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Lucius Annaeus Lucanus (Lucan)

Lucius Annaeus Lucanus (Lucan)


3 Nov. 39-65 c.e.

Statesman, poet

Rising Star. Born on 3 November 39 C.E. in Cordoba as the son of Marcus Antonius Mela, Lucan was Seneca’s nephew. Like most members of the upper class, he received an excellent education in Rome, where his talent attracted the attention of the emperor Nero, who befriended him. As a result he became Quaestor before the required age and then Augur. In 60 C.E. he took part in the Neronian games. Soon after this time the first three books of his Civil War were circulated, which strained Lucan’s relations with the jealous emperor, who forbade him to write poetry. Lucan joined the Pisonian conspiracy, which was discovered before it could come to fruition. He was forced to commit suicide on 30 April 65 C.E.


Frederick Ahl, Lucan: An Introduction (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1976).

R. T. Bruèere, “The Scope of Lucan’s Historical Epic,” Classical Philology, 45 (1950): 217-235.

M. P. O. Morford, The Poet Lucan (Oxford: Blackwell, 1967).

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