Seneca


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Seneca,

the elder (Lucius, or Marcus, Annaeus Seneca) (lo͞o`shəs, mär`kəs ənē`əs sĕn`əkə), c.60 B.C.–c.A.D. 37, Roman rhetorician and writer, b. Corduba (present-day Córdoba), Spain; grandfather of LucanLucan
(Marcus Annaeus Lucanus) , A.D. 39–A.D. 65, Latin poet, b. Córdoba, Spain, nephew of the philosopher Seneca. At first in Nero's favor, he was later forced to kill himself when his part in a plot against the emperor was discovered.
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 and father of SenecaSeneca,
the younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) , c.3 B.C.–A.D. 65, Roman philosopher, dramatist, and statesman, b. Corduba (present-day Córdoba), Spain. He was the son of Seneca the elder.
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 the younger. He spent most of his life in Spain but made frequent trips to Rome, where he observed the leading orators of the day. Seneca the elder wrote two major works, the Controversies, a collection of imaginary legal cases as they might be argued before a court of law; and Persuasions, model orations on various subjects. The prefaces to the Controversies contain valuable material on famous Roman orators. He also wrote a history of Rome from the time of the civil wars to the 1st cent. A.D.

Seneca,

Native North Americans: see Iroquois ConfederacyIroquois Confederacy
or Iroquois League
, North American confederation of indigenous peoples, initially comprising the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca.
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.

Seneca,

the younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) (lo͞o`shəs ənē`əs sĕn`əkə), c.3 B.C.–A.D. 65, Roman philosopher, dramatist, and statesman, b. Corduba (present-day Córdoba), Spain. He was the son of SenecaSeneca,
the elder (Lucius, or Marcus, Annaeus Seneca) , c.60 B.C.–c.A.D. 37, Roman rhetorician and writer, b. Corduba (present-day Córdoba), Spain; grandfather of Lucan and father of Seneca the younger.
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 the elder. The younger Seneca went to Rome in his childhood, studied rhetoric and philosophy, and earned renown as an orator when still a youth. He was exiled to Corsica by ClaudiusClaudius I
(Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus) , 10 B.C.–A.D. 54, Roman emperor (A.D. 41–A.D. 54), son of Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus and thus nephew of Tiberius. When Caligula was murdered (A.D.
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 (A.D. 41) ostensibly because of his intimacy with Julia, Claudius' brother Germanicus' daughter. In A.D. 49 he was recalled at the urgings of Agrippina the YoungerAgrippina the Younger,
d. A.D. 59, Roman matron; daughter of Germanicus Caesar and Agrippina the Elder. By her first husband, Cneius Domitius Ahenobarbus, she was the mother of Nero.
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 to become tutor of the young NeroNero
(Nero Claudius Caesar) , A.D. 37–A.D. 68, Roman emperor (A.D. 54–A.D. 68). He was originally named Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus and was the son of Cnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus (consul in A.D.
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. In the first years of Nero's reign Seneca was virtual ruler with Afranius Burrus, and their influence on the emperor was probably for the best. But the ascendancy of PoppaeaPoppaea Sabina
, d. A.D. 65, Roman empress, wife of Nero. While married to Otho, her second husband, she became mistress of Nero, whom she finally married in A.D. 62. She had great influence over Nero, inducing him to have his mother (Agrippina the Younger), his former wife
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, Nero's wife, brought about first the death of Agrippina (A.D. 59), then that of Burrus (A.D. 62). Seneca asked to retire. He had amassed a huge fortune and wanted no more of court life. Accusations of conspiracy were finally leveled at Seneca, who, instructed to commit suicide, slashed his veins in his bath. His death scene was considered remarkably noble by the Romans.

Seneca was a Stoic, and his writings show a high, unselfish nobility considerably at variance with his own life, in which greed, expediency, and even connivance at murder figured. The nature of his life raises the philosophical question: Can a person be considered good while also engaging with the imperfect world in which he lives? His Epistolae morales ad Lucilium are essays on ethics written for his friend Lucilius Junior, to whom he also addressed Quaestiones naturales, philosophical—rather than scientific—remarks about natural phenomena. The so-called Dialogi of Seneca include essays on anger, on divine providence, on Stoic impassivity, and on peace of soul. Other moral essays have also survived, notably De elementia, on the duty of a ruler to be merciful, and De beneficiis, on the award and reception of favors. The Apocolocyntosis is a satire on the apotheosis of Claudius.

The most influential of his works, at least in so far as European literature is concerned, were his tragedies. For many years it was thought that his extremely violent and gory plays were written for recitation and not for stage performance; now many believe that they were performed in front of audiences. Eight plays, based on Greek models, are accepted as his—Hercules Furens, Medea, Troades, Phaedra, Agamemnon, Oedipus, Phoenissae, and Thyestes. A ninth and tenth, Hercules Oetaeus and Octavia, are now ascribed to a later imitator. Although his drama has been deprecated in modern times, no author had a stronger influence on Renaissance tragedytragedy,
form of drama that depicts the suffering of a heroic individual who is often overcome by the very obstacles he is struggling to remove. The protagonist may be brought low by a character flaw or, as Hegel stated, caught in a "collision of equally justified ethical aims.
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 than Seneca. His atmosphere of gloom, his horrors, his rhetoric and bombast, his stoicism, were all essential contributions to the forming of Renaissance tragedy. The most significant play influenced by Seneca was Thomas KydKyd or Kid, Thomas,
1558–94, English dramatist, b. London. The son of a scrivener, he evidently followed his father's profession for a few years. In the 1580s he began writing plays.
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's The Spanish Tragedy.

Bibliography

See S. Bartsch et al., ed., Complete Works of Lucius Annaeus Seneca (2010–); biographies by E. Wilson (2014); studies by M. D. Griffin (1976), V. Sorenson (tr. 1984), D. and E. Henry (1985), and J. Romm (2014).

Seneca

 

a tribe of North American Indians; one of the Iroquois tribes. The American ethnologist L. H. Morgan was adopted into the Seneca tribe.

Seneca

1. Lucius Annaeus , called the Younger. ?4 bc--65 ad, Roman philosopher, statesman, and dramatist; tutor and adviser to Nero. He was implicated in a plot to murder Nero and committed suicide. His works include Stoical essays on ethical subjects and tragedies that had a considerable influence on Elizabethan drama
2. his father, Marcus or Lucius Annaeus, called the Elder or the Rhetorician. ?55 bc--?39 ad, Roman writer on oratory and history

Seneca

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