This book traces the eventful life of Seneca, the Roman philosopher, dramatist, essayist and rhetorician of the first century CE, who came from Spain to Rome, spent his youth in Egypt, was exiled to Corsica under Claudius but recalled after eight years, and rose to dizzying heights of wealth, power and social influence under Nero, before falling from favour and being forced to kill himself. The book analyzes the relationship of Seneca's life story to his literary self-fashioning, and the tensions between the external worlds of politics, consumerism, and social success, with the Stoic ideals of asceticism, virtue and self-control.
Praise for Seneca
This is a riveting and complete picture of Seneca's complex and compromised life. It is impeccably researched, carefully structured, and written with admirable brio. For good or ill, ours is a Senecan age