From Cicero to Seneca

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The concept of persona from Cicero to Seneca.

The theme of this lecture is quite simple. I'll try to understand why Panaetius' and Cicero's theory of the persona, though being so profound and original, was apparently an unicum in ancient philosophy1. More precisely, my purpose is to understand why Seneca, from many points of view so close to Cicero, seems to wholly ignore this important aspect of the thought of his predecessor. Cicero and Seneca are now extensively studied, especially in the field of ethics, but, to the best of my knowledge nobody, tried to explain this conceptual discontinuity between them. In order to sketch an answer to this problem, I chose as a method to discuss the possibility of a continuum between philosophy and literature, since Seneca and Cicero were both philosophers and artists of Roman prose in many different genera. The question of the persona was studied by many distinguished scholars, among whom Michel Foucault and Christopher Gill, but our purpose here is less to define its structural place in the vocabulary of subjectivity than to describe the evolution of the concept in the history of Roman philosophy and literature.

1)The Ciceronian theory of personae.

We'll begin by evoking Cicero's text in the De officiis. As it is well known, the first book is structured according the four forms of the supreme good, kalon in Greek, honestum in Latin, which are a revised version of the four fundamental virtues of the Greek philosophy, more or less canonical since Plato. It is well known that the most important modification lies in the fact that temperantia, Latin translation of sôphrosunè, was substituted for decorum (prepon in Greek). Prepon/decorum is a quite complex concept, expressing harmony, appropriateness to a context, a concept on which we can return in the discussion. It is in the context of the explanation of the decorum that, in the § 107, Cicero exposes the theory of the four personae. It is considered as probable that he found it in Panetius' Peri kathèkontôn, that Cicero used as the main source for the redaction of his De officiis, but we have no evidence of it. The presentation of this theory begins in § 107, with this sentence: "Furthermore, one must understand that we have been dressed, as it were, by nature for two roles"2. But why it is here mention of two personae only, while we'll be said after that actually they are four? Many different explanations were offered, none of which was entirely convincing. It is probable that Cicero, who knew that his son Marcus, the addressee of this book, was far from being interested in philosophy, preferred to proceed slowly, methodically, in order to get a better comprehension from him. Anyway, the first persona is that of rationality common to all the human beings. The second one is the one of individual peculiarities : x is tall or small, strong or weak, blond The radical division between the zôa aloga, irrational animals, and mankind, who shares rationality with the gods, was one of the main features of the Stoic system. However, the main difficulty is the precise meaning of nos. The metaphor of the mask put on a face3 seems to mean that Cicero affirms the existence of a nos anterior to rationality, which would be the first structure of the subjectivity. This interpretation cannot be wholly excluded. However, it implies a large number of difficulties. Actually, in the first Stoicism, at the beginning the human being is not essentially different from an animal. It is a living organism in search of everything that can help him to remain in his being, by finding what is good for him and by avoiding what can hurt him4. It is only from the age of seven years old that the human being begins to be a rational one. However Panaetius himself seems to have get rid of this radical monism5. According to Cicero, he said that a human being was in possession of reason from his birth. That was a mean to get mankind closer to divinity by cutting the ties with animality. So the existence of an ego exclusively biological that would be the origin of subjectivity seems a little bit problematic in the general frame of the Stoicism of Panaetius.

The third and the fourth personae don't have any explicit link with the concept of natura, but that does not mean that this link does not exist. The third is the social role that we play according the circumstances. The fourth represent the decisions that we take voluntarily. What can be the structure of these four personae taken as a whole 6 ? It would be attempting to imagine an accumulation of personae, both masks and roles. But how this cumulative process could explain the constitution of an ego? In a previous paper, I suggested the presence in this process of the circularity, about which V. Goldschmidt demonstrated in a very convincing way that it is the essential form of the Stoic conception of time7. In my opinion, the first persona is rationality as a gift of nature, a gift still virtual, the potentialities of which still require to be realized. Once the ego has assumed his individual characteristics and the vicissitudes of existence, will appears as the main mean to articulate the individual and the cosmological logos. If this interpretation is right, the sequence of the four personae is in no way fortuitous. It expresses both the insertion of the human subject in the network of universal causality and the possibility of emerging as a free actor even in a world where everything is under determination.

