Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Lucan Reader

A Lucan Reader: Selections from Civil War
by Susanna Braund

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. Latin passages selected for this edition 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 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.

Features of this edition:
  • Introduction that situates Lucan in his literary, historical, and ideological context
  • 620 lines of Latin text from Lucan’s Civil War: 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
  • Bibliography
  • Vocabulary
Susanna Morton Braund was appointed to a Canada Research Chair in Latin Poetry and its Reception at the University of British Columbia in 2007. Her BA and PhD are from the University of Cambridge; she has taught at the Universities of Exeter, Bristol, and London in the UK; and at Yale University and Stanford University in the USA.
Prof. Braund has published extensively on Roman satire and Latin epic poetry, including a monograph on the Satires of Juvenal (1988), a commentary on Juvenal Satires 1–5 (1996), and a translation of Juvenal and Persius for the Loeb Classical Library (2004). Her 1992 translation (Oxford World’s Classics series) of Lucan’s poem has sold more than 12,000 copies to date. Volumes she has edited or coedited include one on the passions in Roman literature and thought (1997) and another on anger in antiquity (1993). Her introductory book, Latin Literature, was
published by Routledge in 2002.

xxxiv + 134pp. (2008) Paperback, ISBN 978-0-86516-661-5

Click here to see A Lucan Reader at our website.

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