Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Rome, clementia, Julius Caesar, forgiveness, Seneca
This thesis explores the question of modern forgiveness in the lives of ancient Romans. Specifically, did their understanding of clementia reflect contemporary forgiveness? In the first chapter, I analyze five views on forgiveness and offer my own account. In the second chapter, I explore clementia in the life of Julius Caesar during the Roman Republic. In the third chapter, I analyze Lucius Annaeus Seneca’s philosophy on clementia in Imperial Rome. I created my own account of forgiveness to provide a basis for investigating and comparing clementia Caesaris and Seneca’s De clementia. I chose Caesar and Seneca because they are two of the most prolific personas responsible for the development of clementia in pre-Christian Roman history, the former in practice and the latter in theory. In an attempt to achieve a comprehensive analysis in my research I used primary and secondary sources to understand the philosophy of forgiveness and moral significance of clementia. I argue that contemporary forgiveness, as I define it, existed in ancient Rome.
Sedlak, James, "Forgiveness in Ancient Rome: A review of contemporary forgiveness clementia Caesaris and Senecas De clementia" (2012). Honors Theses. 899.