Octavia: A Play Attributed to Seneca by Lucius Annaeus Seneca

By Lucius Annaeus Seneca

The historic tragedy Octavia makes a speciality of Nero's divorce from the princess Octavia, Claudius' daughter by way of Valeria Messalina, and at the emperor's next marriage to Poppaea Sabina. This ebook contains a full-length advent, a brand new version of the textual content according to a clean exam of the manuscripts, and a close statement facing textual, linguistic, and literary issues. Spanning 3 days in June advert sixty two, the tragic motion of the play ends with Octavia's deportation to the island of Pandateria, the place she will be carried out presently afterwards.

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Other arguments adduced by Richter are inconclusive, such as the absence of adjectives in-ficus, of retro, the relative infrequency of at; the occurrence of confestim () and ut ne (), neither ever found in Seneca. Hf. ; cf. ad . For which, however, there were precedents in Seneca as well; cf. ad . Helm (), .  O C TAV I A A N D T H E S E N E C A N C O R P U S nec is postponed after one word at , , , , ; after three at , after four at . nam is always postponed (, , ).

Rom. ). In Suet. Dom.  Domitian is said to have had Helvidius Priscus junior executed (probably in ) on the pretext that allusions to Domitian’s divorce from his wife were contained in his interlude Paris and Oenone: cf. Griffin, CAH  xi (),  and n. .  INTRODUCTION and to specific events does not seem to feature prominently in the play, although generally an antityrannical, constitutional atmosphere can be recognized. Perhaps more interestingly, a distinct parallel can be traced between the way in which Tacitus portrays senatorial behaviour during the years of Domitian’s rule and the words with which the chorus Romanorum of the praetexta describe their subservience to Nero and what amounted to a betrayal of the Claudian house.

In this, Seneca follows a trend already well established in Roman poetry, esp. g. Carm. – (unda) scilicet omnibus . . enauiganda), but also in Vergil and Ovid (cf. Kenney, Style, , , on Ov. Met.  indeuitato . . telo). Some typically poetical phrases of Oct. g. litare + double accusative; parce + infinitive as a periphrastic alternative for the negative imperative; inuideo + infinitive; ualeo + infinitive; cesso + infinitive. Oct. lacks for instance adjectives in -ficus, -ger, -fer, which can frequently be found in Senecan tragedy (see Billerbeck, –).

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