Barlaam of Seminara on Stoic Ethics

Text, Translation, and Interpretative Essays
Edited by Charles R. Hogg Jr. and John Sellars

[Barlaam von Seminara über stoische Ethik. Text, Übersetzung und Interpretationen.]

2022. IX, 229 pages.
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ISBN 978-3-16-161564-1
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Published in English.
This volume contains a critical edition and translation of Barlaam of Seminara's fourteenth century treatise Ethics According to the Stoics, along with interpretative essays. This neglected text is important for being the earliest modern work to discuss Stoicism.
This volume contains the first critical edition and translation of Barlaam of Seminara's fourteenth century treatise Ethics According to the Stoics , along with a series of interpretative essays explaining its content and context. Barlaam's text is the earliest interpretative work written on Stoic ethics, a product of the burgeoning Italian Renaissance but also drawing on Barlaam's experience in the Byzantine intellectual world of Constantinople. Intriguingly, it offers a radically different account of the Stoic theory of emotions to the one known from other sources, possibly taken from sources accessible to Barlaam but now lost. The volume includes interpretative essays on each of the two books of Barlaam's treatise, along with a biographical introduction and an essay setting out the wider context of the reception of Stoicism in the Middle Ages and early Renaissance.
Survey of contents
1. Barlaam of Seminara
Southern Italy
Debates with Dominicans
The Hesychast Controversy
Diplomacy and Expulsion
Naples and Avignon
2. The Ethica secundum Stoicos
The Text of ESS
The Plan of the Work

I. Text and Translation
Note on the Text
Table of Chapter Headings

II. Interpretative Essays
Charles R. Hogg Jr.: The Role of Bodily and External Goods for Happiness in Book 1
1. Introduction
2. Aristotle on External Goods and Happiness
3. Aristotle on Virtue, Emotions, and External Goods
4. Aristotle: Some Critical Comments
5. Barlaam on External Goods and Happiness
6. The Stoic Definition is Demonstrated (ESS 1.2–14)
7. The Peripatetic Definition is Refuted (ESS 1.15–25)
8. The Place of Advantages in the Happy Life (ESS 1.26–29)
9. Conclusion: Some Critical Thoughts

John Sellars: The Stoic Theory of Emotions in Book 2
1. The Stoic Soul (ESS 2.1)
2. Three Mental Traits (ESS 2.2)
3. Varieties of Will (ESS 2.3–4)
4. An Eightfold Division of Mental States (ESS 2.5–9)
5. The Standard Stoic Account of Emotions (ESS 2.10–11)
6. Two Fourfold Accounts Combined (ESS 2.11)
7. Constantia and εὐπάθειαι (ESS 2.12)
8. The Full Account (ESS 2.13)
9. Comments on Theophrastus (ESS 2.13–14)
10. Overcoming Emotional Disturbances (ESS 2.15–16)

John Sellars: The Reception of Stoic Ethics in the Middle Ages
1. Stoic Ethics in Late Antiquity
2. Stoicism in Byzantium
3. The Latin Middle Ages
4. The Twelfth Century: Peter Abelard and William of Conches
5. The Thirteenth Century: Roger Bacon and Thomas Aquinas
6. The Fourteenth Century: Jean Buridan
7. Petrarch and Stoic Ethics

Charles R. Hogg Jr. Born 1956; Senior Affiliate Professor, Grand Valley State University, Allendale (MI).

John Sellars Born 1971; Reader in Philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London.


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