Seneca

Portrait of Seneca the Younger by Pierre Paul Rubens

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, one of Rome’s most famous philosophers spent a large part of his life trying to convince his student Nero the finer points of being a Stoic-flavored philosopher-king. While he did demonstrate unselfish nobility in his writings, his life was rife with greed, made base with expediency. and plagued with conspiracies.

Seneca’s plays were so influential that they became the prototype for modern entertainment in which one-dimensional characters are stuck in a horrific existence of violence, gloom, and bloodshed.

His commitment to Stoic philosophy proved to be expedient. Once Nero’s self-indulgence became ever more monstrous, Seneca distanced himself from public life.

A depiction of the fire burning through the city.
Fire in Rome by Hubert Robert

When Rome burned to the ground and Nero requested contributions to rebuild, Seneca donated the lion’s share of the enormous fortune he accumulated as the most trusted adviser.

Not too long afterwards, he was embroiled in a conspiracy to assassinate the emperor and Nero ordered his teacher to commit suicide. He complied by slicing his wrists and bled to death. Most appropriate, given his deep pessimism and preoccupation with death.

Chapter 1: In the Beginning… There was Nothing.

Chapter 2: Ex Nihilo

Chapter 3: We Know Nothing

Chapter 4: Null and Void

Chapter 5: Nihil Perpetuum Est

Lucretius

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Awet

...a philosophisticator who utters heresies, thinks theothanatologically and draws like Kirby on steroids.

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