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1 BELLUM CIVILE By ANDREW ROTH A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 201 1
2 2011 Andrew Roth
3 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am indebted to several for their incalculable support during the conception, composition, and emendation of this work First, I owe tremendo us gratitude to my advisor, Timothy J ohnson, for his patience and instruction in all things scholastic. My readers, too, James Marks and Jennifer Rea, whose input has been similarly invaluable. Also Constantine Hadavas, by whose recommendation I spurned a perfectly good Plutarch class in fa owe thanks, too, to Victoria Pagn, who instructed my course on Lucan in the spring of 2010, and Arthur Robson, who remains both the most inspiring and most irreverent classicist I have had the pleasure of knowing. All of you, I am humbled by your passionate support of this profession. Without you I might well be somewhere else, unfulfilled and uninspired, rather than fostering my passion for classical studies.
4 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 5 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 7 2 LIBERTAS IN THE BELLUM CIVILE ................................ ................................ ...... 11 3 DECONSTRUCTING CAESAR ................................ ................................ .............. 28 4 RECONSTRUCTING CAESAR ................................ ................................ .............. 45 5 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 63 BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 67 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 72
5 Abstract of Thesis Present ed to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts BELLUM CIVILE By Andrew Roth May 2011 Chair: Timothy Johnson Major: Classical Studies Aeneid villains have long been a mainstay of epic and a useful Bellum Civile however, lacks a clear hero and stands apart in the epic tradition a s the sole example of a wholly unsympathetic villain, Caesar, who is also the principle character in the story. This paper explore s the characterization of Caesar and seek s to answer why and how Lucan composes him as a villain. Beginning with an examinat ion libertas and its conflict with Caesar, these pages unfold first a libertas to give himself every appearance of legitimacy, but he in fact m aims Roman law and preserves the mere illusion of libertas representation of his core virtues: pax, pietas, clementia, virtus, victor i a, iustitia, and fortuna redux hallmarks of the principate and a source for pos itive imaging and apparent legitimacy. Lucan creates a Caesar who contradicts the sentiments of these virtues, thereby making their positive connotations negative. Just as with libertas there are dissonant voices at play: Caesar makes pious displays of worship only selectively and for self glorification (9.950 999) and desecrates ritual (5.382 402); he makes
6 peace loving rhetoric (1.199 202, 1.350 1), though he finds peace without war shameful (1.144 50) and uses moments of peace to inspire fear in the R oman public (3.52 8). These two hypocrisies one in representation of libertas the second in the larger representation of core virtues blame. Lucan on one hand maligns Caesar by staging his epic against a backdrop of lamentation, which glorifies an alternate life without the devastation Caesar wreaks upon Rome and the Republic. On the other hand Lucan institutes four primary narratives of blame, which mirror and counter act n concluding, these pages connote the overpowering yet hypocritical and insubstantial persona of Caesar as a his own anti Caesarian sentiments. The villain is thus cr ucial in this poem; Caesar is
7 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Villains have been a mainstay of literature for some time to varying degrees. In the Aeneid one might consider Turnus a villain, though his behavior is both explained by his (perhaps natural) jealousy and inspired by Juno. For this human emotion and divine inspiration Paradise Lost too, the villain is Satan himself, wellspring of evil and the origin of sin. built here for his envy, will not drive us hence: better to reign in Hell than serve in 260, 263). The pur suit of freedom is a motif that readers may understand, and for that reason Satan becomes a sympathetic villain. Similarly sympathetic is the character of Mordred in Thomas Mal Readers are invited to imagine the plight of Mordred, who, though the architect of ly strikes a deathblow once h e has suffered one himself Literature often treats its villain as justified, somehow victimized by his circumstance. There is something psychologically satisfying about the depraved and profane, that socially unacceptable at tribute that makes a villain Part of what makes Lucan so very gratifying, in my mind, is that he is so cold blooded. His villain, Caesar, is denied even a scrap of sympathy and is utterly bloodedness is calculating, for, as his villain thus endures blame, he fulfills two vital functions. First, the villain develops plot. This is universal in
8 epic. Turnus, for example, is the agent for the outbreak of war in Latium, which fills him, there can be no conflict, no epic. Second, through receiving blame, a villain is responsible for idealizing his counterpart, the hero. 1 To put this relationship in its simplest terms, if Turnus is blamed in the Aeneid Aeneas is praised for opposing him, and, similarly, Turnus is blamed because he opposes the hero, who receives praise. In this way, the two are balanced. The counte rvailing ideas of praise and blame ring, too, in Lucan: there is, hiding behind criticism of Caesar, a positive image of what Roman leadership or identity ought to be. In this way, the presentation of villainy is not entirely destructive. With that in Bellum Civile as the vilification of standards established by his predecessors in epic, 2 this is the singular constant. Yet the vilificati on of Caesar, as simple as its premise may seem, is astoundingly complicated. Lucan assails him in tone and content with a voice of lamentation that spirals toward nihilism. Though Caesar bastardizes everything that is righteous, he presents a credible c haracter. He is incorrigible and terrifying, yet never hateful. And, 1 Archilochean invective, later d blame) are incontrovertibly tied. Even on the level of form, the metrical elements of praise poetry are relatable to affirmation of praise worthy quali ties (222 42) 2 Aeneid by plucking choice bits of verbiage or content in the Aeneid content to undermine their original heroic purpose. For example, the signification of key terms such as virtus crimen and scelus changes: see Henderson 1992. Also, more generally: Masters 1992, Narducci 1979, Ahl 1976, Morford 1967, and Guillemin 1951
9 though he is never hateful and his character never unbelievable, he is never redeemable. Caesar is villain, through and through. In order to clarify this distinction: the historic Julius Caesar but instead the larger institution of the principate. Therefore, the larger invective is against the principate and vili fying Caesar is a prerequisite for that blame. The poem exists as interlaced invectives: one against Caesar, one against Caesarism. For the invective against Caesarism to prove effective Caesar must be entirely scelus just as his soldiers must prove sce landi to fully vilify him Their association with Caesar further criminalizes him. Because of this, and because the poem takes such a stance against the Roman principate, I see value in using this particular term rather ainst Julius Caesar. 3 representation of libertas reveals that Lucan looks upon civil war as a conflict not between Pompey and Caesar but instead between Caesar and liberta s Libertas encompasses much: it is moral and legal sanctity and all that stands between Roman civitas licentia intervenes on the natural course of Roman freedom in a hypocritical manner, for, though Caesar denigrates libertas relen tlessly in its moral and legal aspects, he dares to claim that he maintains it. This is the core of righteousness, he actually causes its downfall. The second part of this study 3 traditions of Greek invective: see Nagy 1976, 222 242 & Worman 2008, 25 61.
10 subsequently the princeps impressed upon Romans in an effort to create a positive image of himself. Lucan represents these seven virtues pax, pietas, virtus, clementi a, victoria, iustitia, and fortuna redux in a light that illuminates that disparity between the that Lucan wrote the poem to vilify Caesar from the outset. The third part of this study examines the four primary narratives of blame that Lucan utilizes against Caesar, as well as the es. Whereas Caesar in his commentaries depicts himself as a heroic liberator of Rome by portraying himself as responding to necessity, praising his allies, and condemning his enemies, hetoric of necessity and his actions, praising his enemies, and condemning his allies. The result
11 CHAPTER 2 LIBERTAS IN THE BELLUM CIVILE After the battle at Pharsalus, Lu can at last makes explicit what he sees at stake in the Bellum Civile 1 The war, he says, was never about the conflict between Caesar and Pompey, but rather about libertas par quod semper habemus / liberta s et Caesar erit 7.695 6). The sense of par here with both the present and the future verb makes clear that Caesar and libertas are incontrovertibly rivals: the two simply cannot coexist. 2 libertas anti Caesarian, sentiment clarifies two que stions typically unaddressed by scholarship on libertas actions, and by doing so he stresses the tr ansformation of libertas from civic right, licentia Civil war is represented as an environment receptive to that transformation. While Lucan writes civil war, he simul taneously writes about the death of libertas and pleads for its survival. He transforms libertas just as he does his own anti Caesarism, into an unconquerable ideal that is necessary for The Idea of Libertas before Caesar Although scho larship on libertas is extensive, there is some agreement on its libertas (1950) remains an authority on the subject for its definitions of what libertas meant to Romans in the late Republic and early 1 imagination of civil war in many respects starkly contrasts wit h the historical record. Throughout this study, because a close reading of the text will prove vital, I will naturally refer to Caesar as 2 This theme has been not ed by others, such as Lintott (1971), but the concern in such studies libertas and its function in the poem rather than as a function of historical accuracy.
