet. Reliquiae, p. 72 Reifferscheid - from the Vita des Probus). The close relationship with Thrasea and his circle emerges from the journey together (note 114). The connection to Barea Soranus results from the proximity to Servilius Nonianus, the father of Barea's wife Servilia (RE No. 105): "coluit ut patrem Servilium Nonianum" (p. 73 Reifferscheid); see R. Syme, Hermes 92, 1964, 415.
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  75. "Cum esset annorum XVI, amicitia coepit uti Annaei Cornuti, ita ut nusquam ab eo discederet" (p. 73 Reifferscheid). On the person and work of Cornutus see A.D. Nock, RE Suppl. V, Sp.995-1005. Seneca was not very sympathetic to him: "sero cognovit et Senecam, sed non ut caperetur eius ingenio" (p.73 Reifferscheid).
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  76. "... et libros circa septingentos Chrysippi ..." (p. 74 Reifferscheid).
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  77. The joint trip to the provinces can be understood as an invitation to participate more in the "res publica" (note 114). Thrasea's emphasis on the duties of a senator: note 127.
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  78. The founding fathers of the school, who were never politically active, blamed this contradictory position of the Stoics; see Plut. Mor. 1033 B-E (= SVF I n. 27) and Sen. tranqu. anim. 1.10 (= SVF I n.28). See also Cic. Off. 1.69-73 from Panaitios.
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  79. Tacitus compares Helvidius Priscus' active attitude with that of other Stoics: "non, ut plerique, ut nomine magnifico bless otium velaret ..." (Hist. 4,5,1 - see also note 146). Suillius talks about Seneca's "studia inertia" (Ann. 13,42,2), and Seneca himself - but to Nero - of his "studia in umbra educata" (Ann. 14,53,4).
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  80. See Tac. Ann. 1.75, 1-2; G.E.M. de Ste. Croix, The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World, London 1981, 366f.
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  81. See Ch.G. Starr, Epictetus and the Tyrant, Class. Phil. 44, 1949, 20-20 and F. Millar, Epictetus and the Imperial Court, JRS 55, 1965 141-148.
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  82. Dio 54.26.8. See Th. Mommsen, Römisches Staatsrecht, Vol. I, 3. Edition Leipzig 1887, 475f .; K. Hopkins & Gr. Burton, in: K. Hopkins, Death and Renewal. Sociological Studies in Roman History, Vol. II, Cambridge 1983, 167f .; B. Levick, in: T.P. Wiseman (ed.), Roman Political Life. 90 B.C. - A.D. 69, Exeter 1985, 60f. The desire for "quies" also grips the knighthood (cf. Nero's complaint Tac. Ann. 16,27,2).
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  83. See above note 37.
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  84. Epictet 3: 7,20. From the 2nd half of the 1st century AD. the Athenian honor of Q. Trebellius Rufus comes from Tolosa, who found his "hesychia" there (AE 1947, n. 68, line 40); see R. Syme, HSPh 73, 1968,222 = Roman Papers, Vol. II, Oxford 1979, 761.
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  85. Ep. 73, 1: "errare mihi videntur qui existimant philosophiae fideliter deditos contumaces esse ac refractarios, contemptores magistratuum aut regum eorumve per quos publica administrantur".
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  86. See O. Murray, JRS 59, 1969, 262. That he knew Seneca's writings is evident from a letter from Fronto (p. 149 f. V. D. Hout - Haines, II, 100 f.).
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  87. See above note 56.
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  88. See M. Gelzer, RE 10, Sp. 458 s.v. Iulius No. 138; D.B. Gain (Ed.), The Aratus ascribed to Germanicus Caesar, London 1976.
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  89. Suet. Claud. 38.1; see Sen. de ira 1,4,1.
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  90. See PIR C (2) 708 and P.W. v.d. Horst, Chairemon. Egyptian Priest and Stoic Philosopher, Leiden 1984. Chairemon's colleague as educator of the princes was the Peripatetic Alexander von Aigai (PIR (2) A 501). Later Nero also had pseudo-philosophers around him (Tac. Ann. 14,16,2).
