Roman Empire and Nero

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Explain the role and contribution of Seneca to the reign of Nero

Seneca was the personal advisor of Nero during his reign. He was a stoic philosopher who played a vital role in the running of the empire. Seneca contributed in many aspects of Nero’s reign by introducing reforms, bringing stoicism into practice and playing a key role in the senate. Seneca aided in important decision-making. He led Nero down an appropriate path, particularly when Nero became extremely erratic. He served Nero well and made an excellent contribution during his reign.

Seneca understood the problems of Rome so he was able to introduce reforms, which benefited the people. He made conditions for slaves more humane, introduced fiscal reform and introduced a more enlightened administration in Britain. This positively contributed to the empire as he had the happiness of the people in his best interest. By introducing reforms that pleased the people he gained popularity for both himself and Nero. This was beneficial for Nero as the people of the empire could look back on Nero’s reign years later and reflect on the good decisions and excellent reforms that had taken place during the period. Tacitus says “Nothing in human affairs is more unstable and precarious than power unsupported by its own strength.” This quote by Tacitus shows us just how great the impact of Seneca was. It is telling us that without Seneca, Nero may have had the power, but had no support to advice him to make the correct decisions. Seneca was the strength to Nero’s power.

Seneca composed Nero’s first speech to the senate. This speech offered additional power to the senate and shows that Seneca was contributing to the reign of Nero right from the very start. The speech also promised to return to what life had been like under Augustus. Of course, the empire was considered a Republic during the Augustan period and the people cherished this time. Seneca and Nero were looked upon favourably when they promised to...
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