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Seneca and Stoicism

3. Good and Bad Marriages

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about Seneca's attitude to marriage, focusing in particular on: (i) the idea of marriage and family as acting in accordance with nature; (ii) Seneca's criticism of adulterers (On Marriage, V.28); (iii) his description of his wife's role in his nightly reflections on how his day has gone (On Anger 3.36.3-4); and (iv) his description of how the nature of the relationship with his wife impacts the way he behaves (Ep. 104).


In this course, Dr Liz Gloyn (Royal Holloway, University of London) thinks about Seneca's attitudes towards love and relationships in a course designed for the 'Love and Relationships' option for OCR A Level Classical Civilization (H408/32). in the first module, we think about the figure of Seneca and the key principles of Stoicism. After, we think about the Stoic view of love, before turning in the third module to consider Seneca's attitude to marriage. In the fourth module, we think about Seneca's attitude to homosexual love, before turning in the fifth module to consider how Seneca's views on love and relationships might have been received in contemporary Roman society. To what extent, in other words, do Seneca's views on love and relationships represent prevailing attitudes at the time?

Further details on all the topics discussed in this course, including English translations of the surviving fragments Seneca's On Marriage, can be found on Dr Gloyn's blog Classically Inclined.


Dr Liz Gloyn is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Classics at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research focuses on the intersections between Latin literature, ancient philosophy and gender studies, with a particular focus on Seneca the Younger and his approach to Stoicism and family. Her previous publications include The Ethics of the Family in Seneca (2017), while her current book project explores the way that contemporary popular culture imagines and uses classical monsters, and will be published 2019.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Gloyn, L. (2021, February 21). Seneca and Stoicism - Good and Bad Marriages [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Gloyn, L. "Seneca and Stoicism – Good and Bad Marriages." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 21 Feb 2021,