‘aduenisse diem qui fatum rebus in aeuum conderet humanis, et quaeri, Roma quid esset,
illo Marte, palam est.’
‘It is clear, the day which will decide the matters of human life forever has come,
the battle shall decide what Rome shall be.’
-Lucan, Civil War, 7. 131-133.
How did the young poet Lucan (39-65 AD), writing his epic poem, the Civil War, under the erratic Emperor Nero, manage to explore and engage with the notion of revolution, a term which would wait more than a thousand years to be coined in its current sense? Continue reading