Seneca the Younger

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Lucius Annaeus Seneca (often known simply as Seneca, or Seneca the Younger) (c. 1 BC – 65 AD) was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He was tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero. He was later forced to commit suicide for complicity in the Pisonian conspiracy to assassinate this last of the Julio-Claudian emperors; however, he may have been innocent.[1][2] His father was Seneca the Elder and his older brother was Gallio.

Contents

Biography

Miriam Griffin says in her standard modern biography of Seneca[3] that "the evidence for Seneca's life before his exile in 41 is so slight, and the potential interest of these years, for social history as well as for biography, is so great that few writers on Seneca have resisted the temptation to eke out knowledge with imagination." It is thus necessary to regard what one reads as alleged fact with extreme skepticism.

Griffin infers from ancient sources that Seneca was born in either 8, 4, or 1 BC. She thinks he was born between 4 and 1 BC[dubious ] and was resident in Rome by 5 AD. Seneca says that he was carried to Rome in the arms of his mother's stepsister.[4] Griffin says that, allowing for rhetorical exaggeration, means "it is fair to conclude that Seneca was in Rome as a very small boy."

His family was from Cordoba in Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula), and he may have been born there, although there is no documentary evidence for it. There is no way of knowing when the family came to Spain. According to Griffin, the family probably came from Etruria or the "area further east towards Illyria."

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