Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

E. Del Chrol

Second Advisor

Caroline Perkins

Third Advisor

Christina Franzen


This thesis is primarily concerned with the theory that the writings of Seneca the Younger display an array of stylistic choices theretofore unprecedented in the production of philosophical works in Latin, as well as that, in so doing, Seneca is able to cultivate an approach to Latin literature that is uniquely Roman in character. By using two of the “dialogues” of Seneca—De otio and De breuitate uitae—as representative of his prose works, particularly those philosophical in nature, I analyze the author’s specific use of language in order to highlight and to detail those methods which he employs in an effort to appeal to singularly Roman sensibilities as opposed to the cultural menagerie Imperial Rome had become. Through careful philological investigation dedicated to understanding the source of contention between certain concepts and Senecan ideology, I come to conclude that Seneca’s approach to writing fits perfectly not only the Stoic platform to which he is primarily devoted, but also the sociopolitical climate of his day as he diligently attempts to communicate with his Roman audience on a level that they can truly comprehend.


Seneca, Lucius Annaeus, ca. 4 B.C.-65 A.D. De brevitate vitae.

Seneca, Lucius Annaeus, ca. 4 B.C.-65 A.D. De otio

Seneca, Lucius Annaeus, ca. 4 B.C.-65 A.D. - Criticism and interpretation.