12 Principate. 3 His study rests foremost on the notion that Romans conceived of libertas as an acquired civic right and not as an innate right of man. Evidence for this rests first with slavery. It was common during the Republic and early Principate for citizenship, not freedom a lone, to be bestowed upon slaves manumitted in due form (1950: 2 3). 4 It follows that, by becoming not a slave (a necessarily negative definition), a properly manumitted man would receive every right as a free born citizen, and that a slave freed but not formally manumitted would have freedom de facto while still considered a slave de iure 5 In this respect it seems that freedom was not just an ideal, but also concept made tangible by law. Wirszubski adds that full libertas was coterminous with civitas though each term stressed a different idea. Libertas denoted the sum of civic rights granted by Roman law; civitas the role of the individual in relation to the community (Wirszubski 1950: 4 6). Because libertas was something granted to individuals rath er than an innate right, it must have depended on positive laws to determine its scope. Wirszubski says that the notion of restraint and moderation (Livy 24.25, Cic. Pro Planc. 94; cf. Tac. Dial 23) distinguished libertas from licentia Libertas is not t he unqualified power to do as one wishes; it is the power to do as one is qualified to do by laws (Wirszubski 1950: 7 8). 3 Fa among others, Osgood 2006, Gallia 2009, and Green 2009. Further studie s of libertas as a political idea that are worthy of consideration include, to name a few, Webster 1936, Bleicken 1972, and Connolly 2007. Cf. Stylow 1972 and Cairnes & Fantham 2003, which examine the rhetoric of libertas and how propaganda from the early principate changed it. 4 Only formally manumitted slaves would receive citizenship; see Cic. Pro Balbo 24, Ulp. Reg. 1.6, Dig. 38.2.1. Restriction was later introduced by the Lex Aelia Sentia in 4 AD. Informally manumitted slaves had freedom de facto but were still considered slaves de iure ; see Tac. Ann 13.27.4. All citations libertas are borrowed from him. 5 For the regularity of manumission at Rome, see Wiedemann 1985.
13 Such is the nature of positive laws compared to negative laws. 6 The power to do as one likes even outside of the law, Wirszubski say s, freely given or taken forcefully, was licentia (1950: 7 8; Cic. Pro Flacco 16, Livy 23.2.1, 34.49.8). They are fools, Tacitus once remarked, who identify libertas with licentia the comes seditionum ( Dial. 40). Wirzsubski, dependent especially on Cicer o, constructs an understanding of what res publica and libertas may have meant for a Roman of senatorial rank: to a Roman senator the res publica was at the same time a form of government and a way of life. Free political activity among his equals was as to be the life blood of republicanism (Wirszubski 1950: 88) 7 The concept of libertas was not only freed om by law but also the right to participate in the governing and legislative processes. This, to the senator, was responsibility more than mere pleasure. For the Roman people, libertas meant the right to elect magistrates, enact or repeal laws, and, in th e capacity of iudicium populi approve or appeal sentences passed on Roman citizens in the courts of criminal justice. There were, however, limitations: assemblies were only lawful if convened and presided over by a magistrate, the people could not produc e its own candidates for public office or introduce bills on its own initiative, and, while citizens had the right to vote, they otherwise had no right to make their voices heard (Wirszubski 1950: 18, n. 2). Logically it follows that for fair and 6 The commonly understood difference betwe en positive and negative laws is that positive laws presuppose no innate rights and therefore bestow rights upon individuals, while negative laws presuppose certain innate rights in man, which are protected by law from interference An example of negative press, assembly, or religion, but rather protects those innate rights from being infringed upon; see Berlin 1958. 7 Wirszubski cites: Cic. Phil. 14.7, Pro Ar chia 29, Seneca Ep. 98.13
14 popular representation senators needed the right to represent themselves freely, and that these two libertates one senatorial the other plebian were codependent. Caesar in Rome outset, when Caesar crosses the Rubicon with his troops and breaks Roman law (1.191 2). When Caesar comes to Rome, every sign that law has been forfeited is evident: the courthouses are closed (2.18), the greater part of the senate has fled (3.109 112), a nd, with a singular exception (see below), no official left in Rome is willing to stand against Caesar. There is no one left with the right to summon what remains of n on omnia Caesar erat: privatae curia vocis / testis adest 3.108 9a). The use of privatae makes clear that Caesar is no longer an elected official, and he no longer has legal right to summon the Senate yet he does, and the Senate complies (3.109b (154 1), h e marks his arrival in Rome by attaining control of the Senate and plundering the Roman treasury. He has his way in Rome, illegal yet permitted, and he masters Rome rather than ridding her of any masters. Though his justification for invading Rome may be admirable, his actions contradict the sentiment. This conflict between libertas and Caesar takes center stage when he plunders
15 lines to block the yet unopened temple door s. He tells Caesar that he will enter the uanam spem mortis honestae nostra, Metelle, manus; dignum te Caesaris ira nullus honor faciet. te uindice tuta relicta est libertas? non usque adeo permiscuit imis longus summa dies ut non, si uoce Metelli seruantur leges, malint a Caesare tolli (134b 140) Empty are the hopes you conceive for an honorable death: my hand will not defile its elf by that throat, wrath. Was libertas left safe with you as its protector? The length of time has not yet confused the highest and the lowest, so that, if the laws are saved by the voice of Metell us, they would not rather be destroyed by Caesar. libertas and integrity. 8 is willing to stand aga inst him except Metellus, who does so in accordance with his duty laws and libertas and that this will be permitted (the laws would rather be destroyed by Caesar). Or, maybe not. Indeed, the placement of non (139) is ambiguous. If attached to it is a promise to not initial tone (anger) is entirely incongruent with his final two lines. The same issue arises should we consider non as reinforcing the preceding non (138). The ambiguity here likely that ut non here is a simple result clause, which implies that, when th e highest and 8 Clementia clementia follows in chapter two.
16 lowest orders are not confused, the laws in fact want to be broken by Caesar so he says, anyway. possibly claiming to uphold the law, though clearly breaking it is followed by an episode that confirms our suspicions about this hypocrisy. Once Caesar has threatened him, Metellus speaks with Cotta, who convinces him to stand libertas of a nation coerced by tyranny perishes by libertas whose 7) By accepting libertas even as Caesar ravages law and libertas. The contradiction between this illusory maintenance and the actual denigration of Roman civic virtue highlights the danger of Cae clementia : libertas is maintained. libertas fits well what Wirzsubki has concluded about such free license and li bertas : True libertas is by no means the unqualified power to do whatever one licentia not libertas The necessary prerequisite of libertas is the renouncement of self willed actions; consequently, genuine libertas can be enjoyed u nder the law only (1950: 8) To exercise right without a legal claim, particularly for self serving purposes, fits precisely the definition of licentia Where the law flees, so does libertas licentia augments his own power by destroying the le gal rights that have been conferred on others. He has driven the sitting consuls and many senators into exile. Those political activity among equals for the senatorial cl ass is curtailed, when Caesar
17 audaciously assumes a right not legally conferred but won by intimidation. In this way, licentia usurps libertas as the dominant policy in Rome. Cicero reports in his On Duties (3.21.82 3) that Caesar was forever quo ting a Phoenician Women 5). Indeed, when ship, and power (5.382 402). 9 libertas sorts the votes of the 4). The libertas to thrive, the plebs must be represented. Ceremony maintains the appea rance of libertas though it is wield the sword n selfish ends (5.387 390a). This a crucial component of libertas and represents well that Caesar, tolerant of no equal (1.125), disparages libertas Whatever is Permitted Lucan, then draws connections between libertas and the law. What remains to be investigated is how, specifically, Lucan represents licentia and to what extent it bears connotations contrary to law and libertas The word licentia occurs four times: 9 dictatorship with kingship. See also 7.299 3 00, 9.262.
