Article

Lucan

Susanna Braund

in Classics

ISBN: 9780195389661
Published online December 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0033
Lucan

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Lucan was one of the major successors of Virgil in the genre of Latin epic poetry. In turn, he exercised a strong influence on later European epic and was seen as inspirational to anti-monarchists. Although he was a prolific poet, his epic on the civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey, covering the years 49–48 bce, is his only surviving work. The poem, known as Bellum ciuile (often spelled civile) or the Pharsalia, is a historical epic in the tradition of the early Republican epicists Naevius and Ennius. Lucan’s brief life, culminating in forced suicide, his relationship with the emperor Nero, the incompleteness of his poem (it breaks off at 10.546), and the nature of his republican sympathies still stimulate debate. Lucan quickly garnered admiration (Statius; Martial 1.61, 7.21–23, 10.64; Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria 10.1.90). The Bellum ciuile was a school text throughout the medieval period and was early into print (1469).

Article.  4924 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Art and Architecture ; Classical History ; Classical Literature ; Classical Philosophy

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