Texas Tech University


Publication Date: 1800

Roman philosopher and playwright. In AD 49 Seneca, a Spanish-born scholar, was chosen to become the tutor of future emperor Nero. Seneca spent the major portion of his life studying and writing and instructing his disciple Nero on the art of government and the virtues of a stoic philosopher-king. When the young prince ascended the imperial throne in AD 54, Seneca remained his most trusted advisor and three years later, in 57, was honored by the conferral of consulship. However, Seneca lost favor with the emperor and prudently withdrew from imperial politics and court society in 62. In 65 he was implicated in Piso's conspiracy to assassinate Nero and was commanded by his one time pupil to kill himself. With Stoic composure, the philosopher has his veins opened and bled to death.

As a Roman philosopher, Seneca is second only to Cicero; and like Cicero, he was an adherent of the philosophy of Stoicism. He wrote the first and only Roman textbook on physics, which was an important source of knowledge (and misinformation) in the Middle Ages. His influence on Renaissance drama was considerable. Eight tragedies are ascribed to him." #0308

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