18 once in the ope ning as correlative with violent rage ( Quis furor, o cives, quae tanta licentia ferri Thessalian w itches (4.436), and once spoken to Ptolemy by Caesar, expressing his mastery over Egypt (9.1074). In each of these cases the association is arguably negative, although four instances are perhaps too few to establish a trend. We may, however, consider the related impersonal verb licet 10 which occurs a full seventy times. In passive contexts that is, when characters do not act outwardly but instead wish, for example, it were permitted to (2.15, 2.260, 9.244) there is a breach of nei ther divine nor Roman law. This includes all jussive subjunctives ( licea [ n ] t ). The simple future ( licebit ), on the other hand, occurs in contexts of futility 11 or as the certain future where Caesar rules. 12 In each such instance it seems that either 10 Licet aside from having implications of permissibility, typically connotes legality. In the context Thebaid the word often occurs in a relatively natural context, signifying more positive aspects than negative. It occurs, f or example, as a reminder that the war, though fratricidal, is a lawful one, since it is permitted by gods (1.286), or when aged Aletes wishes he will be permitted a funeral pyre after his death, so he is laid to rest as part of his ancestral homeland (3.2 13). All tenses and moods of licet occur a total of forty a frequency which Aeneid similarly, involves the term with divine permission (e.g. 6.400) and law (e.g. 7.315,), and he uses the term thirty three times in roughly ten thousand hexameters. Both of these poems also regularly use licet as a concessive, whereas Lucan uses the concessive li cet only rarely (2.512, 4.321, 5.293, 5.659, 10.48). It follows then, since Lucan uses the term at a much higher frequency, rarely as a concessive, and associates it almost uniformly with dreadful implications, that his use of licet is quite purposeful. For a licet see Lease 1901. 11 in e, still fortunate am I, oh gods, and no deity will have the power ( licebit ) to deprive me of [the fact that my father in 631); licebit ) to perform the funeral rites for my licebit ) to enjoy self rule 1). 12 be allowed ( licebit 300); once the battle is finished and licebit fields of Pharsalus (7.855). In e ach of these instances it seems that either divine law is perverted (9.67 8,
19 divi ne law is perverted (9.67 8, 7.855), Roman law is undermined (7.299 300, 9.960 1), nefas which is itself a breach of divine law (3.32, 8.629 631). In this way, Lucan damns the post civil war world: where Caesar reigns, there is no safety. What is permitted in the present tense ( licet ) never has lawful or positive associations either. 13 Each of its occurrences cues a negative connotation: when Caesar kills or bestows clemency, he demonstrates the extent of his unlawful po wer (2.512, 4.231); he is able to overrun the enemy and conquer in war (1.359 385, 6.19 21, 7.40 3); he refuses permission and/or defies what is naturally permitted (1.192, 5.395 6); brutality is permitted only as long as it continues indefinitely (8.492b 3); and the horrors of civil war are made apparent by what is permitted (2.115, 2.159, 4.14 520). Everything starts with Caesar crossing the Rubicon; then, what is permitted ( licet ) and ity must continue since, Lucan says, brutal rule endures only when consistently brutal. licet occurs as Domitius lays dying at Pharsalus and delivers a speech proclaiming victory over Caesar. Hope, which had at other tim es been desired by men but denied by Caesar (2.15, 2.260, 9.244), is 7.855), Roman law is undermined (7.299 300, 9.960 nefas which is itself a breach of divine law (3.32, 8.629 631). 13 The law permits Caesar to go no further than the Rubicon (1.192), but he does so anyway. It is 385). Gross a generation before (2.115, 2.159). Caesar is permitted to bestow his clemency, which is never looked upon favorably (2.512, 4.231). It is permitted that Caesar poison rivers to kill enemy troops and wild beasts alike (4.321 5). It is permitted that Volt eius and his troops escape death, but they instead choose to commit self slaughter; death in civil war is a blessing, and to escape is undesirable (4.514 520). Peace is permitted without war, but Caesar will never choose it (5.291 ction it is not permitted to watch the sky for omens, though augurs blindly declare favorable omens (5.395 6). The city of Dyrrachium lacks walls and so it is permitted for the city to be easily taken (6.19 eapons 3). Pothinus tells Ptolemy that it is not permitted to act brutally without incurring a penalty, unless one is always brutal (8.492b 493).
20 3, 615). We may interpret this as signi ficant since Domitius also dies as the only man to proclaim victory over Caesar. This affirms our suspicions that licet is a loaded term. It carries great power and is a privilege given only to the victor. Hope vanishes entirely after Pharsalus, however, when Pompey flees to Africa: iam pondere fati deposito securus abis; nunc tempora laeta respexisse uacat, spes numquam inplenda recessit; quid fueris nunc scire licet. fuge proelia dira ac testare deos nullum, qui perstet in armis, iam tibi, Magne, mori (7.686b 691a) Now you (Magnus) have put aside the weight of destiny and you depart, free from care; now you have leisure to look back on happy times; hope has vanished, never to be fulfilled; now you may understand what you were. Escape the hideous bat tles, call the gods to witness that none who stays to fight now dies for your sake, Magnus. he clearly implies that Pompey was a source for hope. The death of Domitius, because he specifies that he dies with Pompey as his general and therefore has hope, seems to corroborate this idea. Once Pompey has gone, those who continue to fight no longer fight for Pompey. ceu flebilis Africa damnis et ceu Munda nocens Pharioque a gurgite clades, sic et Thessalicae post te pars maxima pugnae non iam Pompei nomen populare per orbem nec studium belli, sed par quod semper habemus, libertas et Caesar, erit; teque inde fugato ostendit moriens sibi se pugnasse senatus (7.691b 697) Like Africa, lamentable for her losses, and like guilty Munda and the devastation by Pharian flood, so, too, the greatest part of Thessalian battle after you will not be the name of Pompey, popular throughout the
21 world, nor eagerness for war; but it will be this pair of rivals, which we always have Caesar and libertas and once you had left the battle, the dying senate showed that it fought for itself. Pharsalus and its aftermath will not be remembered for Pompey, even though it was he and his troops who stood against Caesar. No r will the battle be remembered for its sheer ferocity. Instead, it will be remembered as a conflict between Caesar and libertas As the senate, dying, fights for itself, it in turn fights for everything it values: representation, law, libertas The sen ate is thus linked to libertas par quod semper habemus and senatus resists any alternative reading. Whereas Pompey may have brought hope to a cause, he was not the cause itself; the cause, all along, was libertas The Bellum Civile resounds throughout with its plea for individuals to protect libertas against all who would infringe on it. Petreius, for example, instructs his troops at Ilerda: t rahimur sub nomine pacis. non chalybem gentes penitus fugiente metallo eruerent, nulli uallarent oppida muri, non sonipes in bella ferox, non iret in aequor turrigeras classis pelago sparsura carinas, si bene libertas umquam pro pace daretur (4.222b 7) We are dragged (into slavery) in the name of peace. If it were ever right to surrender libertas for peace, people would not dig up steel from the deep running mine, nor would walls fortify towns, nor would the spirited charger race to war, nor the flee t go to spread its towered vessels over the sea. Here Petreius justifies civil war as morally necessary, since its alternative is the surrender of libertas Without libertas he says a few lines earlier (218 9), his men will
22 famulos ) Every act of warfare horses charging into battle, ships setting out to sea, city fortifications, even mining itself is represented as a device for the preservation of libertas (Many men do not know that) tyranny is feared thanks to the sword and libertas (575 9). For its aversion to slavery, libertas becomes a cause worthy of battle. 14 Lucan calls it righ teous to wage civil war against Caesar, since his are cruel and offensive weapons, chafing at libertas Caesar. But who, as a defender of libertas can stand against Caesar the Juggernaut? The An swer to Licentia Against Caesar and his exercise of licentia there are three primary modes of integrity, which together comprise sufficient opposition: moral, legal, and ideological. By careful execution of these three, the Romans may stop Caesar dead in his tracks and/or rouse his anger which inevitably reveals the fallaciousness of his self composed demeanor as a heroic liberator of Rome. 15 Though the representation of each of these three integrities is distinct, they are by no means mutually exclusiv e; any character opposing Caesar may showcase all of these three, and in fact if any one of these is lacking then the opposition is likely to fail. 14 As these passages ought to demonstrate, the only character s to actively seek a positive to fight for libertas are Cato and Lucan (as a self initiated narrative voice, rather than responding to the statements of others). Otherwise, men seek the negative to fight against Caesar and, as Lucan points out (4. 579) and as Cato laments (9.263 5), they are ignorant of what they are fighting for The connotations of this much may prove to be extensive. 15 Caesar frames his own commentarii so that he wages a necessary war against Rome, which creates for him the per commentarii
23 To illustrate this point we may return to the episode where Metellus confronts Caesar outside the temple of Saturn. Metellus at first fulfills his responsibilities as tribune and blocks the temple entry. On one hand, Lucan describes the episode as libertas 114). 16 On the other hand Lucan also says that love of wealth brought forth this 121). Metellus opposes dispensing funds from the Roman treasury to supp 129); the word scelus denotes moral criminality. 17 Through his 121: Metellus is a tribune of the treasury, and it took unt il this point, when Caesar had already entered the city, walked its streets and come to the temple of Saturn, for anybody to stand against him. Caesar has already overtaken Rome and there is little to be gained for Metellus, save his own integrity and, he says, he is willing to die for this (3.123). This integrity is surely both legal and moral. Fulfilling his responsibilities as tribune, upholding the law, demonstrates legal integrity. He moreover refuses to allow Rome to pay for criminality, fimplyi ng his refusal to condone villainy ( scelus ), particularly at her expense. In this respect he further demonstrates moral integrity. 16 fruor and clementia and Roman libertas Clementia Harris says, was the countervailing virtue to furor (2001, 406) clementia meanwhile, is a means for keeping every appearance of libertas while denigrating it. Lucan clementia ; see chapter two. 17 For the connec tion between scelus and moral criminality in early imperial ideology, see Wallace Hadrill (1982), pp. 23 26; cf. Hor Ep 7, a hypothetical address to a faction on the verge of reigniting civil war: Quo, quo scelesti ruitis? aut cur dexteris / aptantur ens es conditi (1 2)?
