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Dying Every Day


At the centre: the tumultuous life of Seneca, ancient Rome’s preeminent writer and philosopher, and his student Nero, Emperor of Rome. And controlling them both, Nero’s mother, Julia Agrippina the Younger: Roman empress, great-granddaughter of the Emperor Augustus, sister of the Emperor Caligula, niece, and fourth wife, of Emperor Claudius…Dying Every Day weaves together the life and written words, the moral struggles, political intrigue, and bloody vengeance that enmeshed Seneca the Younger in the twisted imperial family and the perverse, paranoid regime of Emperor Nero, the last and most detestable of the Caesarean family, whose descent into madness saw five family murders, the revolt of Boudicca in England, the Fire of Rome, and a savage purge that destroyed Rome’s supreme minds during the Senate’s golden age.

Using his own translations, Romm brilliantly explores Seneca’s written works: the tragedies and moral treatises in which Seneca commented on the decline he witnessed. Romm provides new insight into the motives and strategies that stand behind some of Rome’s greatest literary masterworks. Still, Seneca’s views on the events of his times, the extent of his collusion, and above all his motives, remain veiled and uncertain – a psychological riddle that lies at the dark heart of this astonishing dual portrait.

Dying Every Day goes further than other historical accounts in bringing to life the women who bestrode the age of Nero, with sex and politics never having been so intertwined, nor with so much at stake – the very existence of Rome’s ruling dynasty.

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