Lucan and the Pharsalia in Eighteenth-century France
University of London, 2010 - 408 sivua
This is a study into literary, political and other responses to the Latin poet Lucan and his narrative of the Roman civil wars, the Pharsalia, in eighteenth-century French culture, but especially between 1760 and 1799. -- The Preface introduces Lucan's text in the period and explains the study's overall aims and principles. It also introduces a number of important themes for the thesis. The Preface is followed by the Introduction which sets out a framework for understanding the research presented, namely the importance of neoclassicism in the period. It investigates Lucan's position in the college education system and outlines the variety of sources for obtaining information about Lucan in eighteenth-century France. -- Part I examines the literary concerns and responses to Lucan during the period. It addresses the nature and consequences of theoretical disputes over the generic status of his text: was the Pharsalia an epic or a history? This section also considers critical comments relating to the style of Lucan's epic, expressed through the concepts of gout and genie. -- Part II, by contrast, offers a look at political concerns and responses to Lucan as expressed by Frederick Ahl's statement that, 'Lucan's epic is both a political poem as well as a political act.' This section considers critical concerns regarding Lucan's treatment of Caesar in the Pharsalia as well as his problematic dedication to Nero. It concludes by addressing the reception of Lucan and his epic in the culture of revolutionary France.
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