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Lucius Annaeus Seneca

c.4BC-c.65AD

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, or Seneca the Younger, was a Roman Stoic philosopher, tragedian and statesman. He was born into a wealthy family around 4 BC in Córdoba, Spain, the second son of Seneca the Elder (Marcus Annaeus Seneca). He began a political career in 31 AD in Rome, but was banished to Corsica by the Emperor Claudius ten years later on a charge of adultery. There, he wrote three discourses called Consolationes - consolations on the loss of a son through death or exile. He returned to Rome in 49 as tutor to Nero, and around the time Nero became emperor in 54 he wrote Apocolocyntosis divi Claudii ('The Pumpkinification of the Divine Claudius'), a scathing satire on the deification of Claudius.

Seneca was allowed to retire in 62 and devoted his time to producing philosophical works. 124 letters addressed to Lucilius, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium, cover a range of moral issues and were written around 63-64, but Seneca's favor with Nero had ebbed away, and in 65 he was implicated in the conspiracy of Piso to assassinate Nero, and was forced to commit suicide in Rome. His legacy includes a number of verse tragedies that were extremely influential in the development of drama during the Renaissance.



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