The Dead and their Ghosts in the Bellum Civile: Lucan’S Visions of History

In: Brill's Companion to Lucan


This chapter discusses two of the key programmatic functions performed by ghosts in the Bellum Civile: (I) ghosts’ roles in the development of the relationship between the Bellum Civile and the earlier epic tradition represented principally (though not exclusively) by the Aeneid; and (II) ghosts’ contribution to the epic’s pessimistic vision of Roman history and of the imperial regime. I consider both the appearances of ghosts as actors in the narrative represented through direct mimesis as well as their evocation through the rhetorical figure of eidôlopoeia.


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