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  91. Important recent contributions on the subject of senatorial opposition in the early principate are; Ch. Wirszubski, Libertas as an Political Idea, Cambridge 1950, 124-171; O. Murray, the Quinquennium Neronis and the Stoics, Historia 14, 1965, 41-61; R. MacMullen, Enemies of the Roman Order, Cambridge Mass. 1966, 46-94; P.A. Brunt, Stoicism and the Principate, PBSR 43, 1975, 7-35; E. Wistrand, The Stoic Opposition to the Principate, Studii Clasice 18, 1979, 93-101; U. Vogel-Weidemann, The Opposition under the Early Caesars, Acta Classica 22, 1979, 91-107.
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  92. See Sen. tranqu. anim. 14.4; Thrasea also had a conversation about the immortality of the soul shortly before his death (note 137).
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  93. See D. McAlindon, Senatorial Opposition to Claudius and Nero, AJPh 77, 1956, 113-132.
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  94. Tac. Hist. 3,81,1: "miscuerat se legatis Musonius Rufus equestris ordinis, studium philosophiae et placita Stoicorum aemulatus, coeptabatque permixtus manipulis, bona pacis ac belli discrimina disserens, armatos monere. Id plerisque ludibrio, pluribus taedulcari de qu; necque de admonitu modestissimi cuiusque et aliis minitantibus omisisset intempestivam sapientiam ". See the translation by H. Vretska (Stuttgart 1984) as well as the notes by H. Heubner in the comment z. St.
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  95. With the "miscuerat se" Tacitus emphasizes the lack of competence of the knight Musonius in a delegation made up of senators. Doubts about his knightly status arise from his later appearance in the Senate as a plaintiff against Egnatius Celer (Hist. 4,10,1), but Tacitus seems to have been quite sure of his cause. Musonius belongs to the company of the incumbent praetor Arulenus Rusticus (for the person see note 158), who was even injured on this occasion (Hist. 3,80,2).
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  96. On the other hand, see Tacitus 'description of Helvidius' stoic confession (note 145).
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  97. Musonius gives a "sermon". See Hor. Sat. 2,3,31ff. about Stertinius.
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  98. He violates the usual separation of philosophy and political practice (see note 25). - Agricola's mother feared exactly this behavior. See also Agrippina's tirade against Seneca (Tac. Ann. 13,14,3): "professoria lingua generis humani reginem (expostulans)". The "good" philosopher conceals his endeavors (Epictet 4: 8,17).
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  99. Tac. Annm 13,19,3: "per maternam originem pari ac Nero gradu a divo Augusto". On the person see R. Syme, AJPh 103, 79f.
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  100. Tac. Ann. 14,22,1: "ipse placita maiorum colebat, habitu severo, casto et secreta domo, quantoque metu occultior, tanto plus famae adeptus". The "placita maiorum" almost correspond to the philosophical "placita". The extremely rich Plautus appears much more discreet than Seneca.
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  101. Tac. Ann. 14.23.3.
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  102. Tac. Ann. 14,57,3 (words of Tigellinus): "... Plautum magnis opibus ne fingere quidem cupidinem otii, sed veterum Romanorum imitamenta praeferre adsumpta etiam Stoicorum adrogantia sectaque, quae turbidos et negotiorum adpetentes faciat". He makes the prejudice about the activity of the Stoics his own (note 10).
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  103. Tac. Ann. 14.58.2. For the Republican model, see note 31 above.
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  104. Tac. Ann. 14,58,2: "... fingebant petitum ab eo Corbulonem, magnis tum exercitibus praesidentem ..."; on the political weight of this man see R. Syme, Tacitus, 560f. and the same., JRS 27, 1970, 27-39 = Roman Papers, Vol. II, Oxford 1979, 805-824.
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  105. Suet. Dom. 21.
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  106. His full name is P. Clodius Thrasea Paetus (PIR (2) C 1187).
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  107. The "laudatio" is mentioned by Tacitus (Agr. 2,1); on the person of the author, see notes 95 and 158. Unfortunately, the chronological relationship between Rusticus' writing and the biography of Helvidius by Herennius Senecio (note 160) cannot be clarified. Rusticus 'image of Thrasea is likely to have been shaped by those who glorified Helvidius' much more radical opposition. On the "martyr literature", which is also represented by C. Fannius (Plin. Ep. 5,5 - perhaps a relative of Thrasea's wife Arria; cf. R. Syme, PBSR 51, 1983, 105) and Titinius Capito ( Plin. Ep. 1,17), see Fr.Marx, Philol. 92, 1937, 83-103 and J. Geiger, Athenaeum 57,1979,61f.
