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SENECA
Annaeus, the rhetorician; born of an equestrian family, at Cordaba (Cordova) in Spain, towards the end of the Republic. In the time of Augustus he studied at Rome, where he lived in intimacy with the most famous rhetoricians and orators, and died at a very great age, probably not till after the death of Tiberius (37 A.D.). [He was the father of Seneca the philosopher, and (by his son Mela) grandfather of Lucan the poet.] According to the testimony of Seneca the philosopher, he was a man of pristine virtue and severity, much devoted to the maintenance of ancestral customs [Seneca, Ad Helviam Matrem 17, 3: patris mei antiquus rigor; maiorum consuctudini deditus]. As a stylist he was a great admirer of Cicero. In his old age, relying simply on his marvellous memory, he composed at his son's desire a collection of declamations for the use of schools of rhetoric, modelled on the treatment of the subjects by the most famous rhetoricians of his youth. It bears the title, Oratorum et Rhetorum Sentenioe Divisiones Colores, one book containing seven themes called suasorice, and ten books, thirty-five controversioe. Of these we now possess only books i, ii, vii, ix, x, and the greater part of the introductions to books iii and iv, besides an abstract of the whole, belonging to the 4th or 5th century. The contents give a vivid picture of the work of the schools of rhetoric in the time of Augustus and Tiberius, and are an important authority for the history of Roman rhetoric.
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