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Marcus Annaeus Lucanus (November 3, 39 AD – April 30, 65 AD), better known in English as Lucan
Lucan
(/ˈluːkən/), was a Roman poet, born in Corduba (modern-day Córdoba), in Hispania Baetica. Despite his short life, he is regarded as one of the outstanding figures of the Imperial Latin
Latin
period. His youth and speed of composition set him apart from other poets.

Contents

1 Life 2 Works 3 Selected modern studies 4 Notes 5 References 6 External links

Life[edit] Three brief ancient accounts allow for the reconstruction of a modest biography – the earliest attributed to Suetonius, another to an otherwise unknown Vacca, and the third anonymous and undated – along with references in Martial, Cassius Dio, Tacitus's Annals, and one of Statius's Silvae. Lucan
Lucan
was the son of Marcus Annaeus Mela and grandson of Seneca the Elder; he grew up under the tutelage of his uncle Seneca the Younger. Born into a wealthy family, he studied rhetoric at Athens and was probably provided with a philosophical and Stoic education by his uncle.[1]

Engraved title page of a French edition of Lucan's Pharsalia, 1657

His wife was Polla Argentaria, who is said to have assisted him with his Pharsalia.[2] He found success under Nero, became one of the emperor's close friends and was rewarded with a quaestorship in advance of the legal age. In 60 AD, he won a prize for extemporizing Orpheus and Laudes Neronis at the quinquennial Neronia, and was again rewarded when the emperor appointed him to the augurate. During this time he circulated the first three books of his epic poem, Pharsalia
Pharsalia
(labelled De Bello civili in the manuscripts), which told the story of the civil war between Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
and Pompey. At some point, a feud began between Nero
Nero
and Lucan. Two very different accounts of the events have survived that both trivialize the feud. According to Tacitus, Nero
Nero
became jealous of Lucan
Lucan
and forbade him to publish his poems.[3] According to Suetonius, Nero
Nero
lost interest in Lucan
Lucan
and Lucan
Lucan
responded by writing insulting poems about Nero
Nero
that Nero
Nero
continued to ignore.[4] Other works, though, point to a more serious basis to the feud. Works by the grammarian Vacca and the poet Statius
Statius
may support the claim that Lucan
Lucan
wrote insulting poems about Nero. Vacca mentions that one of Lucan's works was entitled De Incendio Urbis (On the Burning of the City).[5] Statius's ode to Lucan
Lucan
mentions that Lucan
Lucan
described how the "unspeakable flames of the criminal tyrant roamed the heights of Remus."[6] Additionally, the later books of Pharsalia
Pharsalia
are anti-Imperial and pro-Republic. This criticism of Nero
Nero
and office of the Emperor may have been the true cause of the ban. Lucan
Lucan
later joined the 65 AD conspiracy of Gaius Calpurnius Piso against Nero. His treason discovered, he was obliged, at the age of 25, to commit suicide by opening a vein, but not before incriminating his mother, among others, in the hopes of a pardon. According to Tacitus, as Lucan
Lucan
bled to death, "(he) recalled some poetry he had composed in which he had told the story of a wounded soldier dying a similar kind of death and he recited the very lines. These were his last words."[7] His father was involved in the proscription but his mother escaped. Statius's poem about Lucan
Lucan
was addressed to his widow, Polla Argentaria, upon the occasion of his birthday during the reign of Domitian
Domitian
(Silvae, ii.7, the Genethliacon Lucani).

Works[edit]

Pharsalia, 1740

According to Vacca and Statius, Lucan's works included: Surviving work:

Pharsalia
Pharsalia
or De Bello Civili (On the Civil War), on the wars between Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
and Pompey

Often attributed to him (but to others as well):

Laus Pisonis (Praise of Piso), a panegyric of a member of the Piso family

Lost works:

Catachthonion Iliacon from the Trojan cycle Epigrammata Adlocutio
Adlocutio
ad Pollam Silvae Saturnalia Medea Salticae Fabulae Laudes Neronis, a praise of Nero Orpheus Prosa oratio in Octavium Sagittam Epistulae ex Campania De Incendio Urbis, on the Roman fire of 64, perhaps accusing Nero
Nero
of arson

Library resources about Lucan

Online books Resources in your library Resources in other libraries

By Lucan

Online books Resources in your library Resources in other libraries

Selected modern studies[edit]

