190. The Apocolocyntosis (Pumpkinification of the Divine Claudius) possibly by Seneca

Plot: Emperor Claudius dies and applies for deification at the gates of Olympus. The Gods debate his suitability, and decide to send him to Hades instead.

My version was translated and appended as a postscript by Robert Graves to his second Claudian historical novel Claudius the God.  (The wonderful art depicted above is Claudius the Pumpkin sculpted by mindslave24_7, see https://www.deviantart.com/mindslave24-7/art/I-Claudius-330154595)

My thoughts :   Very quick read (only ten pages) – I read it before breakfast this morning!

Since Seneca was sent into exile by Claudius, it is no surprise that he may have been a little miffed and took the opportunity to have a dig after the Emperor died. He also satirized the whole idea of deifying emperors, although was sure to praise and wish Nero a long life as well.

Once Claudius is escorted to Hell, he meets the ranks of family members, friends and senators he had pronounced death sentences on; and is condemned to eternal dice rolling from a bottomless cup, losing the dice before a single throw can be made, until Caligula claims him as his ex-slave and sets him to be a scribe.

Personal rating: Amusing but inconsequential. 4/10

Next :  Some even more spurious Senecan plays : Hercules on Oeta, and Octavia


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