In the 1560s a group of men associated with the universities, and especially the early English law schools, the Inns of Court, translated nine of Seneca's ten tragedies into English. Few studies address these texts and those that do concentrate on their contributions to the development of English drama. Why such works were important for those who composed them remains unclear. This essay examines the translations against the background of the social, political, and literary culture of the Inns in the 1560s. In this context, they look less like forms of dramatic invention than kinds of writing that facilitated the translators' Latin learning, personal interactions, and political thinking and involvement.