2. Seneca and the Augustan tradition of personae.

We now go to Seneca. The first question is to know if Seneca read accurately Cicero, but above all what image did he have of him8. I'll briefly present P. Grimal's conclusions in an article entitled "Sénèque juge de Cicéron" that is devoted to that theme. In my opinion they are quite illuminating. Grimal says that at the beginning Seneca was for Cicero a man whose memory was linked with rhetoric much more than with philosophy. He considered him as an orator and a politician much more than a philosopher. It was only at the end of his live, in the Letters to Lucullus that he began to show a real interest for him. At this moment, he mentions him often, but he seems to consider him above all as a disertissimus uir9, that is to say as a man who was fundamentally an orator. He never considered Cicero as a thinker that demonstrated the ability of working hard in order to escape the seductions and the sufferings of the fortuna. In his Letters the only Ciceronian treatise that is explicitly evoked is the De re publica10. This is all the most strange that, at the same time that he wrote these letters, Seneca was redacting a treatise on ethics for which the De finibus and the Tusculans could have been of great help for him. However, it must be added that in Ep. 100, 9, he says that the philosophical treatises written by Cicero were as numerous as those of Papirius Fabianus11. This allows to suppose that he had a rather clear vision of what was the entire Ciceronian corpus. Without pretending here to propose a psycho-analysis of Seneca, which would be necessarily superficial, we can suppose that for him, Cicero was too much linked to the world of eloquence, that his own father loved so much. Actually, Seneca the father was an enemy of philosophy, who tried to forbid his son to study and practice philosophy. It seems clear that Seneca did never consider Cicero as the founder of Roman philosophy. At the same time, he was not isolated in his ignorance of the theory of the four personae, or in his refusal to evoke it.

A rapid survey is enough to understand that actually nobody was interested in it. Livy read Cicero very much and he began his work by writing philosophical treatises of Stoic inspiration. However the concept of persona is rarely present in his huge History, only four references, of which three are in the third book12. For him, the persona is essentially the social role of an individual, with some juridical considerations, as we see in IX, 26, with the opposition re/personis13. Nor seems Horace to have understood what the Ciceronian theory could bring to his permanent reflexion on the ego. However he pretty well knew the central dogmas of Stoicism14, and he evokes explicitly Panaetius in Carm. I, 29. In the Satire I, 2, 60 persona is used to describe a woman and in Ep. I, 17, 29 it is used in an opposition between the ethos of a Cirenaic and the one of a Cynic. And that is all. Persona is a little bit more frequent in the Ars poetica, but always in the context of theatre15. One could have thought that the Elegiacs, who were always so attentive to the appearances of the beloved person, in a kind of phenomenology of love, would be interested in a concept useful to express the theatralicality of human relationship. However, they have generally ignored it. Neither Propertius nor Tibullus use it, and no metrical reason can be invoked as the reason of this absence. The case of Ovid is a little bit more complex. Generally he uses persona, to mean the mask in its materiality. However, at the end of his life, in the poetry of exile, the word acquires a greater depth. For example, he writes to his wife that thanks to his verses, she got a great persona, since she was considered in Rome as a model of what the model what of a good wife ought to be let us see two verses of the Pontics III, 1, 43:

Magna tibi inposita est nostris persona libellis :

Coniugis exemplum diceris esse bonae.

