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  • 1 Institut für Altertumskunde der Universität Köln D-50923 Köln, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, 0221/470/2357
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The present article examines the concept of a malicious fatum as evolved by the narrator of Lucan's Bellum civile and especially the subjective attitudes adopted by the protagonists Caesar, Pompey and Cato towards this destructive force. Since Lucan's fatum is not benevolent but malicious and hence contrary to the Stoic doctrine, the ethical value of the protagonists is not measured by their readiness to follow fate (as Stoics would have done), but by the degree of their intellectual resistance to fate: Caesar follows fate unhesitatingly; Pompey sometimes seems to believe, mistakenly, in its benevolence, but in crucial and decisive situations he recognizes its malignity; Cato is the only one who, from the very beginning, internalizes the intrinsic moral corruption of fate. The last section in this article deals with a totally different concept of fate, which is recognizeable in some passages of the tenth book of Bellum civile.