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Title: The Middle of Lucan
Contributor(s): Tesoriero, Charles Anthony  (author)
Publication Date: 2004
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Abstract: The importance of the middle of a poem, particularly an epic poem, is well recognized. The centre makes a great impact upon the poem as a whole, linking the centre of the narrative with the start and end. The centre of Virgil’s ‘Aeneid’, Book 7, has become crucial for thinking about middles. Its features, particularly the central proem, are what can be expected at this point in such a poem. The middle of Lucan’s epic, taken here to be Books 6 and 7, shares many of these features. What it lacks is the poem in the middle, the author’s statement of his position within the poetic tradition and a clear division between two halves of the epic. Yet there are features with suggest that Book 7 begins a second half of this poem. Most important is the sense that at the middle of the ‘De bello civili’ comes great change. Pompey is defeated, Caesar’s conquest of the Roman world is assured, and the poem itself moves from a narration of the clash between Rome’s two greatest commanders to the conflict between Casesar and Rome itself. Moreover, there are close links between the middle of Lucan’s epic and the centre of the ‘Aeneid’. These correspondences show up ‘flaws’ and ‘problems’ in Virgil’s work. They stake out Lucan’s separation from his predecessor, undermining and overturning the message of the ‘Aeneid’.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Middles in Latin Poetry, p. 183-215
Publisher: Levante Editori
Place of Publication: Bari
ISBN: 8879493655
Field of Research (FOR): 200510 Latin and Classical Greek Literature
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Le ran. Studi
Series Number : 38
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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