Miriam T. Griffin (ed.), Seneca on Society: A Guide to De Beneficiis
(3.) 1. 1–5. This discussion of the causes of ingratitude effectively continues the one in 2. 26–30 under the heading of how to receive benefits, for the chapters in between (2. 31–5) have vindicated the paradox that diminishes the distinction between properly receiving and properly returning (pp. 115–18). Nonetheless, as Abel 1987, 22 = 1995, 63 points out, there is a difference in emphasis: under receiving, Seneca was concerned with our failure to value benefits we receive; here, he is concerned with why we lose the will to express gratitude. In stressing forgetfulness, Senseca is in line with Aristotle, who noted that beneficiaries have short memories (NE 9. 1167b28–9), and with Cicero, who has gratitude (gratia) composed of memory and the will to repay (Inv. 2. 161). See also Stob. Ecl. 2. 143. 18–20 W on the Peripatetic definition of charis (p. 101 n. 11).