Tacitus the Epic Successor: Virgil, Lucan, and the Narrative of Civil War in the Histories

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BRILL, Jul 25, 2012 - History - 215 pages
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Allusions to the epic poets Virgil and Lucan in the writing of the Roman historian Tacitus (c. 55 c. 120 C.E.) have long been noted. This monograph argues that Tacitus fashions himself as a rivaling literary successor to these poets; and that the emulative allusions to Virgil s "Aeneid" and Lucan s "Bellum Civile" in Books 1 3 of his inaugural historiographical work, the "Histories," complement and build upon each other, and contribute significantly to the picture of repetitive, escalating civil war in the work. The argument is founded on the close reading of a series of related passages in the "Histories," and it also broadens to consider certain narrative techniques and strategies that Tacitus shares with writers of epic.

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Introduction Tacitus the Epic Successor
Chapter One History as Epic
Chapter Two The Deaths of Galba and the Desecration of Rome
Chapter Three The Battles of Cremona
Chapter Four Othos Exemplary Response
Epilogue Savage Even in Its Peace
General Index
Index of Passages Discussed

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About the author (2012)

Timothy A. Joseph, Ph.D. (2007) in Classical Philology, Harvard University, is an Assistant Professor of Classics at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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