Seneca the Younger°

views updated


SENECA THE YOUNGER ° (Lucius Annaeus Seneca ; c. 5 b.c.e.–65 c.e.), Stoic philosopher and adviser to *Nero. He mentions the properties of the *Dead Sea (Quaestiones Naturales 3:25) and seems to allude to Jewish abstinence from certain foods (Epistulae, 108:22). He disapproves of the practice of lighting lamps for the Sabbath (Epistulae 95:47). The most extensive comments of Seneca on Jews are cited by Augustine. The Sabbath is blamed for encouraging indolence among the Jews, a criticism echoed by many subsequent Latin authors. Seneca gives evidence that at the time there was widespread sympathy for, and acceptance of, Jewish customs (an acceptance of which he heartily disapproves; De Civitate Dei, 6:10).


Reinach, Textes, 262–4.

[Jacob Petroff]