"Our little books have given you a great role. Everyone says that you are the paradigm of a good wife. "

It is the first time since Cicero that we find personam imponere with the meaning of assigning a role to someone. Ovid in his poems of exile is a poet with ethical concerns, who, substitutes the problem of duties towards others for the centrality of the desire. It is probable that he was influenced in his reflexion by the De officiis, where the question of the progression of the imperfect human being is so important. We have no evidence of it since we don't find in Ovid any explicit reference neither to Cicero nor to the philosophical meaning of the concept of persona.

On this point we can conclude that this concept was not a central one during the Augustan period. However there is an exception, which is represented by Seneca's father. In his book devoted to the controversiae and suasoriae he heard in the schools of rhetoric, there are ten occurrences of persona, always in the same context. We'll take as an example, the Controversy where is discussed the case, of course fictive of the adoption of a young man by his grandfather. The problem was to decide what would be the peculiarities of each character, that is to say its color, in the technical vocabulary of the imperial rhetoric. Some other cases are more complex, for example in Contr. III, 4, 1 the orators discuss the case of a man who though having saved his father was expelled by him from home, despite a law forbidding to injure a benefactor: etiamsi actio est, lex, quae de servato loquitur, ad personas

tantum extraneas pertinet ("Even if there is a trial, the law about someone who was saved concern only foreign persons"). Here persona does not mean the role assumed in a fictive debate, but an individual, more exactly the individual, not as an atom of liberty, but as an element of the social network. It must be added that Seneca the father dedicated his word to his sons, each of whom is mentioned at the beginning of a prooemium. It is not difficult to imagine that for the Stoic philosopher, the word persona evoked the remembrance of a father who wanted him to be a great orator and against the will of whom he became a great thinker. In the work of Seneca the father, the eulogy of Cicero occurs only in the sixth Suasoria, where he appears much more as a politician than as a philosopher. There is very little philosophy in this suasoria, only the exhortation to consider death as a way of access to immortality. It is here again a reference to the Somnium Scipionis, not to the De officiis.

In summary, nothing impelled Seneca to pay some attention to the Ciceronian theory of the personae. For him it was essentially a rhetorical term, ignored by the great poets of the previous generation. It appeared to him as the symbol of a world of which he wanted to get rid, the world of permanent changes and of the identity conflicts. The transmission of language is far from being a simple process. It is always determined by externals factors that create a complex dynamic. In order to focalize his attention on the problem of the persona, Seneca should have forgotten the image of his father as a man passionate of rhetoric. Apparently it was not the case, at least during a long period of his life.

3. Silence and negative meanings.

However Seneca sometimes used this word. Why and where, that was the object of our research. A first observation can seem surprising. Persona is absent from his theatre, while it is present in Plautus, Terentius and even in the few fragments of Acius that have come to us. There was an auto-referential dimension of the Roman theatre that Seneca managed to avoid. Actually there is no allusion in his theatre neither to the mask nor to the role, the two main meanings of this word. Many explanations of this absence can be proposed, more or less conjectural, but the fact itself is noteworthy. The tragic characters of Seneca cut the link with the object that were the symbol of the theatre. When he could have used persona, at least with an abstract meaning, he prefers to use words of major semantic extension, as we can see in these verses of his Medea 910 s.:

Medea nunc sum; creuit ingenium malis:

iuuat, iuuat rapuisse fraternum caput,

artus iuuat secuisse et arcano patrem

spoliasse sacro, iuuat in exitium senis

armasse natas.

"Now I am Medea; my wit has grown through suffering. Glad am I, glad, that I tore off my brother’s head, glad that I carved his limbs, that I robbed my father of his guarded treasure, glad that I armed daughters for an old man’s death."

Medea speaks about herself in a way exactly symmetrical to that of the sage. About the Stoic sage Foucault says that he is again what he never was17. Her paradoxical realization could have been formulated through the theory of the four personae, and especially though the fourth one, that of the will. Actually it is here expressed through a naturalistic metaphor: she compares herself to a plant irrigated by the misfortunes, at the same time the ones imposed and those received. The parallelism with the philosophical writings is amazing. In the Letter 94, 30, Seneca writes this about the efficiency of the praecepta, the practical advises :

Ingenii vis praeceptis alitur et crescit novasque persuasiones adicit innatis et depravata corrigit.

