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Lucan's great poem, Pharsalia, recounts events surrounding the decisive battle fought near Pharsalus in 48 B.C. during the civil war between the forces of Pompey and Julius Caesar. Though the subject of this unfinished masterpiece is historical, many of its features are characteristic of epic poetry: Rousing battle scenes; tales of witches, monsters, and miracle; detailed catalogues; intricate similes; and speeches with a high degree of rhetorical elegance. However, Lucan's deft mix of humor and horror, of political satire, literary parody, history, and epic is entirely his own.

Jane Wilson Joyce's superb translation conveys the drama and poetry of the original. Her use of natural English rhythms in a loose six-beat line comes close to matching the original Latin hexameters, wile her language preserves Lucan's sequence of images. An enlightening introduction, notes, and a full glossary augment the translation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801429071
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 12/16/1993
Series: Masters of Latin Literature
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.01(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jane Wilson Joyce is Luellen Professor of Literature (Classics) at Centre College.

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