Lucan's epic poem, Civil War, portrays the stark, dark horror of the years 49 through 48 BCE, the grim reality of Romans fighting Romans, of Julius Caesar vs. Pompey the Great. The introduction to this volume situates Lucan as a poet closely connected with the Stoics at Rome, working during the reign of the emperor Nero, in the genre inherited from Virgil.
The selections are intended for third- and fourth-year college curricula, and include Lucan's analysis of the causes of the civil war, depictions of his protagonists Caesar and Pompey at key moments-Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon, the assassination of Pompey as he arrives in Egypt seeking refuge, Cato's funeral oration for Pompey, Caesar's visit to the site of Troy-as well as highly atmospheric passages: Pompey's vision of his dead wife, Julia; and the necromancy performed by the witch Erichtho for Pompey's son.
Notes to the passages illuminate Lucan's attitude towards his material-his reluctance to tackle the topic of civil war, his complicated relationship with Virgil's Aeneid, and his passionate involvement in the events through the rhetorical device of apostrophe, when he seems to enter the poem as a character himself.
* Introduction that situates Lucan in his literary, historical, and ideological context
* 620 lines of Latin text from Lucan's Civil War, including: 1.1-45, 67-157, 183-227, 486-504; 3.8-35; 399-445 6.624-53; 7.617-37; 7.647-82, 728-46, 760-811; 8.542-636, 663-88; 9.190-217; 9.961-99
* Notes at the back
* Map of the eastern Mediterranean in Caesar's day
* Full Vocabulary