The fifteenth annual classics institute of the Wyoming Humanities Council will run from June 15-20, 2014 and is entitled "The Emperor and the Philosopher: Nero, Seneca, and Their World." The institute will help participants gain knowledge of Roman history, culture, and society and will focus on the reign of Nero (A.D. 54-68) which has gone down in history as a time of lurid palace intrigues, a paranoid emperor who freely put his enemies to death, and heroic resistance to imperial power by a valiant few—particularly Stoics, who needed their stiff-upperlip philosophy to face the emperor’s deadly caprices, and Christians, who never forgot that Nero was the first of a long line of Roman persecutors of their faith. Yet despite dysfunctions at the top, it was also an age of power and prosperity throughout the empire (somebody was doing something right), with some strange and new literary developments, along with religious and philosophical ferment. Gracious (and some not-so-gracious) living flourished in Pompeii, wiped out by the famous eruption of Vesuvius after the death of Nero. This year’s institute will explore all these developments, and more, with an experienced and distinguished team of faculty. The institute will include four minicourses, (each participant will select two courses to attend) a daily seminar for group discussions, and a daily public lecture series.