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Memoria Redux: Memory in Lucan

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Chapter Summary

This chapter illustrates the role that memory plays as a key theme in Lucan and argues that we can meaningfully read the Bellum Civile as an epic funeral monumentum that memorializes the death of pre-Caesarian Rome and her prized libertas. A survey of Roman memory institutions is followed by closer analysis of select episodes that illustrate the tension between remembering and forgetting inherent to the epic. Lucan’s epic seeks to remember what Rome has lost through civil war, for memory has the power to give life—and thus a voice that can continue to influence—back to the dead.



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