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Seneca : a life / Emily Wilson.

By: Wilson, Emily R, 1971-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books, 2015Copyright date: ©2014Description: xiv, 253 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.Content type: text | still image | cartographic image Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781846146374 (hardback).Subject(s): Seneca, Lucius Annaeus, approximately 4 B.C.-65 A.D | Philosophers -- Rome -- Biography | Authors, Latin -- Biography | Statesmen -- Rome -- BiographyDDC classification: 188 Summary: By any measure, Seneca (c.4-65AD) is one of the most significant figures in both Roman literature and ancient philosophy. His writings are voluminous and diverse, ranging from satire to disturbing, violent tragedies, from metaphysical theory to moral and political discussions of virtue and anger. Seneca found himself at the turbulent centre of Roman imperial power, making him thus an important witness to the Empire's first dynasty, the Julio-Claudians. Exiled by the emperor Claudius in the wake of a sex scandal, he was eventually brought back to Rome to become tutor and, later, speech-writer and advisor to Nero. Seneca was suspected of plotting against Nero, condemned to die, and ultimately took his own life-an act that is one of the most iconic suicides in Western history. The life and works of Seneca pose a number of fascinating challenges. How can we reconcile the bloodytragedies with the prose works advocating a life of Stoic tranquility? How are we to balance Seneca the man of principle, who counseled a life of calm and simplicity, with Seneca the man of the moment, who amassed a vast personal fortune in the service of an emperor seen by many, at the time and afterwards, as an insane tyrant? In this definitive and moving biography, Emily Wilson presents Seneca as a man destroyed by his times, struggling for compromise in a world of absolutism. The Greatest Empire offers us the portrait of a life lived perilously in the gap between political realities and philosophical ideals, between what we aspire to be and what we are.
Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item reserves
Default Deer Park Library
Ideas and Beliefs
Non-fiction 188 WILS Available IA0589968
Default Sydenham Library (DIY)
Ideas and Beliefs
Non-fiction 188 WILS Available I7892806
Default Sunshine Library
Ideas and Beliefs
Non-fiction 188 WILS Available I7892791
Total reserves: 0

By any measure, Seneca (c.4-65AD) is one of the most significant figures in both Roman literature and ancient philosophy. His writings are voluminous and diverse, ranging from satire to disturbing, violent tragedies, from metaphysical theory to moral and political discussions of virtue and anger. Seneca found himself at the turbulent centre of Roman imperial power, making him thus an important witness to the Empire's first dynasty, the Julio-Claudians. Exiled by the emperor Claudius in the wake of a sex scandal, he was eventually brought back to Rome to become tutor and, later, speech-writer and advisor to Nero. Seneca was suspected of plotting against Nero, condemned to die, and ultimately took his own life-an act that is one of the most iconic suicides in Western history. The life and works of Seneca pose a number of fascinating challenges. How can we reconcile the bloodytragedies with the prose works advocating a life of Stoic tranquility? How are we to balance Seneca the man of principle, who counseled a life of calm and simplicity, with Seneca the man of the moment, who amassed a vast personal fortune in the service of an emperor seen by many, at the time and afterwards, as an insane tyrant? In this definitive and moving biography, Emily Wilson presents Seneca as a man destroyed by his times, struggling for compromise in a world of absolutism. The Greatest Empire offers us the portrait of a life lived perilously in the gap between political realities and philosophical ideals, between what we aspire to be and what we are.

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