Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Seneca is popularly known as a Stoic philosopher, statesman and turgid dramatist who selflessly tried to gently but firmly steer the emperor Nero away from his naturally vicious tendencies and was rewarded for his troubles by an order to commit suicide.

I was therefore amused to see that Anthony A. Barrett has a refreshingly different take on the revered rhetor in his biography of Little Boots, Caligula: The Corruption of Power.  Dismissing Seneca's writings mentioning Caligula as "generally of little positive value, as he was clearly obsessed by personal antipathy," Barrett observes:
Seneca made a career from obsequious flattery of the living emperors and unfettered vilification of their dead predecessors.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails