Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religion & Culture / Religious Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Harold Remus

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This thesis, Sumptuary Guidelines in Clement of Alexandria's Paedagogus and Seneca's Epistulae Morales, explores the similarities between the ethical outlooks of Clement of Alexandria and Seneca, as well as peculiar emphases of each writer. The thesis is introduced with a discussion of the Christian search for identity within the Roman world, and the influence of Stoicism in formulating this identity. The next two chapters provide the social and intellectual context within which Clement and Seneca respectively wrote. In establishing Clement's backdrop, the cultural, intellectual, and economic settings of Alexandria are examined. The argument is put forth that these various settings all had an impact on Clement's ethical outlook. Following this, certain of Clement's theological and philosophical viewpoints are discussed which bear upon his ethical guidelines. The portrayal of Seneca's background naturally focuses on Rome. Treated are the sumptuary philosophers whom he encountered in the great city, as well as the prominent place of Stoicism there. Personal elements of Seneca's life, as well as the social circles within which he moved, are also examined. The actual comparison between the ethical guidelines of Clement and Seneca is taken up next. The discussion of this chapter is limited to the topics of drinking and eating as treated by each writer. The respective treatments of these topics by Clement and Seneca vividly display their common ethical motto of moderate participation in the physical world, while also revealing concerns unique to each writer. The concluding chapter makes brief references to the ethical treatment of other areas by Clement and Seneca.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season