Madness Triumphant

Madness Triumphant : A Reading of Lucan's Pharsalia

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Madness Triumphant: A Reading of Lucan's Pharsalia offers the most detailed and comprehensive analysis of Lucan's epic poem of the civil war between Caesar and Pompey to have appeared in English. In the manner of his previous books on Virgil and Ovid, Professor Fratantuono considers the Pharsalia as an epic investigation of the nature of fury and madness in Rome, this time during the increasing insanity of Nero's more

Product details

  • Hardback | 480 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 33.02mm | 816.46g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739173146
  • 9780739173145
  • 2,109,919

Review quote

Though immensely popular in late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance, Lucan's Pharsalia has languished in semi-obscurity for centuries. With the availability of Fratantuono's excellent commentary, this grand Silver Age epic, with its stories of witches, ghosts, a headless Pompey, wild animals feasting on fallen soldiers, and a Rome poised to lose its cherished libertas, stands a good chance of making a long overdue comeback. It is the third in a series of commentaries Fratantuono has written in the last five years, and it may well be his best, which is saying a lot, since his earlier commentaries on the Aeneid and Ovid's Metamorphoses get more use than most other books in my personal Latin library. Lucan's intent in the Pharsalia was clearly to fashion an epic that would elicit comparanda with the works of his predecessors, and Fratantuono is the perfect guide to help us understand these many points of comparison. As in his books on Vergil and Ovid, Fratantuono shows an amazingly comprehensive knowledge of his poem and comes up with insights that are born of many years of a productive engagement with it. Madness Triumphant is surely a victrix causa for both the young Neronian poet and his 21st century interpreter. -- Blaise Nagy, College of the Holy Cross Fratantuono gives a masterful reading of Lucan through close textual analysis. With great sensitivity to the poetics of tradition he leads the reader step by step through the minefields of Lucan's poetry, uncovering a whole (and dark) philosophy of Roman imperial government. To experienced and non-experienced readers of Lucan alike this book is an interpretive gift; an erudite but friendly companion on the perilous journey Lucan enjoins. -- Holly Haynes, The College of New Jersey Every turn of the page of Madness Triumphant fills the reader with anticipation and delight as Lee Fratantuono masterfully demystifies Lucan's enigmatic allusions to his poetic predecessors and illuminates the Pharsalia's haunting yet beautifully dark vision of Rome. -- Caroline Stark, Temple Universityshow more

About Lee Fratantuono

Lee Fratantuono is associate professor of Classics and William Francis Whitlock Professor of Latin at Ohio Wesleyan University, where he also serves as advisor to the Delta Upsilon chapter of the Delta Delta Delta sorority and the college equestrians. He is the author of (inter alia) Madness Unchained: A Reading of Virgil's Aeneid (Lexington Books, 2007), Madness Transformed: A Reading of Ovid's Metamorphoses (Lexington Books, 2011).show more

Table of contents

Introduction Chapter I: Wars Worse Than Civil Chapter II: And Now the Wraths of the Gods Chapter III: As the South Wind Drove the Fleet Chapter IV: But at the Very Edge of the Earth Chapter V: Thus Did Fortune Preserve Chapter VI: After the Leaders Pitched Camps Chapter VII: Slower Than the Eternal Law Chapter VIII: And Now, Beyond the Gorges of Hercules Chapter IX: But Not in Pharian Ash Chapter X: As Soon As Caesar Trampled Select Bibliographyshow more

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