A Lucan Reader: Selections from Civil War (BC Latin Readers) (English and Latin Edition)

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9780865166615: A Lucan Reader: Selections from Civil War (BC Latin Readers) (English and Latin Edition)

Lucan's epic poem, Civil War, portrays the stark, dark horror of the years 49 through 48 BCE, the grim reality of Romans fighting Romans, of Julius Caesar vs. Pompey the Great. The introduction to this volume situates Lucan as a poet closely connected with the Stoics at Rome, working during the reign of the emperor Nero, in the genre inherited from Virgil.

The selections are intended for third- and fourth-year college curricula, and include Lucan's analysis of the causes of the civil war, depictions of his protagonists Caesar and Pompey at key moments-Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon, the assassination of Pompey as he arrives in Egypt seeking refuge, Cato's funeral oration for Pompey, Caesar's visit to the site of Troy-as well as highly atmospheric passages: Pompey's vision of his dead wife, Julia; and the necromancy performed by the witch Erichtho for Pompey's son.

Notes to the passages illuminate Lucan's attitude towards his material-his reluctance to tackle the topic of civil war, his complicated relationship with Virgil's Aeneid, and his passionate involvement in the events through the rhetorical device of apostrophe, when he seems to enter the poem as a character himself.

Special Features

* Introduction that situates Lucan in his literary, historical, and ideological context
* 620 lines of Latin text from Lucan's Civil War, including: 1.1-45, 67-157, 183-227, 486-504; 3.8-35; 399-445; 6.624-53; 7.617-37; 7.647-82, 728-46, 760-811; 8.542-636, 663-88; 9.190-217; 9.961-99
* Notes at the back
* Map of the eastern Mediterranean in Caesar's day
* Bibliography
* Full Vocabulary

For over 30 years Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers has produced the highest quality Latin and ancient Greek books. From Dr. Seuss books in Latin to Plato's Apology, Bolchazy-Carducci's titles help readers learn about ancient Rome and Greece; the Latin and ancient Greek languages are alive and well with titles like Cicero's De Amicitia and Kaegi's Greek Grammar. We also feature a line of contemporary eastern European and WWII books.

Some of the areas we publish in include:

Selections From The Aeneid
Latin Grammar & Pronunciation
Greek Grammar & Pronunciation
Texts Supporting Wheelock's Latin
Classical author workbooks: Vergil, Ovid, Horace, Catullus, Cicero
Vocabulary Cards For AP Selections: Vergil, Ovid, Catullus, Horace
Greek Mythology
Greek Lexicon
Slovak Culture And History

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Review:

Susanna Braund. a noted teacher and Lucanian scholar, presents in this book a selection of 600 lines from the Bellum Civile that give the reader a fine glimpse of the poem and an appreciation of its greatness. The Latin text is supplemented by a thorough introduction, extensive commentary and ample vocabulary. The book is appropriate for advanced high school learners and for both intermediate and advanced college students.

Braund's twenty-six page introduction is well written and supplies essential information for the study of Lucan's poem. First, it deals with his life and times, the civil war, his handling of the epic genre, the poem's basic contents, and its structure. It continues with the role of the gods, Lucan's Stoicism, the cast of characters, his Latin, and other fascinating topics. It concludes with a bibliography organized under these topics: 'Introductory Reading,' 'The Poem as a Whole,' 'Particular Aspects of the Poem,' and 'Lucan in the Context of Roman Epic.' Few books of this type offer such a thorough introduction.

The author employs Housman's Latin text with some variations, which are indicated on p. 1. Braund, like Housman, uses consonantal u instead of v. She does not employ macrons in order to accustom students to working with macronless texts, which they will experience on AP examinations. However, they are employed in the end vocabulary. The selections are so carefully chosen that they not only convey the full flavor of the Civil War but also make one eager to read the whole work.

Braund's seventy-seven page commentary is absolutely wonderful. Therein she offers a line-by-line analysis of the poem, which is quite remarkable. She treats not only points of grammar and difficult sentences but also supplies notes on metrics, Lucan's genius, historical and geographical matters, and other material that is beneficial to the student.

In sum, A Lucan Reader is a superb, student-friendly textbook that provides learners with the tools necessary to comprehend, interpret, and appreciate its well-chosen selections. The map is clear, simple, and shows all important locations encountered in the book. This writer could find no misprints (deo gracias!); but if there are any that were missed, the perceptive student should be able to recognize them. Too often authors write texts that deal with only 'Golden Age' Latin. Much good literature was written during the 'Silver Age' as well, and Braund is to be commended for her diligence in helping us understand and appreciate Lucan's Bellum Civile, an excellent, Silver-Age poem. --Daniel N. Erickson, University of North Dakota, The Classical Outlook, Winter 2010 Vol 87, No. 2

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