Seneca, the elder, c.60 b.c.–c.a.d. 37, Roman rhetorician and writer

Seneca, the elder (Lucius, or Marcus, Annaeus Seneca) lo͞oˈshəs, märˈkəs ənēˈəs sĕnˈəkə [key], c.60 b.c.–c.a.d. 37, Roman rhetorician and writer, b. Corduba (present-day Córdoba), Spain; grandfather of Lucan and father of Seneca the younger. He spent most of his life in Spain but made frequent trips to Rome, where he observed the leading orators of the day. Seneca the elder wrote two major works, the Controversies, a collection of imaginary legal cases as they might be argued before a court of law; and Persuasions, model orations on various subjects. The prefaces to the Controversies contain valuable material on famous Roman orators. He also wrote a history of Rome from the time of the civil wars to the 1st cent. a.d.

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