L. Anneo Séneca illustrated in political and moral blazons … by Juan Baños de Velasco and Acevedo

In the Biblioteca Histórica de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Historical Library of the UCM), there is a series of Spanish books of emblems. These were not always adaptations of the Emblematum Liber of Andrea Alciato, but they used the emblems as support of another subject or topict: hagiographies, espejos de príncipe (Treaties for being a good king) or, as in this case, an explanation of the neo-estoic doctrine:

This work of neo-estoic character is inserted in the already extensive and fruitful controversy on the Machiavellian or Christian interpretation of the stoicism of Seneca. Baños de Velasco wrote several works in defense of Seneca, and in this book he replies, one by one, the 23 contradictory points with the Catholic morality that the Jesuit Alonso Núñez de Castro, observed and defended in his Séneca impugnado de Séneca, Madrid, 1661 (Seneca contested Seneca, Madrid, 1661) (We have to note that there is a first edition of 1650 where he only presents 20 points). Each “question” is preceded by an emblem engraved by Marcos de Orozco or by Diego de Obregón. The work is dedicated to Don Juan de Austria, central character of the frontispiece, engraved by Pedro de Villafranca. AMP


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