The attention Seneca attracted in his lifetime and succeeding generations not only preserves information about his biography: it also merits interpretation as a cultural phenomenon on its own terms. This paper argues that the life of Seneca achieved exemplary status because it enabled Romans to think through issues critical to the preservation of social order. As a new man who rose to power as the republican noble families were dying out, Seneca posed the question of imperial succession in an acute form. As a member of an imperial elite that was increasingly inclusive in its recruitment strategies, Seneca validated reliance on education and key cultural competencies as markers of elite status and legitimacy. His renown articulates a shift in emphasis within Roman culture from gloria-the old republican ideal based on zero-sum competition for honor-to claritas, or claritudo-distinction for special achievement or characteristics that grants entrée to a collective elite. The specific cultural competencies demonstrated by Seneca and noted by those who spread his renown alert us to practices the Romans especially valued, namely theatricality, the use of writing to display a persona, the mastery of general discourse, and the interpretation of politics in ethical terms. As an exemplum Seneca could be-and was-the target of both praise and blame. The story of his close relationship with Nero and subsequent tragic death placed him among the sacrificial victims Romans seemed to regard as legitimizing a social order based on domination by a well-defined elite. In addition to various of Seneca's writings, this essay considers in particular the Tacitean narrative of his relationship with Nero, Quintilian's analysis of his achievement and influence, and his depiction in Octavia.

[Footnotes]

