Marcus Annaeus Lucanus

(39 - 65 / Italy)

Biography of Marcus Annaeus Lucanus

In the year of 39 A.D. Marcus Annaeus Lucanus was born into a wealthy family. They lived in Roman Spain, but before Lucan's first birthday, his parents decided to move to the Capital. Whilst, in Rome, Lucan's parents were able to afford a good education for their son.

Later, he moved to Athens to complete his education. He was called back to his home land by Nero, the young Emperor. The terms of their relationship is unknown. It is possible that they both had common interests, and because of these interests, they gained trust and respect for each other.

During this time, he wrote some fascinating works such as A Tale of Troy, Medea, Journey to the Underworld . In the year before his death (64 A.D.), his loyalty no-longer favoured the Emperor. The reason remains unknown. Joining in a conspiracy to overthrow the young Emperor, Lucan became a member of the Calpurnius Piso. The plot failed, and Lucan was forced to commit suicide. In April 65 A.D., he was 26 years old

Most believe Lucan was writing Pharsalia aka The Civil War around the time of his death. Thus the poem was never finished. It is also thought that the title was not of Lucan's own choosing.

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PoemHunter.com Updates

Pharsalia - Book 1

The Crossing of the Rubicon

Wars worse than civil on Emathian plains,
And crime let loose we sing; how Rome's high race
Plunged in her vitals her victorious sword;
Armies akin embattled, with the force
Of all the shaken earth bent on the fray;
And burst asunder, to the common guilt,
A kingdom's compact; eagle with eagle met,

[Hata Bildir]