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Lucan’s Civil War - Waggish

Lucan’s Civil War: Last Thoughts

The last two and a half books of Civil War, while seemingly adrift and lacking the cumulative direction of the first seven, don’t make me think any less of the epic as a whole. Lucan’s […]

Apr, 07

Lucan’s Civil War: Caesar’s Fall and the Ending

The Pharsalia … has no privileged center except for the energetic, bitter, and witty skepticism that devotes itself to demolishing the structures it erects as fast as it erects them; Lucan’s heroes lend their zestful […]

Apr, 01

Lucan’s Civil War: Cato Hates Snakes

With Pompey dead, Book IX of Civil War, the action moves to Egypt, where Caesar will ally with Cleopatra. But most of Book IX is taken up by Cato and his army. Cato was a […]

Mar, 29

Lucan’s Civil War: Pompey’s Death and Some Graverobbing

Like Caesar himself, who suddenly turns vulnerable and human in the wake of his victory, Civil War deflates after the climactic battle of Pharsalia. The waning of conflict results in the waning of tension, even […]

Mar, 27

Lucan’s Civil War: Pharsalia’s Winner and Loser

Caesar became a leviathan, a monster, a deity during the battle of Pharsalia. But Caesar’s apotheosis is momentary. Lucan takes the time to flash forward to his future death, in order to remind us of […]

Mar, 26

Lucan’s Civil War: Lucan’s Latin

J.C. Bramble has a 30-page section on Lucan in The Cambridge History of Classical Literature (edited by E.J. Kenney). Bramble makes some great remarks on Lucan’s Latin, and since I haven’t been able to comment […]

Mar, 25

Lucan’s Civil War: The Battle of Pharsalia and Caesar’s Chthonic Apotheosis

In Book VII Lucan reaches Pharsalia, the decisive battle between Caesar and Pompey’s forces, and the indisputable climax of Civil War. (Indeed,┬áthe poem is often called Pharsalia.) Though it is clear that the fortune-favored Caesar […]

Mar, 23

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