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The Deaths of Seneca

James Ker


This book traces the cultural history of Seneca's forced suicide at the command of Nero, situating it in the Roman imagination and tracing its interpretations from the first century to the present day. The earliest historical narratives of the death scene by Tacitus and others were shaped by conventions of Greco-Roman exitus description and Julio-Claudian dynastic history. Seneca's own prolific writings about death—whether anticipating death in his letters, dramatizing it in the tragedies, or offering therapy for loss in the form of consolations—offered the primary lens through which Seneca's ... More

Keywords: Seneca, Nero, death, suicide, Tacitus, Paulina, Roman

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780195387032
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387032.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

James Ker, author
University of Pennsylvania
Author Webpage