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Causation In Post-Augustan Epic

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter the author wishes to concentrate on a different aspect of causation in epic poetry after Augustus, and considers the topic in the light of historiography. Concern with the origins of events is a major feature of historiographical texts. The complexity of the relationship between poetic and historiographical causation is reflected in the Augustan period by Virgil's recasting of the Iliad's enquiry as to the reason for divine anger in language that evokes historiography at A. 1.8- 11. The chapter considers various aspects of causation in post-Virgilian epic: the causation of wars, the role of rumours, ideas of moral decline, and the effects of speeches. The author offers some brief observations on examples from Lucan which seems to offer comment on more customary historiographical practice.

Keywords: historiographical causation; Lucan; post-Augustan epic; Roman morality



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