Lucan is the wild maverick among Latin epic poets. Sneered at for over a century for failing to conform to humanist canons of taste and propriety, in recent years his work has been gaining in reputation. This 1992 book is founded on a genuine admiration for Lucan's unique, perverse, and spellbinding masterpiece. Above all, Dr Masters argues, the poem is obsessed with civil war, not only as the subject of the story it tells, but as a metaphor which determines the way that story is told. In these pages, he discusses in detail a number of selected episodes from the poem which illustrate this principle, and on this basis offers challenging perspective on most of the important issues in Lucanian studies such as Lucan's political stance, his attitude to Caesar, his iconoclastic relation to Virgil and the epic tradition and his distortion of history and geography. This book is a major re-evaluation, provocative and persuasive, of a central figure in the history of Latin epic.
Table of Contents
1. Caesar at the Rubicon
2. Massilian compilation
4. Appius and the Delphic oracle
5. The Thessalian excursus
7. The endlessness of the Civil War