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  108. Tacitus points to these connections when he lets Marcellus call the young Paconius Agrippinus a "heres paterni in principes odii" (cf. Ann. 16,28,1). See R. Syme, Tacitus, 559.
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  109. Tac. Ann. 16,34,1; see note 137 below.
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  110. In the tradition that has survived, Thrasea is expressly referred to as a stoic only by his accusers, but the mention in Epictetus proves that he belongs to the Stoa (I, 1.26-27). He tried to contradict the cliché of the "arrogant" and overzealous stoic (cf. note 102). Pliny calls him a "vir mitissimus" and quotes his stoic maxim "Qui vitia odit homines odit" (Ep. 8,22,3).
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  111. Hometown Patavium: Tac. Ann. 16.21.1. For the meaning of the origin from the "solid" Transpadana at that time (cf. Plin. Ep. 1,14,4) see S. Mratschek, Athenaeum 62, 1984, 154-189 as well as R. Syme, Athenaeum 63,1985,28- 36.
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  112. This cannot be proven directly, but Agrippina also promoted other men from Patavium; see M. Griffin, as note 61,85. Was that why he was particularly outraged by Nero's matricide (note 120)? Thrasea's son-in-law Helvidius Priscus also seems to have enjoyed the support from Agrippina (note 140).
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  113. His involvement in the repetition trial against Cossutianus Capito on the part of the Cilikians in 57 is an indication of closer ties to this probably imperial province (Tac. Ann. 13,33,2; 16,21,3). Thrasea was particularly interested in the office of judge - cf. the praise from the mouth of Nero (Plut. Mor. 810 A) as well as a maxim handed down by Avidius Quietus (on the person, see note 173) when taking on disputes (Plin. Ep. 6 , 29.1; cf. K. Heldmann, Antike Theorien über Entwicklung und Verfall der Rageunst, Munich 1982, 196f.). Pliny 's teacher Euphrates also emphasizes the value of judicial activity (note 172).
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  114. "(Persius) decem fere annis summe dilectus a Paeto Thrasea est, ita ut peregrinaretur quoque cum eo aliquando, cognatam eius Arriam uxorem habente" (p. 74 Reifferscheid). If this does not refer to an office of Thrasea, he could have made a tour of the provinces like Cato (cf. Plut. Cat. Min. 12.2).
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  115. See Plin. Ep. 3,16,10 - Assistance for the mother-in-law Arria. Caecina Paetus: PIR (2) C 103; R. Syme, PBSR 51,1983,106. The uprising of Camillus Scribonianus: see T. P. Wiseman, JRS 72, 1982, 61f. As a member of the opposition, Thrasea is therefore "burdened" (note 108).
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  116. See R. Syme, Ten Studies in Tacitus, Oxford 1970, 100.
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  117. His name appears on the wax tablets from Pompeii (CIL IV 3340); see P.A. Gallivan, Class. Quart. 24,1974,291.
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  118. Tac. Ann. 16,27,2; "homines novi" were usually only accepted into one of the high priestly colleges after their consulate (A.N. Sherwin-White, The Letters of Pliny, Oxford 1966,272). For the "panegyric" tradition, this first and very successful phase of Thrasea's career was difficult to depict; see O. Murray, Historia 14, 1965,55f.
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  119. Pliny also considers this topic unimportant (Paneg. 54,3-4), but it should not be overlooked that the Princeps himself occasionally took care of it (cf. Th. Mommsen, Römisches Staatsrecht, Vol. II. Leipzig 3rd ed. 1887,887; F. Millar, The Emperor in the Roman World, London 1977,347). Thrasea's contradiction will be directed not only against the waste of the Syracusans, but also against the cruelty of the games themselves. Iunius Mauricus (note 153) is even against gymnastic competitions (Plin. Ep. 4,22,3). Dio Chrys. 31,122 reports on the protest of a Roman philosopher (Musonius?) Against gladiator games in Athens. Mark Aurel - like Thrasea - limits the costs of gladiator games (CIL II 6278 = ILS 5163; SHA Marcus 11.4; see also note 180).
