Lucan’s Bellum Civile: A Specimen of a Roman “Literature of Trauma”

In: Brill's Companion to Lucan

Abstract

The present chapter relies on the concept of postmemory to interpret the BC as a specimen of trauma literature. The generational distance of the civil war fromLucan and his immediate audience activate a special kind ofmemory of the events narrated. Lucan invites his audience to recreate and reinvent the traumatic spectacle of past civil discord. Seen as postmemory, Lucan’s retelling of the civil war becomes an integral part of the myth of Rome.

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