Seneca the Elder

(1194 words)
  • Andreas Michalopoulos (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (Seneca “the Elder” or “the Rhetor”) is the father of Lucius Annaeus Seneca the dramatist and philosopher (Seneca “the Younger”). He is also the grandfather of the epic poet Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, author of the historical epic Pharsalia or Bellum civile.


Unfortunately not much is known about Seneca’s life. His son, Seneca the younger, wrote a biography of his father, under the title De vita patris, which has not come down to us. Certain details of his life can be drawn from Seneca the younger’s Consolatio ad Helviam and Epist. The rest is drawn from Seneca the Elder’s own work.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca was born in C…

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Michalopoulos, Andreas. "Seneca the Elder". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 October 2009
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]