Lucius Annaeus Seneca, De Ira [On Anger]

Jula Wildberger (American University of Paris)
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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


and the wrath of Achilles (Harris 2001; Braund and Most 2003).

The dedicatee of De ira is Seneca’s older brother, who changed his original name, Lucius Aennaeus Novatus, when he was adopted by a rich and

1646 words

Citation: Wildberger, Jula. "De Ira". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 February 2012 [, accessed 21 June 2024.]

34378 De Ira 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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