Lucius Annaeus Seneca: De Ira [On Anger]

(1646 words)
  • Jula Wildberger (American University of Paris)

De ira (“On Anger”) by Lucius Annaeus Seneca is both a political and a therapeutic work. Insofar as it is concerned with retribution and right conduct in social relations, especially also hierarchical relations such as that between master and slave or ruler and subject, De ira must be read together with Seneca’s works On Mercy (De clementia) and On Benefits (De beneficiis). Insofar as it analyzes and treats a passion that is regarded as unhealthy and detrimental to human wellbeing, it stands in a tradition of “anger control” and psychotherapy beginning with the Iliad and the wrath of Achilles (Harris 2001; Braund and Most 2003).

The dedicatee of De ira is Seneca’s…

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Wildberger, Jula. "De Ira". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 February 2012
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]