Centre of the Literatures of the Roman Empire Annual Lecture – Sexual ethics and stupid philosophers: the many lives of Secundus the silent philosopher Professor Helen Morales, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Before he worked for the emperor Hadrian, the story goes, Secundus the philosopher set out to prove the maxim that ‘all women are whores’. He did so by setting his mother a test that would lead to her committing suicide and his never speaking again. In this lecture Helen Morales will analyze the intimate violence in the fictional Life of Secundus the Silent Philosopher (written in Greek in the second century CE), and discuss how key aspects of the tale change in the later Latin, Arabic and Ge’ez versions.
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