Laying it on with a Trowel: The Proem to Lucan and Related Texts

Classical Quarterly 44 (01):199- (1994)
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The extravagant, not to say fulsome, praise showered upon Nero in Lucan's proem to his De Bello Civili tends to divide scholars neatly into two factions. In the blue corner are those for whom it is ‘obviously’ sarcastic or ironic in some degree, whether they consider it intended to be circulated privately or understood only by a small group of initiates, or else see it as actually being designed to offend the princeps. In the red we find those who attempt to explain what the modern palate finds offensive by reference to the Realien of Nero's reign and to the processes of literary representation in general—and what we loosely call ‘rhetoric’ in particular—current in the poetry of the time



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The Art of Safe Criticism in Greece and Rome.Frederick Ahl - 1984 - American Journal of Philology 105 (2):174.

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