24 Yet Metellus lacks an understanding of the ideal, libertas that Caesar threatens. libertas l ibertas libertas by stepping aside libertas perishes by libertas libertas while introducing libertas rou (3.112b 114). Yet Metellus himself, the one who might protect libertas conspicuously avoids mention of it, even while those around him refer to it freely. This is where Metellus errs in a way that Lucan later laments: Metellus does not understand that legal authority, but, thanks to his misconception of libertas he surrenders it for a facsimile that does not represent libertas but Caesarian licentia Roman slavery. Recognizing completely where Metellus falls short entails a more detailed libertas and slavery. In the above mentio ned passages, the majority of characters strive against Caesar in order to be not would be master of Rome and again is antithetical to his justifications for invasion. Indee d, a free man in the poem is characterized less by the endowment of libertas more by the lack slavery, and the aversion of slavery is equivalent to an aversion of Caesar. This sense of libertas as a lack of slavery rather than any positive equivalent recurs throughout the poem, most notably (beyond the passages already examined) 382), and when
25 Cato ad 266). The distinction proves vital for Metellus, who, while he understands libertas the law, does not grasp its negative association, as aversive to slavery. There are other individuals in the poem to whom, like Metellus, libertas is libertas Curio no longer dares to guard libertas Here, again, the connection between legality and libertas is stressed: when the laws are silent, libertas eulogizes Curio later, for his past love of libertas : haut alium tanta ciuem tulit indole Roma aut cui plus leges deberent recta sequenti; perdita tunc urbi nocuerunt saecula, postquam ambitus et luxus et opum metuenda facultas transuerso mentem dubiam torrente tu lerunt, momentumque fuit mutatus Curio rerum Gallorum captus spoliis et Caesaris auro. ius licet in iugulos nostros sibi fecerit ensis Sulla potens Mariusque ferox et Cinna cruentus Caesareaeque domus series, cui tanta potestas concessa est? emere omnes, hic uendidit urbem (4.814 824) No other citizen of such talent did Rome produce, to no other did the laws owe more had he followed what was right. As it was, depraved ages damaged Rome, once ambition, luxury, and the dreaded power of wealth had carr ied off his wavering mind with sideways current; the altered Curio turned the balance of events. True, mighty Sulla and fierce Marius and bloody Cinna the power ( ius ) of the sword over our throats. But who was ever granted such power as he? They all bought, but he sold Rome.
26 Curio is the image of Roman moral decline; the laws owed much to him while he stood as their guardian, but when Rome became ho me to luxury, ambition, and greed, he followed suit. Had Rome not sunk so low and had Curio stood by the law, civil war might have turned differently. Curio, as the epitome of that deteriorated morality, was willing to sell his loyalty. When his moral i ntegrity wilted, so did his devotion to law and libertas Cato is the third character whom Lucan represents as a guardian of libertas While debating the consequences of involvement in civil war, Brutus tells Cato that he be a champion of libertas Libertas even 18 Cato enters the war on behalf of libertas ; his devotion is an ideological and moral one. Legality, too, is added to the equation, when Brutus pleads for Cato to fight on its behalf. Where Cato fails, however, is in his moral understanding, for, though he remains intensely loyal to Stoic morality, civil war has nonetheless corrupted any sure understanding of right and wrong. Cato is therefore introduced in the poem as a moralist oppressed by an amoral world, obsessing over the question of whether or not to wage civil war, and altogether despondent (2.239 241). M oral decline, as mentioned in regard to Curio, is a source of constant frustration for Cato, and is what keeps him from standing against Caesar and fulfilling his promise to champion libertas 19 18 Cato and Lucan are the only two characters to address libertas in the vocative. Lucan exclaims O bona libertas the head of Pompey (9.1108). 19 T he image of a moral Cato in an immoral world recurs throughout the poem. Chapters two and three deal with this issue in greater detail.
27 Conclusion Lucan, like the satirists of his day (Braund 2004: 426), draws attention to the conflict between libertas and licentia not to resolve that conflict, but to reiterate it, over and over again. These two ( libertas and licentia ) compose the axis around which civil war revolves. Why would Lucan choose to wri te on civil war? Civil war killed Rome; her moral decline invited a master who crushed what little remained of Roman libertas and made her instead a feigned ideal. Why vilify Caesar? Because he did the crushing, and then had the audacity to claim the mora l high ground. Lucan decries Caesar for his legal breach, eulogizes men living and dead for their support of libertas and persists in his aversion to slavery, coterminous with his aversion of Caesar.
28 CHAPTER 3 DECONSTRUCTING CAESA R Although Lucan mal igns him, the record of Julius Caesar was not altogether condemnable. Not only was he worshipped as a god of clemency, 1 but he was also remembered well for his official virtues: victoria, pax, virtus, clementia, and pietas (Fears 1980a: 841 5, 881 5, 889) 2 It was Augustus who ensured that this image of Caesar would survive, by exalting Divus Iulius as a god of clemency and emulating those same official virtues. 3 To those five, Augustus added two of his own virtues: iustitia and fortuna redux (Fears 1980 a: 885 6, 889) The value of these seven Caesarian virtues was that each had definite, positive connotations, which provided constructive imaging for the princeps Fears, in his study of the Roman cult of virtues, points to these seven as the most signif icant: These virtues, limited in number, were carefully chosen to define the character of the princeps and the conditions established by his new order. This same approach marked the role of the Virtues in the official ideology of his Julio Claudian succe persons and with those of members of the imperial family (1980a: 889 890) Augustus thus represented his new role as princeps and principes post Augustus actively sought to emulate these same seven virtues. Th is meant choosing virtues closely related and easily associated to the seven, such as Felicitas ( Fortuna ) and Concordia ( Pax ), which were part of the imagery of Tiberius (Fears 1980a: 900 908). 1 Clementia had a temple jointly with Julius Caesar, called the Aedes Clementia Caesaris which was decreed by the Se nate in 44 BCE ( Cass. Dio 44.6, App. BC 2.106, Plut. Caes. 57 ). Latin writers 2 ive to rehearse here. A few of his more significant sources to which one may refer are Campbell 1968, Crawford 1974, and Dumzil 1970. 3 See Fears 1980, Ramage 1985 and Gurval 1997 for details on how this imaging occurred.