"The strength of the wit is nourished and kept growing by precepts; it adds new points of view to those which are inborn and corrects depraved ideas."

The depravata corrigit is like an antithetic allusion to the monstrosity of a character like Medea, who, instead of correcting her wrong opinions, produced by passion, tries to get them bigger. Medea and the sage are symmetrical figures, but which is the axis of this symmetry? In other terms what can be of great help to it. To Marcia, destroyed by suffering, Seneca strives to establish that pain, contrary to what she thinks is not natural: non esse hoc naturale. What is natural is independent from the circumstances, it can happen regardless of place, time and personae (quae nihil in personam constituit)18.

Here we see how Seneca opposes the generality of nature to the fragmentation characteristic of the persona. From his point of view, only the sage is able to put himself in the nature height. Other human beings have to find a kind of balance between the characters they carry within themselves. The persona is, in this context, more in relation with passion, i.e with a fragmentary vision of what should be perceived in a global perspective. This appears as a rather difficult problem. He seems to affirm here that to remain at the level of the persona is to waive perfect rationality. But one could reply that without the different personae, the world of human beings would be an undifferentiated whole, in which the question of individual liberty would have no sense. That was what the theory of the four personae tried to avoid, with its complex articulation between collective and individual.

But here we'll try to better understand with greater precision what Seneca understands by persona.

I'll begin by a comparison with Lucretius. It is a little bit a paradox, since one was a Stoic ad the other an Epicurean, but the crietria of orthodoxy were not the same in Romana and Greek philosophy. That helps to explain why find in Lucretius two texts that seem to be quite close to what we'll find in Seneca. The word persona is absent from the first one, but we find in it the metaphor of the children, that will be also used by Seneca :

DRN II, 55-58 :

nam vel uti pueri trepidant atque omnia caecis

in tenebris metuunt, sic nos in luce timemus

inter dum, nihilo quae sunt metuenda magis quam

quae pueri in tenebris pavitant finguntque futura.

In the second one there is a commentary on the meaning of persona as a false appearance, a topic on which Seneca also will stress :

DRN III, 55-58:

quo magis in dubiis hominem spectare periclis

convenit adversisque in rebus noscere qui sit;

nam verae voces tum demum pectore ab imo

eliciuntur eripitur persona †manare

Acually Seneca emphasizes two elements of general psychology that have for him an important philosophical, and more precisely ethical value. The first one is the capacity of human beings of declining at the step of childhood, without however loosing the impression of being and adult. The fears of a child during the night are also those of an adult during the day. In the two cases there is a fear of what does not exist or is not. But the poet also develops the idea that the mask is an object the main function of which is to hide what one carries inside himself/herself. Lucretius' position is the contrary of that of Cicero, while it has common points with Seneca's, as we can see in the following texts :

De constantia sapientis 2, 5 :

Ad tantas ineptias peruentum est ut non dolore tantum sed doloris opinione uexemur, more puerorum, quibus metum incutit umbra et personarum deformitas et deprauata facies, lacrimas uero euocant nomina parum grata auribus et digitorum motus et alia quae impetu quodam erroris inprouidi refugiunt.

