Forgan Smith (building 1), The University of Queensland, St Lucia
Venue: Forgan Smith (building 1), The University of Queensland, St Lucia.

Non-members are welcome. A donation of $10 per person includes entry in the lucky door prize and afternoon tea.

Controversiae and Suasoriae: Seneca the Elder and the Education of the Roman Lawyer

The 2019 Adrian Heyworth-Smith Lecture.

Towards the end of his life, the Elder Seneca, at the request of his sons, prepared a set of advocacy exercises. Although they do not survive in their entirety, the Controversiae (imaginary legal cases) and the Suasoriae (exercises in deliberative oratory) hold an important place in the history of western education more generally, and perhaps an increasingly unrecognised role in legal education more specifically. What subject could be more suitable for a lecture named in honour of a professional advocate, and lover of the classics? Especially, when delivered by a lecturer with a quarter of a century's experience in legal education, who is also a lover of the classics and legal history? This lecture will traverse something of the content and organisation of the "Declamations" as well as the educational context within which they were employed. A second part of the lecture seeks to situate Seneca's contribution to the education of Roman "lawyers" within a wider social and historical frame with a view to commenting on his legacy and continuing significance.