For this Clarendon Paperback, Dr Griffin has written a new Postscript to bring the original book fully up to date. She discusses further important and controversial questions of fact or interpretation in the light of the scholarship of the intervening years and provides additional argument where necessary. The connection between Seneca's prose works and his career as a first-century Roman statesman is problematic. Although he writes in the
first person, he tells us little of his external life or of the people and events that formed its setting. Miriam Griffin addresses the problem by first reconstructing Seneca's career using only outside
sources and his de Clementia and Apocolocyntosis, whose political purposes are undisputed. In the second part of the book she studies Seneca's treatment of subjects of political significance, including his views on slavery, provincial policy, wealth, and suicide. On the whole, the word of the philosopher is found to illuminate the work of the statesman, but notable exceptions emerge, and the links that are revealed vary from theme to theme and rarely accord with traditional
autobiographical interpretations of Seneca's works.
`Griffin's book is an outstanding contribution to our knowledge of the intellectual climate and the political history of the principate of Nero, and is bound to become a standard work on the complex and elusive personality of Seneca.'
Journal of Roman Studies
`This is a painstaking effort at reconstruction which surpasses in detail and penetration any previous biographical study ... Her work is a substantial contribution to the study not only of Seneca but of the whole Julio-Claudian period and should be required reading well beyond the circle of Senecan scholars.'
'Miriam Griffin's book on Seneca has made a wecome transfer to paperback. This book provides useful material for those studying the history of the Principate in the first century AD. It is also useful for its exxploration of the philosophical background to matters that were important at this time.
J. Hutchinson. JACT Review