De ira II, 11, 2:

Sic ira per se deformis est et minime metuenda, at timetur a pluribus sicut deformis persona ab infantibus.
Lucretius and Seneca evidently use the same metaphor but with some notable differences. For Lucretius we are responsible for our fears, since we project erroneous doxai on a reality that we don't want to see, that of a world exclusively made from atoms and void. We don't want to see the reality of a world that we could perceive correctly and we prefer to flee to an derisory phantasmagoria. At the contrary, in Seneca the reflexion on the mask can be integrated to a doctrine of the natural schedule of the living beings. This program is exposed in the quite famous Letter 121. Each age, says the philosopher, has its constitution to which the living being tries to adapt himself/herself from the beginning of the life. The constitutions of the child, that of the adult, that of the old person are all different. At no moment, Seneca uses the word persona, he excludes this word from his interpretation of the first natural impulses. When an adult's behaviour is that of a child's there is the sign of a wrong adaptation to nature, and this regression, to use a Freudian term. This diastrophè of the natural pulsion implies the apparition of what Seneca calls in the Letter 24, 13 : maiusculi pueri, children who have the appearance of being adults. These people are unable to see the reality of the world, though Nature give them true representations, those that are called in Stoicism phantasiai katalèptikai. They are twice external to themselves: they are not located in the right place according to the steps of the natural adaptation and they believe to perceive reality, while they perceive they own anomy. We can notice the specularity of the process. When X is furious, his interlocutor is afraid of him, as he would be in front of a terrifying mask, while X has a distorted perception both of himself and of what he perceives.
4. Structural and positive elements

Despite all this the persona is in Seneca's thought a structural element of the reality of the world. It is an ambiguous element, since without individual peculiarities, everything would be confuse, while these peculiarities are the origin of distorted visions of reality, which require to be corrected in order to go from an imperfect use of reason to wisdom. In the Letter 120, 22 Seneca deplores the versatility of the human beings. Not only they change often their persona but they adopt a persona at the opposite of the prior one.

We are going now to evoke two aspects of the persona as a structural element : it has an important role in politics and it is a necessary element in the ethics of the gift.

In the De clementia Seneca defines the imperial power as an election that allows the emperor to play the role of a god22: electus sum qui in terris deorum uice fungerer. But who was the god who chose Nero as an emperor ? Seneca does not say anything about this point, probably in order to avoid the evocation of the circumstances in which Nero became an emperor. We can notice that he writes deorum uice, instead of deorum persona. Why does he avoid the use of a term that Cicero would certainly have used at this place. In my opinion, it is because some lines further he makes a reference to the difference between natura and persona, in which the later is a superstructure necessarily ephemeral that one day or another will be defeated by nature23. If, he says, Nero did not have a good nature, a naturalis bonitas, if his clemency was only a fiction, a res ficta, this apparent qualities would disappear soon. The tragic irony of this story is that this was precisely what happened. This seems to confirm Seneca's conception of the persona as being only a mask. But there is in the De ira at least an anecdote that can nuance this analysis24. It is the one about Vedius Pollio, an awful character, who did not hesitate to throw to the morays a slave that had broken a crystal vase of great value. This slave threw himself at the feet of emperor Augustus who attended this diner and he begged him not to allow this atrocity. Seneca comments this episode by saying that it is not wise to affront someone furious, except in the case of someone who so important (tanta persona) that it can impose his will to every one. Here the persona is not an artificial structure, it represents the political power in his capacity to impose his will, that can coincide with the natural law. In a case so exceptional as the one narrated by Seneca, the persona becomes an precious mean to make possible the return to the natural order of things?

