Name: Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Dates: c. 4 B.C.- A.D. 65
Parents: Seneca the Elder, Helvia
Occupation: Stoic philosopher
Born in Spain, in perhaps 4 B.C., Lucius Annaeus Seneca (known as Seneca or Seneca the Younger) was sent or brought to Rome where he studied Stoic philosophy mixed with neo-Pythagoreanism. His father was the Elder Seneca, his mother, Helvia, and his wife, Pompeia Paulina. We don't know much more because details about his personal life are extremely limited prior to his 8-year exile, starting in A.D. 41. Seneca wrote tragedies, possibly not intended for dramatic performances, letters, and possibly a Menippean satire about the death of Nero's step-father, the bumbling Roman Emperor Claudius. This Menippean satire is known as the Apocolocyntosis, a title often translated as the "Pumpkinification of Claudius." Claudius exiled Seneca to Corsica on adultery charges.
Seneca served as tutor to Nero, and then, when Nero became emperor, as advisor. Eventually he fell out of favor. Nero, turning to other advisors, had suspicions about Seneca. In Roman fashion, Seneca took the honorable way out of his troubles: He committed suicide, in A.D. 65.
- Read about Seneca's Suicide Ordeal.
Seneca's works include:
- Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium
- de Providentia
- de Consolatione ad Polybium
- de Consolatione ad Marciam
- de Consolatione ad Helviam
- de Constantia
- de Otio
- de Brevitate Vitae
- de Tranquillitate Animi
- de Vita Beata
- de Ira
- de Clementia
- Ancient History Sourcebook: Tacitus: The Death of Seneca 65 CE
Colorful, but ultimately gruesome account of Seneca's most difficult suicide.
- Seneca's Career and Works
facilius enim per partes in cognitionem totius adducimur comes from Seneca's Epistulae Morales LXXXIX.
Translation: "We are more easily led part by part to an understanding of the whole."