29 Principes felt no great need to stray far from these seven vi rtues, since they worked so well. Their effectiveness was enough that the Senate elected to hoist a golden shield in virtus, clementia, iustitia, and pietas ( RG 34) proof, perhaps, that their imaging was effective. connotations. In fact, every time Lucan narrates an exchange between Caesar and another character, be it friend or foe, he targets one or more of these virtues and either associations negative, or exposes the virtue(s) as downright fallacious. This enables Lucan to recast Caesar as a villain. 4 Pax is the foremos blood resting energy [whose] only shame was 145). Lucan here foreshadows for his readers: Caesar comes to Rome looking for c (1.147, 149 50). Lucan thus creates for the reader an impression of Caesar as a warmonger rather than pr oponent of peace. The only occasion on which Caesar does consider peace is shortly after he has entered Rome: 4 The term villain, while surel y appropriate here, is not frequently used to speak of Caesar. There Cato) fit the literary mold, and who, if any, is the hero of the poem. Duff, for example calls Caesar an anti hero of sorts (1927, 328). Heitland has suggested that Caesar is the hero de facto (1887: lxii). More supposition that the collectiv been especially well received. This study, meanwhile, because it does not search after heroism in the for its purposes.
30 tum pectore curas expulit armorum pacique intentus agebat quoque modo uanos populi conciret amores, gnarus et irarum causas et summa fauoris annona momenta trahi. namque adserit urbes sola fames, emiturque metus, cum segne potentes uolgus alunt: nescit plebes ieiuna timere (3.52b 8) Then Caesar drove from his he art the concerns of war and focused instead on peace and how to win over the vain love of the people. He knew that both the causes of wrath and the greatest moments of favor were won by the price of grain, since hunger alone frees cities, and fear is purc hased, when those in power feed the lethargic mob; hungry people do not know how to fear. Peace to Caesar becomes an opportunity for political manipulation. If peace is won on Lucan creates for his readers a Caesar that has less desire for peace than he does for war, and, even when he does pursue peace, he is still maleficent; his focus on pax is selfishly motivated. anwhile, is selective and self glorifying. Upon approaching the Rubicon, for example, Caesar is confronted by a distraught image of the numen Rome. She commands him to lay down his arms and admonishes him that his crossing is 2). He nonetheless defies her: Roma, faue coeptis. non te furialibus armis persequor: en, adsum uictor terraque marique Caesar, ubique tuus (liceat modo, nunc quoque) miles. ille erit ille nocens, qui me tibi fecerit hostem. (199 202) Rome, favor my plans; not with mad arms do I pursue you; behold, I am Caesar, conqueror by land and by
31 sea, and everywhere I am your soldier, now, too, if you permit it. It is he who shall be guilty, however, who ma kes me your enemy. merely continuing his bloody path into Italy. Caesar does not obey Rome, despite these seemingly friendly words. Instead, he delegates all responsibility to those who resist him. He is guiltless, he says, and will remain guiltless, regardless of whatever happens afterwards. Moreover, by resisting Caesar an oppon ent makes Rome an enemy to Caesar, thereby bestowing responsibility for civil war not on Caesar, but instead upon those resisting. Notably, too, the dissent would not come from Rome herself but from her citizens, connoting that Caesar, at least verbally, makes a distinction between the two. Caesar nonetheless threatens the divine manifestation of Rome with potential violence, and his impious threat thus makes it clear that, while he may strive to seem pious, he is not. 999 ) reveals both the deficiency of his piety (again) and his eagerness for self burnt circumit exustae nomen memorabile Troiae 964) 5 and its vicinity, chambe and other places of religious significance (970 979). What piety he does show turns to selfish ends: he erects a makeshift altar to Aeneas and his ancestors of the Iulian line 5 line and Vergil (1.376) are the only instances of a verb of movement (here, eo ) with the accusative nomen Troiae Aeneid may have had on Augustan and post Augustan rul
32 and swears to build a new Troy (98 7 999). His reverence to them seems dubious, new Troy, Rome. 6 Caesar elevates himself to the level of Aeneas and dares to overthrow the achievements of his ancestor, ye t for the sake of appearances he feigns piety. Rather than show concern for the entirety of his sacred and mytho historical surroundings, he recalls only his own ancestry, and this staged piety is self serving and uncorroborated by deed. This episode rev eals, as Rossi has noted, the selectivity of piety, and, thus, even when Caesar is most pious he is simultaneously impious. k about pius as the epithet of call of Roman heroes in book six of the Aeneid and the inclusion of Augustus in its scene of heroes (789 92) no doubt legitimized Augustus as a l ogical continuation of pius pater 7 Lucan rather depicts Caesar as an impius socer 8 9 of nefas 10 a word 6 Even though Aeneas did not build Rome, his emigration westward was aimed at that end; A. 1.5 7 7 Pius occurs at 1.220, 1.305, 1.378, 4.393, 5.26. 5.286, 5.685, 6.9, 6.176, 6.232, 7.5, 8.84, 9.255, 10.591, 10.783, 10.826, 11.170, 12.175, 12.311; pate r at 1.580, 1.699, 2.2, 3.343, 5.348, 5.461, 5.545, 5.700, 8.29, 8.115, 8.606, 9.172, 11.184, 11.904, 12.166, 12.440, 12.697. 8 Socer consistently refers to Caesar, much like pater is a Vergilian epithet for Aeneas: 1.118, 1.289, 2.477, 2.595, 4.802, 5.64 5.473, 5.767, 6.121, 6.316, 7.53, 7.71, 7.334, 7.352, 7.380, 7.674, 7.701, 8.316, 8.420, 8.440, 8.506, 8.522, 8.629, 8.700, 8.783, 8.795, 9.135, 9.210, 9.1038, 9.1094, 10.7, 10.348, 10.417. 9 Nefas occurs ten times in book one alone (1.6, 1.21, 1.37, 1. 127, 1.174, 1.325, 1.493, 1.590, 1.626, 1.667), a frequency fairly representative of the rest of the poem. 10 De Lingua Latina 6.29 30 also points to the relationship between fas / nefas and fasti / nefasti For the religious nature of nefas / nefasti see Cic. Att. 1.13.3, Vat 20, N.D. 3.56; Verg. A 4.306; Gel. 10.243; Hor. Carm 1.24.20; and Nep. Paus nefas reflect his position as a general without consulship, sinc e
33 connoting vast impiety, which attaches itself so vehemently to Ca their consequences that it becomes something of an epithet for Caesar. Unlike an Homeric epithet, however, it needs no name to accompany it. It is instead a word with enough associative force that it begs Caesar to be its referent, and Caesar at the same time begs mention of nefas 11 Lucan in effect is writing an impius socer who starkly contradicts the idealized pietas of Aeneas. Cato and Virtus The definition of virtus becomes difficult a in civil war context. This is true in Lucan because, not only does any traditional definition fail, but his characters, too, exhibit anxieties as to its nature. Virtus traditionally had two distinct meanings in late Republican and early Imper ial Rome, both of which much like the Greek arte On the one hand, virtus meant raw military prowess. On the other hand, it had far broader implications, signifying the very best in a variety of senses, especially moral (McDonnell 2003). 12 s chaotic world war, virtus becomes criminal, and for that reason is capable of showing virtus since his moral understanding of it has been subverted; virtus is now purely battle valor, with no moral consideration. omnibus expulsae terris the Roman calendar was named for its consuls? And to what degree does it reflect the cessation of 11 This is of course a gradual process. Initially nefas has implications only of civil war. In time, however, Caes ar lays sole claim to nefas When his soldiers hesitate to fell a sacred grove, he takes an axe in his hand and deals the first blow: iam nequis uestrum dubitet subuertere siluam credite me fecisse nefas (3.436 7). 12 For virtus in a moral sense, see Cic. Phil. 13.30; Leg. 1.44; Tusc. 2.30; Hor. Ep. 1.16.52; Sen. Ben. 4.2.3; Dial 12.13.2; Ep 113.2. For arte in a moral sense see Arist. Metaph. 1021 b 20; Heraclit. 112; Democr. 179. 263; Gorg. Fr. 6 ; X. Mem 2.1.21.
