Lucan: Bellum civile (3837 words)


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Lucan’s Bellum civile (often quoted under the alternative title Pharsalia) on the civil war between Caesar and Pompey proved to be one of the most influential Latin epics, in spite or probably just because of its challenging style and provocative subject-matter. The biographical tradition that depicts its author as a young genius meeting a premature tragic fate, as the emperor Nero forced him to commit suicide at the age of twenty-six, helped to turn the poet and his epic legacy into legendary figures.

Modern scholarship has struggled to come to terms with several issues raised by the work, resulting in widely divergent opinions about its alleged political or philosophical message (for the older …

Citation: Ambühl, Annemarie. "Bellum civile". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 August 2014 [, accessed 29 November 2022.]

32160 Bellum civile 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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