Seneca and Nero
Knopf, forthcoming in 2013
This work in progress traces the complex and tortured relationship between two of history's strangest political bedfellows, the emperor Nero and the philosopher Seneca. It deals with the troubling ethical question readers of Seneca have confronted for centuries: How could this sage, who constantly exhorted his readers toward virtue and reason, have served as the right-hand man of a despot notorious for madness, repression and family murder? The climactic events of the years 50-68 A.D. form the backdrop to this bizarre story, including the fire of Rome and the revolt of the Celtic queen Boudicca in Britain.