34 olimque fugatae / virtutis iam sola fides 2.242 to fli thereafter he adds: Hoc solum longae pretium virtutis habebis: accipient alios, facient te bella nocentem. Ne tantum, o superi, liceat feralibus armis, has etiam movisse manus. Nec pila lacertis missa tuis caeca telorum in nube ferentur: ne tanta in cassum virtus erat, ingeret omnis se belli fortuna tibi (2.285 264a) This alone will be your reward for long kept virtue: wars which others wage will make you guilty. Oh gods, let not fatal strife move even these hands! Nor let javelins cast by your arms strike through the blind cloud of missiles. Lest your virtue spent itself in vain, let every misfortune of war wage itself upon you. rom war simultaneously acknowledges that Cato cannot stay untouched by the warring. Cato is guilty, even though, by abstaining, he maintains his virtus. die quickly, without raising arms and spoiling his virtus Any fuller involvement in civil 1). The hope that virtus might not be spent in vain is peculiar and unclear; perhaps Cato, by dying as an anchor of Stoic v irtus could somehow free other men ideologically, thus Brutus comes to Cato with little ideological clarity and instead relies on Cato to provide outright plea though is to fight, but to do no harm; to die, but to suffer no meaningless death. Martyrdom, in a word, is what Brutus requests.
35 But attempts at martyrdom in the poem fail consistently. These are political suicides, attempts at meaningfu l self slaughter or death in battle. They abound in 581) and the Pompeiians at Ilerda (4.267 292). After their suicide, Volteius and his troops are entirely depersonalized and charac strage cruenta / 570 1). Despite their attempts at valor, the soldiers who kill themselves become identified less with valor than with futility. They are not seen as brave indivi nullam maiore locuta est / ore ratem totum discurrens fama per orbem ] (573 4). The Pompeiians at Ilerda are spared from death by the sw ord without exception (281 282) but die nonetheless while seeking water, hardly a glorious death (292 318). Cato, however, knows better than to attempt politically meaningful self destruction. Stubbornly he chooses to fight for virtus and for Rome, belie ving that by perseverance he might restore them both. He altogether refuses to die until Rome is a lifeless body and libertas an empty shade, which is to say that hope is not yet dead; he will fight until Rome, as he knows it, has perished (2.295 395). Vi rtus as pure military prowess. Lucan forges a tie between libertas and virtus As Brutus suggests, when Cato chooses civil war he leaves Caesar the sole free man left in the w orld, since only Caesar would gladly undertake civil war. Although Cato has been loyal to virtus and an anchor for Stoic principles, he nonetheless, upon undertaking civil war, must relinquish his freedom and cut ties with his idealized (Stoic) version of virtus
36 dangerously loyal soldier, Scaeva, participates in epic virtus and aristeia as an 262) 13 He only accomplishes this by mingling virtus with the crime of civil war, which honorable Cato c ould not do on account of his virtus even on a syntactical level: magnum virtus crimen (6.148). Caesar and his minions have neither honor nor moral consideration, and so they are e mpowered to wage atrocious crimes while others are morally incapacitated attempts at virtus meanwhile, fail because he like most, is an unwilling participant and he holds to a now indefensible version of virtus As Sklenar puts it, Cato is a Stoic living in a senseless universe disparity between goodness and criminality : Cato is moral, Caesar is immoral; Cato canno t cham pion virtus because Caesar has made virtus immoral. Chaos and Clemency permeating the poem: that civil war is terrible and death is a better option. Indeed, chaos and criminality inspire suicide in the best of men. As mentioned previously, Volteius and the Pompeiians at Ilerda attempt politically meaningful self destruction. Most individuals in the poem die unnamed and achieve the same inglorious status as 13 ect libertas so that he is in conflict with his understanding of virtus virtus is criminal destructive to libertas and occurs as an extension of his virtus coterminous with libertas and c riminal virtus licentia Sklenar 2003 presents an excellent study of virtus which addresses questions of morality but avoids mention of libertas or licentia A study of that interaction virtus with both moral and legal concepts might fu contradictory scenarios.
37 Volteius o n his raft. The failure of those Pompeiians at Ilerda, however, reflects not clementia clementia we should clarify an existing misconception of its role in the poe m. Were it true that Lucan prove as powerful in criminalizing him. clementia is entirely consistent reverses its connotations to make it at tributable to evil motives He, therefore, maligns Caesar through his clemency first by making death a desirable end in civil war, and then by depicting clemency as a device for the continuation of suffering. When Caesar first hems in the Pompeiians on t he dry hills of Ilerda, he promptly cuts off their nearest water supply (4.262 3). Thirst spurs the Pompeiians to rage, and 71). Caesar instructs his troops: subtrah e: non ullo constet mihi sanguine bellum. uincitur haut gratis iugulo qui prouocat hostem. en, sibi uilis adest inuisa luce iuuentus iam damno peritura meo; non sentiet ictus, incumbet gladiis, gaudebit sanguine fuso. deserat hic feruor mentes, cadat imp etus amens, perdant uelle mori 280) Check your arms, men, and draw back your swords from not conquer an enemy who challenges you with his throat bared. Behold! Here comes a young army, worthless in their own eyes, wretched, about to die at cost to me; they will not feel the blow, they will fall upon your swords, will rejoice at the bloodshed. Let this rage leave their minds,
38 let the mad impulse ebb, let their wish to die end. s troops do as commanded and spare every one of the Pompeiians (280 282). When their rage has subsided, the Pompeiians surrender and so they dig in the mud with swords, shovels, and mattocks in search of water (292 306). This fruitless endeavor forces m any men to grasp handfuls of mud and squeeze out a few drops of filthy water (308 10) or to crush grasses and leaves for any moisture they contain (316 clementia for though he spares them from one end he condemns them to a worse one. clementia is showcased in this fashion throughout the poem. Domitius, for example, is spared from death and thereby forced to continue civil war (2.507 515). He later claims his death on the fields of Pharsalus as a victory over Caesar (7.602). Caesar spares Metellus, and clemency becomes a tool for polit ical manipulation, one that maintains the appearance of libertas while in fact denigrating it (3.112 168). The clementia then is four fold : to condemn men to a worse fate; to force men to continue waging civil war; to manipulate politically the Roman state; and, of course, to maintain every appearance of goodness. Victoria and the Endlessness of Civil War 8). Shortly thereafter, Cornelia reads her husbands final words to his children: me cum fatalis leto damnauerit hora, exc ipite, o nati, bellum ciuile, nec umquam, dum terris aliquis nostra de stirpe manebit, Caesaribus regnare uacet (9.87 90a)
39 When the fatal hour has condemned me to death, take up, oh sons, the civil war and never, while someone of my stock remains on eart h, let Caesars have the chance to reign. arms culminating in his war in Sicily ( Cass. Dio 48 .2) and his execution at Miletus in 35 BC (49.18). On the one hand then, the order to continue opposing Caesar is a temporary thing timeless: the idea of anti Caesarism. Pompey passes the torch not only to his children but also to Cato and Brutus: two men who would have liked to do away with him, even had he won (2.281 4, 9.258 67). There are two ways at least to interpret this juxtaposition: e ither Pompe idea of anti Caesarism that s later war against Augustus as a continuation of and mind of Cato, and directed to Sextus, in fact emerges as an anti Caesarian idea, 14 which lingers even when Pompey has per ished. In this sense civil war may become a moral or ideological decision. We may even suppose that now the stage is set for virtus to resurface, if indeed resistance to Caesarism is a moral imperative. So, 14 One wonders whether this moment is the turning point in the poem, where civil war is given moral license and its terrors recede. Does Lucan intend his readers to feel a thrill at the prospect of nefas become fas ? My impression is that this is the case.
