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Epistola Anne ad Senecam de Superbia et Idolis [Fragment] (Researcher: Aron Sterk):
Selected Inventory point(s):
1.1 [The text refers to itself as verbal entity (with implied or explicit boundaries).]

Full profile (Bibliography at the bottom):
1.1 [The text refers to itself as verbal entity (with implied or explicit boundaries).]

1.1.1 [The text refers to itself using a genre term, speech act term, verb or other term implying verbal constitution: only if the titulus is accepted as original: "epistola"; see]

1.1.2 [The text speaks of itself as dealing with an overall theme (subject matter) or purpose, or as consisting of coordinated parts making a whole: only if the titulus is in its entirety accepted as original, a topic is mentioned: " Superbia et Idolis".]

1.1.4 [The text introduces the governing voice, thereby indirectly marking its own boundedness: only if the titulus is accepted as integral to the original: a persona called "Annas".]

1.1.5 Important text witnesses attest to a heading which is not integrated with the body of the text or the introductory frame, implying one or more of the kinds of information under 1.1.1–4: It is probable that the Incipit - "Epistola Anne ad Seneca De Superbia et Idolis" is based on an original salutation; but as it is presented in the only surviving manuscript, it appears not to be part of the original ductus of the text (so that this point does apply).

1.6 The approximate word count or other indication of comparative size is: 930 words.

1.7 The text’s Inventory profile should be seen in the light of the following further information on completeness, thematic progression, aesthetic effects, etc.: the text (whether a letter or short tractate) contrasts the three father gods (philosophical, Scriptural, pagan) and would seem to be coming up to a final summation, but is incomplete.

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2.1 The information conveyed in the text defines the perspective of the governing voice in the following way:

2.1.2 The governing voice thematizes how it comes to know the text’s contents or its right to command obedience from the text’s addressee. Its perspective is presented as limited, referring either to evidence, or to personal experience (mere human knowledge).

2.1.4 The governing voice explicitly acknowledges that something mentioned in the text cannot be adequately expressed or conveyed.

2.1.7 The governing voice (whether first or third person) is anonymous, that is, is not presented as tied to a specific personal identity (or to personhood in general): This point applies if we do not accept the titulus as part of the text.

2.2 A first-person voice imposes its perspective on all (or almost all) knowledge or norms conveyed in the text. [The voice identifies itself by way of a “signature”, as at the beginning or end of a text projecting itself as letter, or other text with a salutation: this only applies if the titulus is original, which speaks of Annas as originator of a letter to Seneca (see 1.1.5).]

2.2.3 The first-person governing voice is not identified by name or unique identifier, but speaks of himself/herself in the first person at least once: the first person does not identify itself within the text (but a speaking persona is identified in the titulus; see 1.1.5.

2.2.4 The number and gender of the first-person governing voice are as follows: The first person singular is used. The first person plural is used: the text refers to 'noster veritias (our truth)'.

2.4 The governing voice defines a horizon of knowledge as shared with the projected addressee by taking for granted the following linguistic usages or references (in selection):

2.4.1 Persons or unique objects referred to by proper name or by technical expression: the signa (semeia) of Iamblichan neoplatonism. for Gods/mythical figures/supernatural beings, etc., for example: Liber Pater. for locations, for example: Babylonia, Chalcis.

2.4.3 The text as a whole routinely employs the following language(s), knowledge of which is taken for granted: Latin.

2.6 The text presents itself as speaking to certain persons, groups or entities, explicitly projecting a certain image of its addressee.

2.6.1 The governing voice uses apostrophe, second-person grammatical forms or first-person exclusive or inclusive “we”: the text addresses both a 'tu' -second person singular and (in an apostrophe) second person plural and the vocative 'fratres' - members of a school of philosophy; these are, however, marked as not being the addressee of the text itself (although some scholars interpret them as such). [An audience is identified as the intended receiver of a text projecting itself as a letter: "Seneca" is identified as recipient of the letter in the titulus; see 1.1.5.]

2.6.2 The projected addressee is characterized as having a certain moral or epistemic stance, or as standing in contrast to another group’s moral or epistemic stance.

2.6.3 The governing voice uses verbs of epistemic or moral exhortation or employs a “focus marker".

2.6.4 The governing voice directs questions at the projected addressee which are marked as rhetorical or as suggesting the audience assume a particular epistemic or moral stance: e.g., “Who would prefer ignorance?”. Their answer may be spelled out in the subsequent text or not.

