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Lucan's only surviving work, De Bello Civili, more generally known as the Pharsalia, is an epic poem about the civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great. The title given by posterity to the poem refers to the Battle of Pharsalus, which took place in 48 BC near the city of Pharsalus, in Thessaly. The work is important as an example of Roman Historic Epic, since divine intervention plays little part in the narrative and very few supernatural occurrences happen in the story. Lucan's Civil War is considered a major expression of literature from the Neronian times, and has attracted renewed scholarly attention in the past decades. The work remains unfinished, due to the untimely death of its author.


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Image: Ceasar after the victory over Pompey, 14th century manuscript, Niccold da Bologna. Cover designed by Avail le. This design is in the public domain.