Lucan and Historical Bias

In: Brill's Companion to Lucan
Author: Shadi Bartsch

Abstract

Lucan’s anti-Caesarian bias in shows him as ardens et concitatus indeed (Quint. Inst. 10.1.10). We are less inclined now to imagine that the narrator’s impassioned voice represents that of the author himself, but nonetheless the narrator’s statements of favoritism or denunciation set the poem apart from its epic predecessors. What is at stake in the narrator’s self-representation as a man who cannot speak sine ira et studio? If as the Romans held, personal benefit or detriment is the cause of historical bias, Lucan may use such bias to demonstrate that the outcome of the civil war has been a personal devastation even to later generations.

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