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    The Deaths of Seneca (Paperback) By (author) James Ker

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    DescriptionThe forced suicide of Seneca, former adviser to Nero, is one of the most tortured-and most revisited-death scenes from classical antiquity. After fruitlessly opening his veins and drinking hemlock, Seneca finally succumbed to death in a stifling steam bath, while his wife Paulina, who had attempted suicide as well, was bandaged up and revived by Nero's men. From the first century to the present day, writers and artists have retold this scene in order to rehearse and revise Seneca's image and writings, and to scrutinize the event of human death. In The Deaths of Seneca, James Ker offers the first comprehensive cultural history of Seneca's death scene, situating it in the Roman imagination and tracing its many subsequent interpretations. Ker shows first how the earliest accounts of the death scene by Tacitus and others were shaped by conventions of Greco-Roman exitus-description and Julio-Claudian dynastic history. At the book's center is an exploration of Seneca's own prolific writings about death-whether anticipating death in his letters, dramatizing it in the tragedies, or offering therapy for loss in the form of consolations-which offered the primary lens through which Seneca's contemporaries would view the author's death. These ancient approaches set the stage for prolific receptions, and Ker traces how the death scene was retold in both literary and visual versions, from St. Jerome to Heiner Muller and from medieval illuminations to Peter Paul Rubens and Jacques-Louis David. Dozens of interpreters, engaging with prior versions and with Seneca's writings, forged new and sometimes controversial views on Seneca's legacy and, more broadly, on mortality and suicide. The Deaths of Seneca presents a new, historically inclusive, approach to reading this major Roman author.


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    Title
    The Deaths of Seneca
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) James Ker
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 432
    Width: 156 mm
    Height: 235 mm
    Thickness: 27 mm
    Weight: 620 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780199959693
    ISBN 10: 0199959692
    Classifications

    BIC E4L: PHI
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S2.1
    B&T Book Type: NF
    DC22: B
    BIC subject category V2: DSBB, HPCA
    Ingram Theme: CULT/ITALY
    Ingram Subject Code: LC
    B&T General Subject: 431
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/ANCIEN
    BISAC V2.8: HIS002020
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    LC classification: DG
    BISAC V2.8: LIT004190, BIO000000
    Abridged Dewey: 937
    BISAC V2.8: ART015080
    DC23: 188
    Illustrations note
    39 illus.
    Publisher
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Imprint name
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Publication date
    11 April 2013
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Author Information
    James Ker is Associate Professor of Classical Studies, the University of Pennsylvania.
    Table of contents
    Acknowledgements ; List of figures ; Abbreviations ; Introduction ; Part I: Historical Narratives ; 1. Three Death-Descriptions: Tacitus, Suetonius, Cassius Dio ; 2. Neronian Exits: Writing Death into History ; Part II: Seneca the Author ; 3. The Man of Many Genres in his Death ; 4. Consolations on the Departure of the Consoler ; 5. A Closing Scene in the Theaters of Ethics, Tragedy, and History ; 6. End of a Series: Death in Epistolary Time ; Part III: Receptions ; 7. Tracing the Tradition ; Part IV: Themes ; 8. Forced Suicide and the Bodily Paths to Libertas ; 9. Passing into Memory: Seneca's Imago and its Reproduction ; 10. Places Suburban and Serious: The Ruins of Seneca and Scipio ; Epilogue ; Primary sources ; Bibliography