Archive for July 10th, 2006

Bk. I of Lucan’s Pharsalia concludes with all sorts of foreboding and bad omens. Good stuff.

Part 2, Book I


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The Pharsalia (also known as The Civil War) tells the story, in epic poetry, of the civil war in Rome between Julius Caesar and Pompey. Lucan is against civil war and insurrection, which was why it was particularly unfortunate that he became friends with the Emperor Nero before all those nasty flaws in his character became apparent. The poem was never finished because Lucan got involved in a conspiracy to overthrow Nero, and Nero found out. OTOH, I suppose that an ending which fuses poetry and poet is hard to beat.

Anyway, during large chunks of the last two thousand years, Lucan was generally regarded as second only to Virgil for Latin epic poetry. That few read his poem now is a tragic irony, as I find Lucan a tad more topical to the past century than Virgil.

Part 1 of Book I: Caesar Crosses the Rubicon



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