Naevius did the whole epic poet thing, a foreunner to livy. Romans like to tell their entire
history from mythology to their time, how the past relates to the present.
Set of poets from the imperial age, virgils aeneid. Ovid, metamorphoses, poem about
change, historical change. Reconceptualises the epic. These two are the most influential to
lucan. Lucan is in the time of nero, does the history of the death of rome.
Flavian poets have less political projects, much more greek myth. Silius Italicus writes
about the punic wars centuries later.
Death of lucan comes before the death of nero, probably because of his actions as a poet.
Nero was probably pissed about lucan. Lucan is forced to kill himself.
When we talk about the civil wars, lucan is concerned with moral and psychological
questions, and even cosmic questions. Next time, what does Caesar focus on?
Focuses on the luxurious and decedent Rome. All of lucan, he has these speeches that are
supposed to be key notes in the texts.
Of war I sing . . .
Romans sing of war, this song of war is different, its that of civil war. Its disgusting not
glorious war. Whatever happens in the end will be labelled law, history written by the
winners. Lucan sees its as crime. Roman identity is we have swords in hand as we should
but now we turn it against us.
What madness is this my countrymen? He addresses his people, specifically citizens.
Crassus, we had a foreign war against him why did we take arms against ourselves?
We then get in to these geographical catalogues, NSEW way of saying the whole world.
Refers to Jove from mythology and how he got in to power by civil war, also killed kin.
Makes reference to Caesar and nero. Lucan says that what was done to secure this power
and present was for you Caesar, referring to nero, then continues to talk a lot more smack
about nero. This is weird stuff you see during imperial age poems, rarely directly attack.
“hey I wonder how it will be when you re dead”. Its illegal to say stuff like this, anything
that implies knowledge of the emperors life.
In my eyes you are already a god ( you are dead in my eyes) I didn’t need the poets to
inspire my poem, neros terribleness is all I need as inspiration.