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Internal Evidence For The Completeness Of The Bellum Civile

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Chapter Summary

It has been widely assumed that Lucan’s epic is unfinished, primarily because of its abrupt ending. I argue for the poem’s completeness through reference to an internal literary model embedded by Lucan within his final book Ten: the discourse on the Nile by the priest Acoreus. The endings to Acoreus’ speech and to Lucan’s entire poem are closely linked through shared language and motifs (including abruptness), which confirms the intentionality of Lucan’s finale. Furthermore, both Acoreus and Lucan choose to conclude at a point that shows Caesar as vulnerable. Their abrupt terminations thus offer hope for successful resistance against Caesarism.



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