Ahl, Frederick M. Lucan: An Introduction. Cornell Studies in Classical Philology 39. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Univ. Pr., 1976. Bartsch, Shadi. Ideology in Cold Blood: A Reading of Lucan's Civil War. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Pr., 1997. Braund, Susanna M. (2008) Lucan: Civil War. Oxford World’s Classics. Oxford University Press. Braund, Susanna M. (2009) A Lucan
Lucan
Reader: Selections from Civil War. BC Latin
Latin
Readers. Bolchazy-Carducci. Dewar, Michael. "Laying It On with a Trowel: The Proem to Lucan
Lucan
and Related Texts." Classical Quarterly 44 (1994), 199–211. Fantham, Elaine. "Caesar and the Mutiny: Lucan's Reshaping of the Historical Tradition in De Bello Civili 5.237–373." Classical Philology 80 (1985), 119–31. Fantham, Elaine (1992) De bello civili. Book II. Cambridge Greek and Latin
Latin
Classics. Cambridge University Press. ———. "Lucan's Medusa Excursus: Its Design and Purpose." Materiali e discussioni 29 (1992), 95–119. Fratantuono, Lee. "Madness Triumphant: A Reading of Lucan's Pharsalia." Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2012. Henderson, John G. W. "Lucan: The Word at War." Ramus 16 (1987), 122–64. Johnson, Walter R. Momentary Monsters: Lucan
Lucan
and His Heroes. Cornell Studies in Classical Philology 47. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Univ. Pr., 1987. Lapidge, M. "Lucan's Imagery of Cosmic Dissolution." Hermes 107 (1979), 344–70. Leigh, Matthew. Lucan: Spectacle and Engagement. New York: Oxford Univ. Pr., 1997. Marti, Berthe. "The Meaning of the Pharsalia." American Journal of Philology 66 (1945), 352–76. Martindale, Charles A. "The Politician Lucan." Greece and Rome
Rome
31 (1984), 64–79. Masters, Jamie. Poetry and Civil War in Lucan's 'Bellum Civile'. Cambridge Classical Studies. New York: Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1992. ———. "Deceiving the Reader: The Political Mission of Lucan's Bellum Civile." Reflections of Nero: Culture, History, and Representation, ed. Jás Elsner and Jamie Masters. Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Pr., 1994. 151–77. Matthews, Monica (2008) Caesar and the Storm: A Commentary on Lucan, De Bello Civili, Book 5, lines 476-721. Peter Lang. Morford, M. P. O. The Poet
Poet
Lucan. New York: Oxford Univ. Pr., 1967. O'Gorman, Ellen. "Shifting Ground: Lucan, Tacitus, and the Landscape of Civil War." Hermathena 159 (1995), 117–31. Rossi, Andreola. "Remapping the Past: Caesar's Tale of Troy ( Lucan
Lucan
BC 9.964–999)." Phoenix 55 (2001), 313–26. Sklenar, Robert John. The Taste for Nothingness: A Study of "Virtus" and Related Themes in Lucan's Bellum Civile. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Mich. Pr., 2003. Thomas, Richard F. "The Stoic Landscape of Lucan
Lucan
9." Lands and Peoples in Roman Poetry: The Ethnographic Tradition. New York: Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1982. 108–23. Wick, Claudia (2004) Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, Bellum Civile, liber IX. I: Einleitung, Text und Übersetzung; II: Kommentar. K.G. Saur. Wilson Joyce, Jane (1994) Lucan: Pharsalia. Cornell University Press.

Notes[edit]

^ Suetonius, "Life of Lucan" ^ Hays, Mary (1807). "Polla Argentaria". Female Biography, vol 3. Philadelphia: Printed for Byrch and Small. p. 95. Retrieved 14 October 2017.  ^ Tacitus, Annals XV.49 ^ Suetonius, "Life of Lucan" ^ Vacca, Life of Lucan ^ Statius, Silvae
Silvae
II.vii ^ Tacitus, Annals XV.70.1. Scholars have vainly tried to locate Lucan's last words in his work but no passage in Lucan's extant poem exactly matches Tacitus's description at "Annals" 15.70.1. See, e.g., P. Asso, "A Commentary on Lucan
Lucan
'De Bello Civili IV.'" Berlin: De Gruyter, 2010, p. 9n38.

References[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Lucan". Encyclopædia Britannica. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 91–92. 

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Marcus Annaeus Lucanus

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lucan.

Works by Lucan
Lucan
at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Lucan
Lucan
at Internet Archive Marcus Annaeus Lucanus: text, concordances and frequency list Text of Lucan
Lucan
at the Latin
Latin
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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 100902938 LCCN: n79089234 ISNI: 0000 0001 2145 5029 GND: 118574701 SELIBR: 207007 SUDOC: 026997029 BNF: cb11913555f (data) NLA: 35315091 NDL: 001125252 NKC: jn19990005207 BNE: XX878

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