This kind of nuance brings us to the book of Seneca in which the word persona is most frequently used, the De beneficiis. This treatise of concrete ethics, in which Seneca deals with quite quotidian situations is rather similar, in his inspiration, to the De officiis. Two meanings of persona coexist in it. The first one has a link with what we said about the negative senecan perception of the mask as being what forbids the access to the nuda ueritas. The philosopher criticizes those that he designs as the delicate, the privileged actors of the Roman social comedy, those for whom truth would be a mortal danger. But even philosophy is criticized from this point of view. The Cynics, or at least some of them are criticized because, though affirming that they despise wealth, they are courtiers in front of the powerful rulers of the Empire. And for all those who, philosophers or rulers, who use the persona in this way, it becomes a second nature, as the French philosopher Pascal says about the custom. The singularity of the beneficium is that it requires at least a second person26. It is a practice of virtuous inter-subjectivity, by which one tries to escape the temptation of hiding oneself behind a fallacious appearance. To use a geometrical metaphor, a point is at the junction of an infinite number of lines, while between two points you can have only one line. In the beneficium the persona is no more a reference to the world of theatre, its paradigm comes from sport, a field in which each one has to adapt to the characteristics and the gests of the other. To give something requires a kind of harmony between the benefactor and the one who receives the beneficium. This change of paradigm has important consequences. In the tragedy the character is unable to follow a kind of logic other than that of his/her passion. The monstrous acting of Medea is fundamentally the expression of an absolute solitude, her children are essentially the tools of her revenge. At the contrary, in the beneficium, the attention to the other, to his/her persona is the condition of the realisation of the beneficium. We find in this treatise a great deal of terms like aestimare, obseruare, which all express the presence of a eyes that evaluate and calculate27. The beneficium is, in the field of human relations, the equivalent of what J. Brunschwig called the "conjuntive model"28, that is to say a structure in which each element depends on the other. In the theatre, the spectator can only see Oedipus or Medea going to their destiny, while in the beneficium the sight is in action or at least a regulator of the action. The persona becomes in the context of the beneficium a step that allows the human being to express his aptitude to social ethics, it is the essence of an individual and through him of human nature, expressed through the function of donator or receptor. To give, to receive are personae not only chosen by the individual but also given by nature, in a way that allows everyone the possibility of adapting them to the social context, to the peculiarities of the other and, last but not least, to himself/herself.

Without entering the very controverted problem of the chronology of the Senecan work, it can be said that his thought was able to evolve and that it did not stopped in a caricatural perception of the persona. Did this evolution bring him closer to the Ciceronian theory of the four personae?

Some passages can help us to sketch an answer to that question.

In Ep. 85, 35, the philosopher evokes the complexity of the function of the pilot of a ship. He says that he has two personae29. He has in common with the travellers the fact that he is on the same boat. But, at the same time, he has an exclusive status, since he steers the boat, he is, as we say in French, "le seul maître à bord". Of course, we are still far from the Ciceronian theory, but at the same time Seneca implicitly admits that one person car at the same time embody two different personae. That can be interpreted as a step in direction of the idea that an individual actually is a combination of personae.

In Ep. 94, 1 30, Seneca opposes Aristo, the heterodox Stoic philosopher, who wanted to get rid of the praecepta, the particular advises, and pretended to build ethics only with general dogmas. His purpose was not to reach progress in ethics but to define the absolute Good as the unique target. Seneca's position has two aspects: he both opposes so rigid a dogmatism and he does not accept the ignorance of the specificity of each situation, each individuality. The universal perspective (in uniuersum componere hominem) must be completed by the taking in account of individual situations through the different personae. From this point of view, persona does not oppose to natura, it is an aspect of its variety.

In Benef. III, 21, 2 31, Seneca compares the duty and the beneficium. To feed correctly a slave is a duty for his master. But if he treats his slave as a free person, with respect and friendship, he goes beyond what requires his situation of being the master and this is a free act of his will. Will is never presented by Seneca as a persona, at the contrary of Cicero. With a little bit of paradox we cans say that for him will is the persona of a free person and that consequently it is no more a persona.

To conclude: Seneca did not accept the let us say the revolutionary theory of the four personae32, with its renunciation of an ontology of the ego and its phenomenology of the different aspects of an individual. However there is a kind of coherence in his treatment of the notion of persona, that he transformed through his work in an holistic concept, encompassing all the aspects of human nature, from the so numerous human errors to the gates of liberty and of the supreme Good.

1)On this theory, see Gill 1988; Alesse 1994; De Lacy 1977; Sonderegger 2000; Prost 2001; Lévy 2006.

2)Cicerón, Off. 1, 107 : Intellegendum etiam est duabus quasi nos a natura indutos esse personis. Persona means here both the mask and the role.

