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.
In his preface (M. Annaeus Lucanus: De bello civili. Bibliotheca Teubneriana. Stuttgart, 1988; 1997), D. R. Shackleton Bailey promises to provide the readers with an edition of Lucan which is based on Housman's text and contains certain improvements. In this short paper I would like to confine myself to the discussion of only two problematic passages, which might illustrate that instead of the rationalization we should attempt to find out about the manuscript tradition by examining it rather than labelling it suspicious right away.
Looking at two descriptions of landscape in Lucan’s Bellum Civile (the sacred grove near Massilia and the Libyan desert), we will try to show that the poet uses bucolic elements to depict some places. However, he does not use these pastoral elements to describe a locus amoenus but a locus horridus. Lucan’s landscape can be defined as an inversion and a subversion of the bucolic one.
The paper focuses on the bee-simile (9. 283–293) and its application to Cato. Via a detailed analysis of the motif, the passage, and the context as well as the inter- and intratextual aspects of Lucan’s Bildsprache (especially with respect to Vergil’s Georgics) the author discusses how the Lucanean Cato can be understood and how he may be assessed with regard to an interpretation of the narrative as a whole. The elaborate simile not only gives a frightening insight into the figure’s character, but also, by evoking the similes previously used for Pompey, it inevitably draws the characters into relation with each other. The famous, but perhaps simplistic idea that Cato, the perfect stoic and republican, is the real ‘hero’of the poem, is challenged.
The Cornelia-figure of Lucan is a relative of the female figures of Virgil and Ovid according to linguistic and motivic references, however, on a motivic level, it should be grateful to the tragedies of Propertius and Seneca. In the Cornelia-narrative of Lucan we can assume, on the one hand a conscious linguistic and motivic reference to Ariadne of Catull with a reasonable certainty, and on the other hand to many other longer or shorter Ariadne-narratives of Ovid. The study reviews the possible references to the Ariadne-story in the epic of Lucan. In Rome, where the Naxos-episode, the most frequently mentioned part of the Ariande-story was set, the image of
was linked to the figure of the princess of Crete: which means that the connection of the ‘Ariadne in Naxos’-story with Cornelia can be a mythological metaphor of the image of becoming god. So, as a virtuous woman, Cornelia does deserve becoming a god in connection with her husband, just like Pompey as a man.
Drawing on established connections between Roman identity and an agricultural landscape, this paper examines how the imagery of disrupted pastoral and agrarian landscapes and characters represent the effects of civil war on the Roman people in Vergil’s Aeneid and Lucan’s Bellum Civile. While disturbance and turmoil are already a part of the natural landscape in Vergil’s Eclogues and Georgics, in epic, a genre that concerns itself with how empire and imperial power mediate Roman identity, the displacement of shepherds and agriculture partially redefines Roman identity in militaristic terms. Vergil’s pastoral characters, written into military roles as civic landscapes displace agrarian ones in the Aeneid, survive but fail to find a place in Lucan’s ruined and desolate Pharsalian landscape in the Bellum Civile. There, the broken natural landscape, unfit for agriculture, pastoralism, or trade, mirrors the redefinition of what is “Roman” and the occlusion of Rome’s link to an idealized bucolic past.
Lucanus Cornelia-alakja a nyelvi és motivikus utalások szerint Vergilius és Ovidius mitikus nőalakjainak rokona, de motivikus szinten sokat köszönhet Propertiusnak és Seneca tragédiáinak is. Lucanus Cornelia-narratívájában meglehetős bizonyossággal tételezhető tudatos nyelvi és motivikus utalás egyrészt Catullus Ariadnéjára, másrészt Ovidius több, hosszabb-rövidebb Ariadne-narratívájára. A tanulmány áttekinti az Ariadne-történetre való lehetséges utalásokat Lucanus eposzában. Rómában, ahol az Ariadne-történet legtöbbet emlegetett része a naxosi epizód volt, a krétai királylány alakjához kapcsolódott a katastérismos képzete: az ’Ariadne Naxoson’-történet Corneliával való összekapcsolása ezért mitológiai metaforája lehet a megistenülés képzetének. Cornelia tehát erényes asszonyként éppúgy kiérdemeli a megistenülést a férjével kapcsolatban, mint Pompeius a maga férfiúi állapotában.