[Footnotes]
1
Faider 1921: 9-82
Trillitzsch 1971
2
Griffin 1976: 441.
3
Fuhrmann 1997: 335
4
Libera si dentur populo suffragia, quis tam/perditus, ut dubitet Senecam praeferre Neroni? (Juv. Sat. 8.211-12).
5
Mayer 1991.
6
Barnes 1982
Kragelund 1982
Kragelund 1988
Ferri 1998
7
Griffin 1976: 427ff.
Martin 1981: 207ff.
Rudich 1997: 17-18 and 263.
Questa 1967: 83-91 and 199-207.
8
Habinek 1987, esp. 194-98
9
Braudy 1986: 587-88.
10
Earl 1967, esp. p. 30
Knoche 1934
Drexler 1962
Hellegouarc'h 1963: 369-83.
Kautsky 1982: 171
Lendon 1997
11
Enciclopedia vergiliana 2.771
12
Drexler 1962.
Sallust Iug. 85.23
Cic. Off. 1.121
Hellegouarc'h 1963: 377.
13
Earl 1967: 68.
Knoche 1934: 122
14
Earl 1967: 68.
15
Earl 1967: 69.
16
Lendon 1997.
17
Garnsey and Saller 1987: 123.
Hellegouarc'h 1963: 228-29
Earl 1967: 84-88
Gelzer 1969: 151ff.
18
Earl 1967: 30.
19
Goodyear 1.232 on Ann. 1.28.1
Koestermann on Ann. 4.13.3.
Hellegouarc'h 1963: 228-29
20
Ernout and Meillet 1994: 125
Hellegouarc'h 1963: 227.
21
Gelzer 1969: 40
RE 3.2628.
22
Fragment 7.12 Jordan
Cic. Tusc. 4.3
Cic. Brut. 75.
24
Pitt-Rivers 1966.
Winkler 1990: 46ff.
26
Vielberg 1987.
27
van Sickle 1987
Habinek 1998a: 45-59.
28
Griffin 1976.
Martial Ep. 4.40
Stat. Silv. 2.7.31-32.
29
Musgrove 1979
Kautsky 1982.
Gelzer 1969
Garnsey and Saller 1987.
Wallace-Hadrill 1997.
30
Hopkins 1983.
Garnsey and Saller 1987: 123.
Hopkins 1965.
Scheidel 1999
31
Bloomer 1997a.
32
Griffin 1976: 53-54
Gaius 53
33
Griffin 1976: 61-63.
34
Dio 61.3.1
Griffin 1976: 79.
35
Faider 1921: 216ff.
Griffin 1976: 129-71
Rudich 1997: 44-66.
36
I.O. 8.5.18
Faider 1921: 55.
37
Alexander 1952 (non liquet)
Fabbri 1978-1979
Griffin 1976: 441-44
Martin 1981: 184, 207-208
Syme 1970: 138
Mellor 1993: 97
Boyle 1997: 137
38
Tac. Ann. 14.57.
Ferri 1998: 342n.7
39
Questa 1967: 199- 207.
Griffin 1976: 365
1984: 166f.
Rudich 1993: 106ff.
40
Griffin 1984: 189-96.
41
Syme 1958: 465-80
1970: 129ff.
Syme 1958: 481-519
Syme 1970: 119-40
Mellor 1993: 87-112
42
Syme 1970: 125
Dio 66.12
Suet. Vesp. 25.
43
Syme 1970: 140.
Gelzer 1969: 155.
44
Syme 1986: 20-21.
Schmid 1955
Innocenti 1972.
45
Syme 1986: 7.
46
Fuhrmann 1997: 332
Bickel 1959
47
Braudy 1986: 587.
48
Koestermann 1967 on Ann. 12.8.2.
49
Bartsch 1994: 10
Scott 1990.
50
Feldherr 1998
51
Illuminati 1961
Brelich 1976.
52
Polybius 6.53.
Flower 1996.
53
Habinek 1990
1998a: 45-59.
54
Zorzetti 1980
Flower 1995.
55
Woodman 1993
Edwards 1994
Bartsch 1994: 1-62
Boyle 1997: 112-37.
Rudich 1993 passim
56
Habinek 1998a: 138-40
57
Griffin 1976: 368
58
Griffin 1976: 369
Blumel 1933: 44
Tafel 71.
Bickel 1959
Poulsen 1973: 44-45.
59
Dio 61.18.3, 61.20.3.
60
Habinek 1998a: 103-21
Dupont 1994
Stock 1983
Illich 1993
61
Pliny Ep. 2.3.8
Tac. Dial. 10.2.
62
Bonner 1977, esp. part 3
Bloomer 1997b.
Habinek 1998b.
63
Bloomer 1997b.
64
van Sickle 1987.
65
Beard, North, and Price 1998: 104.
66
Shaw 1985: 28.
67
Wallace-Hadrill 1997.
68
Habinek 1995.
69
Cic. De Re Publica 1.36.2
Habinek 1989: 248ff.
70
Habinek 1985.
71
Inwood 1995
72
Inwood 1995: 76
73
I.O. 10.1.125-31.
Faider 1921: 40-48
Leeman 1963: 1.272ff.
Kennedy 1969: 112-13
Trillitzsch 1971: 61-69
Fuhrmann 1997: 335-36
Dominik 1997.
74
Historia Augusta Hadrianus 15.10.
Syme 1965: 245
75
Griffin 1976: 286-314
Fuhrmann 1997: 230ff.
76
note 6 above
note 82 below.
77
Schmidt 1985
Zorzetti 1980
Herington 1961
78
Zorzetti 1980: 29ff.
79
Daremberg 1919: 5.348-53
Zorzetti 1980: 56-58.
80
Zorzetti 1980.
81
Kragelund 1987
Dialogus 11.2.
82
Kragelund 1982: 48-49
Sutherland 1984: 1.218
Barnes 1982
Ferri 1998.
Kragelund 1988
83
Williams 1994
Schmidt 1985: 1451
84
Kragelund 1988: 503-508
85
Habinek 1995: 56-60.
86
De Oratore 1.2.7
87
Kragelund 1988.
88
Kragelund 1988: 492-98
Zwierlein's Oxford Classical Text (1986).
89
Rudich 1993: 112
90
Rostovtzeff 1963: 1.77.
91
Garnsey and Saller 1987: 113
Habinek 1998a: 137-50.
92
Musgrove 1979: 88ff.
93
Habinek 1998a: 213n.4.
94
Barton 1993
Habinek 1998a: 137-50.

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