Madeleine K. Jones
I am a fifth year graduate student in the Classical Philology track. My dissertation, “Seneca: The World According to Nature,” is on the discourse of nature in the philosophical, tragic, and satirical works of Seneca the Younger (c. 4 B.C.E – 65 C.E.). It aims to show that despite recent focus on the themes of introspection and personal development in Seneca’s work, Seneca was also deeply preoccupied with the natural world and nature itself, and that his attitudes towards these cut to the heart of his philosophy, affecting every aspect of it. I also explore how Seneca expresses complex philosophical ideas in different ways throughout his works, making a case for a corpus which is strongly thematically unified, despite differences in genre and mode of expression, and for Seneca as an innovative writer and thinker, who scorned traditional dialectic in favour of making his points through sophisticated literary techniques.