"Zweimal Emathien": Das Proöm zu Lucans Bellum Civile und die Georgica Vergils

Nauta, R., 2018, Antike Erzähl- und Deutungsmuster: Zwischen Exemplarität und Transformation. Finkmann, S., Behrendt, A. & Walter, A. (eds.). Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, p. 121-144 25 p. (Beiträge zur Altertumskunde; vol. 374).

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  • „Zweimal Emathien“: Das Proöm zu Lucans Bellum Ciuile und die Georgica Vergils

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In this contribution, I begin by studying the systematic allusions in the proem of Lucan’s Bellum Ciuile (1.1–66) to Virgil’s Georgics, not only to the beginning of the first book, where Augustus’ apotheosis is predicted just as Nero’s is in Lucan, but more specifically to the end of that book, with its depiction of civil war and its resumption of the theme of apotheosis, now presented as a reward for the ruler who manages to end civil war. Other Augustan poems alluded to by Lucan, Ovid’s Fasti and Manilius’ Astronomica, take over from the Georgics the combination of these themes at the beginnings and endings of their first books, and so does Lucan. The most fascinating aspect of his appropriation of Georgics 1 is perhaps the way that he anticipates recent scholarship in interpreting Virgil’s charioteer losing control over his horses as Phaethon, an emblem for the irresponsible ruler, and incorporates this in his praise of Nero. I discuss, but reject modern views that see the Phaethon-motif in Lucan as subversive, but I do argue that Lucan replays the prooem in Book 7, in what may be considered a ‘proem in the middle’, with a pointedly different conclusion: apotheosis is still the consequence of civil war, but now no longer as a reward for the ruler, but as a punishment for the gods.
Original languageGerman
Title of host publicationAntike Erzähl- und Deutungsmuster
Subtitle of host publicationZwischen Exemplarität und Transformation
EditorsSimone Finkmann, Anja Behrendt, Anke Walter
Place of PublicationBerlin/Boston
PublisherDe Gruyter
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-11-061251-6, 978-3-11-061149-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-061011-6
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameBeiträge zur Altertumskunde


  • Lucan, Virgil's Georgics, Ovid's Fasti, Manilius, Nero, panegyric, subversive praise, civil war, Pharsalus, Philippi, Intertextuality, repetition, apotheosis of rulers, Phaethon, proem in the middle

ID: 75093914