40 while Caesar does conquer Pompey, he doe s not conquer in civil war, because it has become an ideological struggle. Caesar cannot win by violence over an anti Caesarian ideal. Victoria becomes illusory; Caesar wins Pharsalus, but not the Bellum Civile Soldiers of (Bad) Fortune The heavy han ded denigration of the Augustan virtues fortuna redux and iustitia supports the notion that civil war bleeds into a post Julian era. Fortuna redux is, on one hand, literally related to fortuna and something is awry about fatum and fortuna in which must be addressed in order to understand the role of fortuna redux fortuna it y with eventual destruction (1967: 241 fortuna and fatum into a 9). There is no special significance given to one over the other, since both mark the same destruction and are therefore coterminous. The celebratory sense of fortuna redux meanwhile, is erased from Lu implores Cato to fight and perish quickly (2.284 5). Domitius celebrates his death as a victory (7.602 364 373). Volteius and his soldiers slaughter one another (4.474 581). The Pompe iians at Ilerda are condemned to a wretched end by dehydration (4.267 292). Those significant characters whose death Lucan does not write Cato, Brutus, Caesar are noneth eless fated to die before they arrive (Cato) or settle long at home (Brutus, Caesar). The Fortuna redux is absent from the poem.
41 Iustitia too, is at the forefront of the poem. Justice dies when legality is conferred on crime iusque datum sceleri (1.2). Caesar is not a law abiding citizen, but a general at the head of a faction. His march into Italy is answered by a cessation of the courts in Rome (2.18). Cato alone is called the keeper of i ustitia and a guardian of strict morality (2.389 90), but, when morality has gone, so has iustitia The opposition between Cato and Caesar further demonstrates what the Metellus episode had put quite plainly: Caesar thrives outside of the law, apart from legal justice. Conclusions Caesar may at times represent these virtues, but when he does Lucan makes the positive connotations of these virtues negative. Given that Lucan targets these virtues, representation of the seven Caesarian core virtues. Bella per Emathios plus quam ciuilia campos iusque datum sceleri canimus, populumque potentem in sua uictr ici conuersum uiscera dextra (1.1 3) Wars through the Emathian plains, greater than civil, and right given to wrong, we sing; and the power of nations turned against their own entrails with a victorious right hand. t desire peace for Rome is reflected by the Bella campos Bella is the direct converse of pax and, as iusque sceleri stresses the called i ustitia Populumque dextra (1.145). Victory comes to him only through force and without moral consideration. So,
42 sla victoria is associated with criminal slaughter and Roman self destruction; victory, to Caesar, means force and ruin. Lucan continues cognatasque acies, et rupto foedere regni certatum totis concussi u iribus orbis in commune nefas, infestisque obuia signis signa, pares aquilas et pila minantia pilis. quis furor, o ciues, quae tanta licentia ferri? gentibus inuisis Latium praebere cruorem cumque superba foret Babylon spolianda tropaeis Ausoniis um braque erraret Crassus inulta bella geri placuit nullos habitura triumphos? (1.4 12) and kindred lines, and, when the treaties of a kingdom are broken in common impiety, conflict between all the forces of the shaken world; s tandards waged against unh ealthy standards, equal eagles, javelins threatening javelins. What madness was it, oh citizens, what great license of war? Was it pleasing, when proud Babylon has yet to be robbed of her Ausonian trophies and the shade, Crassus, unavenged wanders, to offe r Latian blood to enemy races, and for wars to be waged which are destined to have no triumphs? In the phrase cognastasque nefas even though pius is not directly stated, the imagery still reeks of impiety : familial bloodletting, broken treaties, th e whole world involved in nefas pietas which Lucan claims is not piety at all, is here proclaimed as one more theme for the poem. Infestisque pilis is a conflation of opposing similarities. From Augustus onward, representation of virtus featured a figure either the goddess herself or the particular virtus of an emperor ( e.g., Virtus Augusti ) holding the Roman pilum ( Fears 1980a: 892 velins threatening virtus remained a term for military prowess (Fears 1980b: 747 8),
43 though for the likes of Cato, it had the likeness of Greek arte with broader, particularly virtus is represented he re as strictly military prowess: waging civil without moral consideration. This clash of similar forms (equal eagles, standards against standards) and their war like nature showcases military prowess virtus amorally. Quis ferri reflects two di stinctly different albeit related virtues. The first is the Caesarian clementia Furor is surely antithetical to clemency. Harris remarks in his above all clementia 2001: 406). Although Caesar does bestow clemency on his opponents, it is through his clemency that his wrath is most evident. The Pompeiians at Ilerda are spared, and as a result they are forced to a more wretched death than if them (4.267 292). Domitius is spared from death and is thereby forced to continue civil war (2.507 515). He claims victory only when he lies dying (7.602 615). Also present here is licentia the unlawful counterpart to libertas As stated in my previo licentia was able to maintain every appearance of libertas represented here as wholly illegal. Clementia the appearance of mercy, even if mercy is no longer me rciful, was necessary for licentia to be perceived as libertas and it is clementia that Lucan is most able to demonstrate licentia Lastly, gentibus triumphos reflects on the role of fortuna redux in civil war. Although fortuna redux is supplanted in the poem by fortuna and fatum destruction rather than any safe homecoming for soldiers, the reference here nonetheless
44 maintains the impression of fortuna redux Crassus and his soldiers, slaug htered by the Parthians and left unavenged, received no safe homecoming, and their loss is no concern for Caesar. His standards, the tropaeis Ausoniis signs of the legion, have yet to return to Rome. Their safe return might have been a reasonable concer n, but instead awarded for foreign wars; civil war deserves none. Caesar also swears to destroy the old Rome when he promises to build a new Rome so that h effectively an annihilation of their old home in favor of the continuation of war reversal of ideals includes the virtues Caesar champions. This deconstruction of Caesar enables the poet to craft a new Caesar one whom Lucan uses to iterate anti Caesarian sentiments.
45 CHAPTER 4 RECONSTRUCTING CAESA R Caesar composes his commentarii i n such a way that he is responsible for acquiring no enemy, instead seeking to reinstate order and ideals, while maintaining a warm, honorable, and social demeanor. His enemies, meanwhile, are entirely at fault: they are the instigators, they are the warm ongers, and for his opposition to them Caesar becomes a hero, overcoming them to unify the Republic. This is accomplished in part 1 Caesar elaborates on this narrative tone by repeatedly referring to the letters he introduced at the beginning of his Bellum Civile correspondence with Pompey and the Senate, which he hoped, might have prevented hostilities (1.1 20). In his final chapters especially, Caesar mentions how reluctant he is to wage war and that he acts not out of desire, but rather out of n ecessity. For instance, when he speaks prior to Pharsalus he m akes a point to mention his keenness for a cessation of hostilities. He fights though, because he must (3.90). The result is that Caesar according to his memoirs is a non initiating participant, leading his troops wherever necessity compels him not thr ough any compulsion of his own. The self image he creates depends on this positive view of himself and his allies, and a negative Caesar from a negative ventriloquist derson 1996: 265). 1 Bellum Civile is strung, like all disco urse, between (i) the selection of actional reality and its mutation, and (ii) the supply of relational terms which establish a
46 This Caesar villain, a curse to Rome, ranging across the world with an unquenchable thirst for blood. Yet, although Lucan condemns him by associating him with blood lus ty allies and opposing him to good men and although the poem criminalizes him outright, closer study nonetheless reveals that Caesar, in fact, represents a non initiating character in as well He never personally raises a hand against his ene my, and the momentum of that first legal transgression (to cross the Rubicon) and the sense of necessity derived from that act are all that compel him forward. Caesar speaks to that we are 1). Everything that follows, Caesar is aimed at liberating Rome from its tyrants. Lucan is but a veneer Caesar wears to keep himself from being seen as the tyrant. There is then a narrative battle at play here, to which Lucan himself refers ( me teque legent 9.981), s justifications are juxtaposed with Divus Iulius worshipped for his clementia the denigration of whose values was discussed in the previous chapter; and the other of Caesa r the dictator, bane of Republican liberties. Lucan highlights the latter of these two Caesars primarily through a careful reversal of opponents in a positive light and his allie s in negative one, all the while coordinating
47 Lucan utilizes four consistent narratives of blame: he attacks Caesar with direct blame, xt of lament, which noteworthy like a hero but characterized antithetically. Lamentation in Civil War Because epic evolved from stanzaic poems of praise, 2 it is na tural that heroic epic praises its hero in order to promulgate his deeds and propagate his story. Thus, in tendencies to subvert epic conventions the opposite occurs. Whereas Homeric epic waxes sublime with praise for heroes and gods by epithet 3 and aristeia, 4 and Vergil 2 de Vries (1982, 242 4) argues this point, suggesting that epic evolved from lyric poet ry and hymns. He points out that early theist cultic dithyramboi intersected with the lyrical praise in hero cult worship, and the two generated more intricate interactions between their characters, which eventually became epic. M. L. West takes this a st Rigvedic, that the origins of epic began with Indo European praise poetry, as early as the mid second nce, See also Nagy 1979 & 1999 and Du 2002. 3 Heroes and gods in the Iliad ex ample, will always bring Achilles to mind for the reader of the Iliad epithets, and for the significance and uniqueness of heroic and divine epithets in the Iliad see Rambo 1932. 4 The nature of aristeia in the Iliad varies Agamemnon picks up his terrifying shield (11.32 7), and a gruesome aristeia follows (11.91 285). Although Patroclus behaves with all the violence and pride of a typical Homeric hero in his aristeia (ongoing 16.270 857), he nonetheless leaves behind an abiding memory of himself as a good natured man. His death (16.855 7) is described in the same words as aristeia in books 20 22 covers the entire spectrum: he is at first glorious and eventually gruesome. Not every hero re ceives an aristeia See Scott (1974, 100 119) for a study of aristeia accessible study of simile, see, again, Scott 1974.
