Little is known about Seneca's life before his dramatic exile in old age, when he was banished by the mad emperor Caligula to Corsica. Educated in rhetoric and Stoic philosophy, Seneca had played an active role in politics and would be summoned back to Rome on Caligula's death, going on to tutor and advise the young Nero before and after he became emperor.
During his exile, Seneca wrote works of philosophy and tragedy, which along with his many letters had a deep and lasting influence on later writers, philosophers and scholars including Dante, Petrarch, Chaucer and Erasmus. Although he had a bad reputation during and after his lifetime, recent research has reevaluated his work in a more positive light, emphasizing the originality of his contributions to philosophy and literature.
This accessible and concise volume is ideal for students, but useful also for more experienced scholars wanting an introduction to the life and works of this important Roman figure.