Lucanus' Pharsalia

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Lucanus' Pharsalia

Postby Marcus Pomponius Lupus on Sun May 30, 2004 4:22 pm

Salvete,

A while ago I had to write an essay on book V of Lucanus' Pharsalia (as it turned out, mainly a comparison with Vergilius' Aeneis). It was a fairly exhaustive job, looking up articles in classical reviews from years ago, translating the entire book and so forth. The result is that Lucanus is now by far one of my favourite authors, even though I wasn't really a "fan" before.

So I wonder if there are others who have read him, and if so, what they think about him ?

It's interesting as well, because in secondary school I was more of the opinion that analysing a book ruined it, and here I am now, having worked for months on about 800 verses of Lucanus' Pharsalia, analysing it to the last comma and liking it even more ! :)
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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sun May 30, 2004 6:01 pm

Salve Lupe!

I haven't read the Pharsalia, but I just wanted to chime in on your comments with regards to analysing literature. In the hands of the right professors or scholars, analysing a work can really contribute to liking it or growing from indifference to appreciation. It happened to me that way very often, although I still think that a real work of genious should appeal to any audience. But that's my idea of literature, not general law, of course.

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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Mon May 31, 2004 12:34 pm

Salvete

I have read parts of the Pharsalia, in English, and enjoy it more than Virgil's Aeneis. I would agree with Draco, in the hands of a good professor... That applies in other fields, too, besides literature. My wife was an art major, and if we would go to a museum she would get upset when I would visit the modern art galleries. She didn't care for it, even though one of her friends was one of that New York crowd who hung with and painted alongside Pollock. It was only after she began to study abstract expressionism that she began to appreciate it, work in it, really began to understand what it was about. As a history major I can recall some excellent professors, some mediocre, and some down right piss poor professors. That can determine what areas of history a student will continue in. Even a piss poor prof though can inspire a student, if only to refute their assine opinions. I recall one such prof where I and a group of grad students took special delight in tearing her apart. That can happen with any author, too. You can learn by dissecting and analysing what you do not enjoy, and sometimes even learn more that way than with something you do enjoy.
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