The Idea of Africa in Lucan

Paolo Asso

in African Athena

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199595006
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731464 | DOI:

Series: Classical Presences

The Idea of Africa in Lucan

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Africa in Lucan embraces not only the familiar geographical concept but also the complex historical and literary‐historical associations with the memories of the wars against Hannibal and Jugurtha. Far from being a mere repertoire of historical memory that recalls the glories of past conquest, along with the aggrandizing victories of such prominent players as Scipio Africanus and Marius, Africa in Lucan is praised also for her own qualities, for her wealth of crops and precious timber, and for her strong inhabitants, rough men able to endure tough weather and the most strenuous combat. In exposing Africa's complexity and embedded contradictions as a continent, a Roman province, and a hypostasis of Mother Earth, Lucan not only unveils the Roman ethnic biases, but on geographic and geo‐political bases also questions the concept itself of Roman identity through his poetics of civil war.

Keywords: Lucan; civil war; Africa; catalogues; cultural identity; Roman history

Chapter.  5791 words. 

Subjects: Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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