De Bello Civili
In this edition Professor Fantham offers the first full-scale commentary on the neglected second book of Lucan's epic poem on the war between Caesar and Pompey: De bello civili. Book II presents all three leading figures - Cato, Caesar and Pompey - in speech and action. It expresses the moral and political dilemma of civil war and portrays Pompey's loss of authority during his withdrawal from Italy in language designed to evoke and cancel Virgil's heroic presentation of the foundation myth of Aeneas. In her introduction, Professor Fantham gives a general account of Lucan's life and work and continues with a discussion of his narrative and interpretation of Caesar's military 'invasion' of Italy covering Books I and II, a survey of language, style and metre, and a brief history of the text. The commentary, besides supplying all necessary grammatical explanation and some assistance with translation, aims to provide the political, historical and geographical background to Lucan's epic narrative.
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action Aeneas allusion associated battle bello Brundisium Brutus Caesar Cato Cato's Cicero civil civil war clause combines command common comparison consul continued contrast Corfinium death defeat described divine Domitius echoes effect enemy epic epithet flight followed force Fortuna Georg give gods Greek historical human Italy Latin leaders liberty Livy Lucan manus March Marius marks metrical military moral narrative nature object occurs offers opening original Ovid parallel passage perhaps phrase poet political Pompey Pompey's present probably protests quam quod recalls reference reports represents rhetorical river Roman Rome scene Seneca sense sentence signa simile speech Stoic stress suggests Sulla tradition troops undas verb victory Virgil