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  120. See Tac. Ann. 14,12,1 as well as Dio 61,15,2 p 37 Boiss. See above note 112 on the presumed promotion of Thrasea by Agrippina.
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  121. Tac. Ann. 14,11,3; Tacitus does not commit himself to Seneca's authorship, unlike Quintilian, who quotes from this letter (8: 5, 18).
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  122. Tac. Ann. 14,48,1: "tum primum revocata ea lex". Compare with K.R. Bradley, AJPh 94, 1973, 172-181 and M. Griffin, see note 61, 162f.
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  123. The defendant Antistius, who survived in exile, is said to be a "publicae clementiae maximum exemplum" (Ann. 14,48,4). "Misericordia" used to be the virtue of the Senate (Sall. Cat. 34,1).
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  124. Tac. Ann. 14,49,1: "consules perficere decretum non ausi". See Th. Mommsen, as note 119,122f. Thrasea's success is made even more spectacular by the fact that he receives a majority in the repetition of the "discessio" at the next session of the Senate (Ann. 14, 49, 2f.) Without further details, Suetonius mentions Senate resolutions that were passed against the will of Tiberius (Tib . 31.1).
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  125. Tac. Ann. 13,4,2; on these "munia" see Th. Mommsen, Römisches Staatsrecht, Vol. II, 106 Note 1 and Vol. III, 1269.
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  126. Tac.Ann. 15.20-22.1 (complaint against the Cretan Claudius Timarchus, who had boasted that he could manipulate messages of thanks). Pliny was very pleased with such embassies (Paneg. 70,9). Thrasea's rejection of these expressions of thanks - an opinion that the Senate does not dare to adopt - is based on a decision by Augustus (Dio 56,25,6). Nero approves the motion - which affects both the senatorial and the imperial provinces (cf. G. A. Souris, ZPE 48, 1982, 235-244) - although the consuls did not allow a vote; see Th. Mommsen, Römisches Staatsrecht, Vol. III, 987.
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  127. Tac. Ann. 13,49,2 (Thrasea's friends speak): "licere patribus, quotiens ius dicendae sententiae accepissent, quae vellent expromere relationemque in ea postulare". Tiberius also spoke of this (Ann. 2,38,1); cf. Th. Mommsen, Römisches Staatsrecht, Vol. II, 954. "Agere senatorem" is what the critics call such zeal (cf. Ann. 16,28,2). It is very significant that Seneca, who was also a "homo novus" and consular, did not adopt this position. For the attitude of the "old" Senate families see P.A. Brunt, class. Quart. 34, 1984, 442f.
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  128. Tac. Ann. 15,23,4; Th. Mommsen, Römisches Staatsrecht, Vol. II, 813 Note 5.
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  129. See Tac. Ann. 6,92,2 and in addition R.S. Rogers, TAPhA 90, 1959, 224-237. The remark by Thrasea that exile is the highest punishment for a senator (Dio 62,15, 1a p. 54 Boiss.), Is related to this incident by M. Griffin, as in note 61,364, note 5.
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  130. Tac. Ann. 16,22,1: "triennio non introisse curiam": cf. Th. Mommsen, Römisches Staatsrecht, Vol. III, 916 note 4.
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  131. Compare the requests of Tiberius to L. Piso, who had announced that he would leave the capital (Tac. Ann. 2,34,1). On the "secessus" as a gesture of the opposition see W. Allen, Class. Journ. 44, 1948/49, 203-206. Thrasea was not aware of any incorrectness, as his letter to Nero proves, in which he asks for clarification (Ann. 16,24,1).
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  132. Tac. Ann. 16,22,3 (Cossutianus' words): "diurna populi Romani per provincias per exercitus curatius leguntur, ut noscatur, quid Thrasea non fecerit". The official "diurna" will hardly have noted Thrasea's absence or passivity - see Ann. 3,3,2 about Antonia's absence at Germanicus' funeral. For the oral exchange of messages and for current letters from the capital, see Tac.Dial. 7.3-4 and 20.4.
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  133. Cf. Augustus' request for the lasting unity between the Senate and the Princeps; P.A. Brunt, class. Quart. 34, 1984, 423.
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