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Social Relations in Lucan’S Bellum Civile

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes how Lucan makes the disruption of social ties in civil war appear particularly acute. Apart from Pompey, who is too weak to successfully champion them, elites abandon and violate the social values of fides, gratia, and pietas. This failure is thrown into relief by their limited performance of social relations: only Romans of lower social status generally uphold relational values by acting them out. Romans also suffer by comparison with other nations. Greeks adhere to Roman social values more than Romans themselves, who are denigrated by assimilation to Egyptians.



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