2.6.5 The governing voice employs exclamatory or declamatory modes of speech (cf. 8.1.13).

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5.6 The text pervasively provides explicit links between successive sub-topics, without at the same time mirroring an objective order as in 5.2–5 or in some other manner; the text is also not a case of 3.1.

5.6.1 The text constitutes a conceptual inquiry into the accuracy or validity of universal claims regarding facts or norms. The inquiry pervasively or prominently proceeds by juxtaposing and discussing mutually exclusive claims, or alternative (or hypothetical) world projections.

5.9 The text’s governing voice projects the accuracy or validity of its statements as:

5.9.2 Admitting discussion or disagreement, or the need for argument and evidence in principle.

5.9.4 The following argument types occur: Predominantly or exclusively conceptual arguments (e.g. inferences, analogies, or references to evidence).

5.11 The text mentions no unique individuals as characters, or mentions them only in frame positions: this applies to the body of the text, if the titulus is ignored (see 1.1.5).

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7.1 Narrative or thematic correspondences, or overlap of specific wording, occur between a non-biblical text and one or more biblical texts in a manner that is prominent or pervasive.

7.2 Narrative or thematic correspondences, or overlap of specific wording, occur between the non-biblical text under discussion and other non-biblical texts in a manner that is prominent or pervasive.

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8.2 Non-narrative small literary forms that impose on their components a standard functional relationship to each other, while grammar and syntax may vary:

8.2.5 The summary exposition, in a number of sentences, of theological ideas.

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11.1 The non-narrative text projects its thematic concern as being mainly one or more of the following:

11.1.4 A discourse on or inquiry into a field of knowledge, with self-referential treatment of the limits, sources or nature of knowledge: right knowledge of God and the soul and a recognition of the inanity of ritual images/statues.

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12.1 Sampling of genre labels applied to the text in secondary literature: Apologetic, polemic, missionbrief, short tractate, protreptic/paraenesis, prosopoea.

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B. Bischoff, "Der Brief des Hohenpriesters Annas an den Philosophen Seneca – eine jüdisch-apolotegetische Missionsschrift (Viertes Jahrhundert?)" in Anecdota Novissima. Texte des vierten bis sechzehnten Jahrhunderts (Stuttgart: Quellen und Untersuchungen zur lateinischen Philologie des Mittelalters, 7, 1984), pp 1-9; A. Hilhorst, "The 'Epistola Anne ad Senecam': Jewish or Christian? with a new edition of the text" in G.J.M. Bartelink, C.H. Kneepkens, A. Hilhorst (eds), Eulogia. Mélanges offerts à Antoon A. R. Bastiaensen à l’occasion de son soixante-cinquième anniversaire (Steenbrugge, St. Pietersabdij, The Hague: Nijhoff International, 1991), pp. 147-162. R. Jacobi, "Die Sogenannte 'Epistula Anne ad Senecam': Verfasserfrage, Edition, Kommentar" in Xenia Torunensia V (Toruń: Wydawnicztwo Uniwersytetu Mikołaja Kopernika, 2001).

Translation (German):

W. Wischmeyer, "Die epistula Anne ad Senecam. Eine jüdische Missionsschrift des lateinischen Bereichs" in L. van Amersfoort and J. van Oort (eds), Juden und Christen in der Antike (Kampen: Kok, 1991);

Selected Studies:

A. Momigliano, "The new Letter by 'Annas' to 'Seneca' (Ms. 17 Erzbischöfliche Bibliothek in Köln)", Athenaeum N.S. 63 (1985), pp. 217-9, reprinted in Id., (1987) On Pagans, Jews and Christians (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press), pp. 202-205; L. Cracco Ruggini, "La lettera di Anna a Seneca nella Roma pagana e cristiana del IV secolo", Augustinianum 28 (1988), pp. 301-25; A. Momigliano, Review of Bischoff (1984), RSI 97 (1985), pp. 328-9; I. Ramelli,  "L’Epistola Anne ad Senecam de Superbia et Idolis, documento pseudo-epigrafico probabilmente cristiano", Augustinianum, v. 44 part 1 (2004), pp. 25-50; A. Sterk, "The Epistola Anne ad Senecam in its Literary and Historical Context" (Manchester University PhD thesis, 2013).

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