3) For Dyck 1996, 269, n. 155, Panetius was the inventor of the four personae theories, but he recognizes that there is no evidence of it.

4)On the Stoic theory of oikeiôsis, see Radice 2000.

5) On Panetius see Alesse 1994. For him, human society has no instinctive origin, it appears ui rationis, see Off. 1.12: Eademque natura ui rationis hominem conciliat homini et ad orationis et ad uitae societatem ingeneratque inprimis praecipuum quendam amorem in eos, qui procreati sunt.

6)For De Lacy 1979, this articulation of personae implies that the individual disappears as an ethical agent. I would prefer to say that it is the apparition of another kind of individual.

7) See Goldschmidt 1953.

8) See Gambet 1970, Grimal 1984 and Codoñer 2010.

9) Ep. 107.10 : et sic adloquamur Iovem, cuius gubernaculo moles ista derigitur, quemadmodum Cleanthes noster versibus disertissimis adloquitur, quos mihi in nostrum sermonem mutare permittitur Ciceronis, disertissimi viri, exemplo.

10) Ep. 108.30: Cum Ciceronis librum de re publica prendit hinc philologus aliquis, hinc grammaticus, hinc philosophiae deditus, alius alio curam suam mittit.

11) Ep. 100.9 : Dic Ciceronem, cuius libri ad philosophiam pertinentes paene totidem sunt quot Fabiani: cedam

12 Liv. 3.36, 45, 72.

13 Liv. 9.26.10: latiorque et re et personis quaestio fieri haud abnuente dictatore sine fine ulla quaestionis suae ius esse.

14 See Colish 1990: 166.

15Ars 192

16 Medea 910-14.

17 See Foucault 2001.

18 Cons. Marc. 7.4: Ignis omnes aetates omniumque urbium ciues, tam uiros quam feminas uret; ferrum in omni corpore exhibebit secandi potentiam. Quare? quia uires illis a natura datae sunt, quae nihil in personam constituit. Paupertatem luctum ambitionem alius aliter sentit prout illum consuetudo infecit, et inbecillum inpatientemque reddit praesumpta opinio de non timendis terribilis.

19 See Inwood 2007.

20On this concept see Lévy 1992: 207-243.

21Ep. 120, 22 : Modo frugi tibi uidebimur et graves, modo prodigi et uani; mutamus subinde personam et contrariam ei sumimus quam exuimus.

22Clem.1.1.2. On this work, see Bellincioni 1984

23Clem. 1.1.6: nemo enim potest personam diu ferre, ficta cito in naturam suam recidunt.

24 De ira : 3.40.5.

25Benef. 2.13.2.

26 Benef. 5.10.4: cum inter ea sit habendum beneficium, quae secundam personam desi-


27Benef. 2.15.3: Aestimanda est eius persona, cui damus; quaedam enim minora sunt, quam ut exire a magnis viris debeant, quaedam accipiente maiora sunt

28See Brunschwig 1976.

29 Ep. 85.35: Duas personas habet gubernator, alteram communem cum omnibus qui eandem conscenderunt nauem: ipse quoque uector est; alteram propriam: gubernator est.

30 Ep. 94, 1: Eam partem philosophiae quae dat propria cuique personae praecepta nec in universum componit hominem sed marito suadet quomodo se gerat adversus uxorem, patri

quomodo educet liberos, domino quomodo servos regat, On Aristo, see Ioppolo 1980.

31 Benef. III, 21, 2: Est aliquid, quod dominus praestare servo

debeat, ut cibaria, ut vestiarium; nemo hoc dixit bene-

ficium; at indulsit, liberalius educavit, artes, quibus

erudiuntur ingenui, tradidit: beneficium est.

32 For the opposite opinion, see Dyck 1996: 271, who however does not give any example of persona with a clearly Ciceronian meaning.


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