'Lucanus mirabatur adeo scripta Flacci': Lucan and Persius

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Biggs explores several points of contact between Lucan’s Bellum Civile and the contemporary Satires of Persius. Since the ancient biographical tradition obscures a clear chronology for the composition and circulation of these works, any approach to interpretation requires the adoption of multidirectional reading strategies. So too, because clear instances of literary reference between these poets are few and far between, any reading needs to track interaction on multiple dimensions. Presented as a case study, this chapter focuses on the third Satire and several scenes in Lucan’s epic in order to explore the likelihood of pointed allusion and—more importantly—to consider other types of textual interaction. Beyond methodological considerations, the readings argue that a rare two-word line ending defines Satire 3’s slacker student through Lucan’s Stoic imagery of cosmic dissolution, while the student’s hangover and the specific wine he drinks echo the satirical Alexandrian banquet of Bellum Civile 10. The latter scene, however, can just as reasonably be read to draw upon Persius’ moralizing diatribe in its critical characterization of Caesar.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLucan's imperial world
Subtitle of host publicationthe Bellum Civile in its contemporary contexts
EditorsMark Thorne, Laura Zientek
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic) 9781350097445
ISBN (Print)9781350097414
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2020


  • Biographical criticism
  • Cornutus
  • Satire
  • Allusion
  • Intertextuality
  • Persius
  • Lucan
  • Interdiscursivity
  • Ekpyrosis
  • Stoic physics


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