Lucius Annaeus Seneca: Octavia

(2387 words)
  • Joseph Smith (San Diego State University )

Octavia is the lone drama surviving from antiquity exemplifying the genre fabula praetexta, or Roman history play. Preserved along with nine other plays ascribed to Lucius Annaeus Seneca (in one family of medieval manuscripts labeled ‘A’ by scholars of the Senecan dramatic corpus), Octavia evokes and references Senecan tragedy, but cannot be the work of Seneca. The drama portrays the historic moment of the Roman Emperor Nero’s decision (made in early June of 62 CE) to divorce and expel his first wife, Octavia, from Rome’s imperial palace (and ultimately to execute her), and thereupon to replace her with a new wife, Poppaea Sabina. Seneca himself is portrayed in the drama as Nero’s …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Citation:
Smith, Joseph. "Octavia". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 January 2014
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=33497, accessed 01 August 2015.]