A Companion to the Neronian Age
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More About This Title A Companion to the Neronian Age


An authoritative overview and helpful resource for students and scholars of Roman history and Latin literature during the reign of Nero.
  • The first book of its kind to treat this era, which has gained in popularity in recent years
  • Makes much important research available in English for the first time
  • Features a balance of new research with established critical lines
  • Offers an unusual breadth and range of material, including substantial treatments of politics, administration, the imperial court, art, archaeology, literature and reception studies
  • Includes a mix of established scholars and groundbreaking new voices
  • Includes detailed maps and illustrations


Emma Buckley is Lecturer in Latin and Classical Studies at the University of St. Andrews. She has published on post-Virgilian epic, Maffeo Vegio and Christopher Marlowe. She is currently writing a monograph on Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica.

Martin T. Dinter is Lecturer in Latin Literature and Language at King’s College London. He has published articles on Virgil, Horace, Lucan and Valerius Flaccus and is the author of a forthcoming monograph on Lucan’s Bellum Civile.


List of Illustrations xi

Notes on Contributors xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction: The Neronian (Literary) ‘‘Renaissance’’ 1
Martin T. Dinter


1 The Performing Prince 17
Elaine Fantham

2 Biographies of Nero 29
Donna W. Hurley

3 Nero the Imperial Misfit: Philhellenism in a Rich Man’s World 45
Sigrid Mratschek

PART II The Empire

4 The Empire in the Age of Nero 65
Myles Lavan

5 Apollo in Arms: Nero at the Frontier 83
David Braund

6 Domus Neroniana: The Imperial Household in the Age of Nero 102
Michael J. Mordine

7 Religion 118
Darja ¡ Sterbenc Erker

8 Neronian Philosophy 134
Jenny Bryan

PART III Literature, Art, and Architecture

9 Seneca, Apocolocyntosis 151
Christopher L. Whitton

10 The Carmina Einsidlensia and Calpurnius Siculus’ Eclogues 170
John Henderson

11 Seneca’s Philosophical Writings: Naturales Quaestiones, Dialogi, Epistulae Morales 188
Jonathan Mannering

12 Senecan Tragedy 204
Emma Buckley

13 Lucan’s Bellum Civile 225
Philip Hardie

14 Petronius’ Satyrica 241
Tom Murgatroyd

15 Persius 258
Marden Fitzpatrick Nichols

16 Columella, De Re Rustica 275
Christiane Reitz

17 Literature of the World: Seneca’s Natural Questions and Pliny’s Natural History 288
Aude Doody

18 Greek Literature Under Nero 302
Dirk Uwe Hansen

19 Buildings of an Emperor – How Nero Transformed Rome 314
Heinz-J¨urgen Beste and Henner von Hesberg

20 Portraits of an Emperor – Nero, the Sun, and Roman Otium 332
Marianne Bergmann

21 Neronian Wall-Painting. A Matter of Perspective 363
Katharina Lorenz

PART IV Reception

22 Nero in Jewish and Christian Tradition from the First Century to the Reformation 385
Harry O. Maier

23 Haec Monstra Edidit. Translating Lucan in the Early Seventeenth Century 405
Yanick Maes

24 Haunted by Horror: The Ghost of Seneca in Renaissance Drama 425
Susanna Braund

25 ‘‘Fantasies so Varied and Bizarre’’: The Domus Aurea, the Renaissance, and the ‘‘Grotesque’’ 444
Michael Squire


26 Nachwort: Nero from Zero to Hero 467
Miriam Griffin

Index 481


“Buckley and Dinter must be commended for producing a Companion as stimulating as it is wide-ranging.”  (Language & Literature, 1 October 2014)

“All the essays are clear, detailed and relevant… Buckley and Dinter must be commended for producing a Companion as stimulating as it is wide-ranging.”  (Journal of Roman Studies, 17 October 2014)

"This book is a must-have for anyone working on the Neronian Age, but it will also be a valuable asset to those interested in Roman culture more broadly." (Classical Journal, 9 May 2014)

“Many of its essays should become the standard discussions on the topic, whereas others gesture importantly toward future work to be done in the field. Moreover, the clarity of the chapters makes them suitable to be used pedagogically in an advanced undergraduate or graduate course." (Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 29 February 2014)

“It is very hard to do justice to this excellent addition to the series of Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World. The editors have done a splendid job in selecting and organising the material, together with some helpful cross-referencing within the contributions.”  (Journal of Classics Teaching, 1 June 2013)


“This is a terrific, up-to-date and hugely stimulating set of essays on Nero, that encompasses not only the historical and cultural contexts of his reign (including literature, art and architecture) but also the range of his receptions in later periods.  Not only are the papers lively and theoretically informed, but they are by exactly the people one would want to read on these issues in the current age.”
Jas' Elsner,Corpus Christi College, Oxford

“Boasting an excellent cast of contributors, this volume offers meticulous coverage of all aspects of the artistic and literary culture of the Neronian age, and many of the essays amount to state-of-the-art commentary on their given topics. It constitutes is an essential guide to the Neronian times.”
Gareth Williams, Columbia University

“A must-have for all serious Nerophiles, an authoritative yet engaging guide to the emperor’s life and times, and, possibly an even nicer treat, to his fascinating afterlife.
Anthony Barrett, University of Heidelberg

“The volume constitutes a compelling overview of Nero and his outsize impact on Roman culture and society that will interest both classical scholars and enthusiasts of the cinematic Nero alike.”
Alison Keith, University of Toronto