48 praises Aeneas by epithet 5 and gives expansive direct praise to the living Augustus (1.286 8, 6.789 805, 8.675 728), Lucan avoids much direct praise 6 and instead narrates his epic with woeful asides about the devastation Caesar inflicts upon Rome. lamentation, rather than bolstering a hero, maligns his villain. While it is true that lamentation is a benchmark of heroic epic 7 such as the body of Hector is returned to Troy and the entire city grieves ( 24.707 8) it does not occur as an expression by the narrator, nor is it as frequent or formative for the poem as in Lucan. For example, the poet cries Heu E arly in the half ruined houses, cities are abandoned, fields are left unplowed due to a lack of manpower (1.13 29). Again later, Lucan exclaims Heu! : those who wage civ il war are miserable, and, when peace comes, they regret ever having brandished their weapons 5 These epithets created for the hero positive imagery. The most common are pius (1.220, 1.305, 1.378, 4.393, 5.26. 5.286, 5.685, 6.9, 6.176, 6.232, 7.5, 8.84, 9.255, 10.591, 10.783, 10.826, 11.170, 12.175, 12.311) and pater (1.580, 1.699, 2.2, 3.343, 5.348, 5.461, 5.545, 5.700, 8.29, 8.115, 8.606, 9.172, 11.184, 11.904, 12.166, 12.440, 12.697). 6 The exception is his (perhaps) praise of Nero at 1.33 66. In my own opinion, however, the ch Caesar (59) may be read as metapoetic: Lucan prays not for Caesar to be visible to the populace, but of the epic. The passage is often treated: see Ahl 1976 and Holmes 1999, for example. 7 Just as blame naturally evokes its praise worthy counterpart, lamentation, too, evokes an alternative. Nagy notes this in Greek epic, as it manifests in kleos and p enthos / agkos penthos itself is used by the poetry of the Homeric and Hesiodic traditions as a foil for kleos 95). The principle itself does not require that specific verbiage: in the Iliad grief over devastation, for example, Lucan recalls its former gl ory; by lamenting the fall of the Republic, he idealizes it as an alternative to the principate.
49 or having desired wretched wars (4.382 388). Once again, Heu! : there is no force, save death, which can deliver a man from the terror of civil war (5.228 230). As Lucan repeats his exasperated laments (2.517, 2.575, 2.708, 5.310, 5.690, 6.303, 8.139, 8.604, 10.518), he drives home the deplorable nature of civil war. This is a stark r is threatened (5.354 7). As Lucan laments the historical decline of the state, there can be Nero. 8 Thus, by relating the past and present, it is as if Lucan wrap s them together in a nice little package Caesarian legacy. 9 He knows (and regrets) how the story must end, and so he str uggles with the horror as he tells the tale. 10 Lamentation routinely cues the introduction of new terrors, so that it is like a prologue that establishes the state of mind with which Lucan wishes readers to approach the content. (The tone determines how co reticence reveals more than reluctance, but a zeal for repulsion: he narrates events so that he no longer promulgates them but condemns them outright. It would seem that, because of its effect, lamentation is not so much a sh owcase of narrative reluctance as civil war: a 8 Nero debased currency, spent extravagantly, and turned the high cost of grain to his profit. During a time of especially great poverty, he even ordered a shipment of grain from Alexandria to be replaced with sand for his gladiatorial games (Suet. Nero 43 indeed legendary, despite being a fiscal conservative where state economic policies were concerned (Tac. Hist 1 .16.2; cf. Kragelund 2000, Elsner 1994, Rupis 1994). 9 morae as they occur in the poem, see Masters 1992, 5 9, and Leigh 1997, 87 91. 10 Cf. Verg A.
50 consistent struggle not simply to tell the story, but to recast Caesar as a blood lusting Casting Blame Lucan frequently rebukes Caesar for his crimes by issuing direct blame. At times this can take on a tone of lamentation, as in book four, when Lucan sighs, Heu, miseri qui bella gerunt! (382) and then proceeds t o describe at length the atrocities caused by civil war for which Caesar is responsible. Caesar, meanwhile, smiles (363 401). Lucan thus laments what is lost while depicting Caesar with a grotesquely gleeful reaction. The smile here is significant as a signifier of criminality, since smiling occurs in epic as an expression of immoral and bloody pleasure. In the Hesiodic Aspis for example, surrounding devastation (264 70). In the Iliad Greek while striking deep terror in the Trojans (7.214 6). He advances as raw bloodlust incarnate. Ajax, with a smirk, surpasses the bounds of sanity and races toward madness. This smile recalls this same bloodiness and insanity of Ajax and that is thematic of the Greek epic smile (Halliwell 20 08: 58), and for that he is guilty. This narrative effusion of blame is the most direct means by which Lucan vilifies Caesar, and they occur throughout the poem (for example, 2. 439 446, 2.650 62, 7.168 171, 7.551 6, 7.789 795, 9.980 advance on Rome:
51 Caesar in arma furens nullas nisi sanguine fuso gaudet habere uias, quod non terat hoste uacantis Hesperiae fines uacuosque in rumpat in agros atque ipsum non perdat iter consertaque bellis bella gerat. non tam portas intrare patentis quam fregisse iuuat, nec tam patiente colono arua premi quam si ferro populetur et igni. concessa pudet ire uia ciuemque uideri (2.439 446) Caesar, mad for war, is not happy with any route unless it brings bloodshed, and delights because the Hesperian invades are not deserted, his march itself is not for nothing, and he wages war after w ar. He would rather smash down the city gates than enter them wide open, rather devastate the fields with sword and fire than tread them with the permitted, like a citizen. There are, as of yet in commentarii depend on the af orementioned correspondence with Rome (1.1 20), in which Caesar had allegedly agreed to disband his troops, as long as Pompey and the Senate would dismiss the legions they had gathered and welcome him (Caesar) without hostilities. Pompey and the Senate re fused these demands. All of this Lucan omits, more than a citizen and his arrogance in invading Rome, self importance and licentia on its grandest scale. 11 It also recalls the alternative to civil war (peace), which Caesar eagerly dismisses despite his rhetoric about peace. 11 Henderson remarks 9. See chapter one for my discussion on licentia
52 Lucan also lambasts Caesar immediately after the battle at Pharsalus: cernit propu lsa cruore flumina et excelsos cumulis aequantia colles corpora, sidentis in tabem spectat aceruos et Magni numerat populos, epulisque paratur ille locus, uoltus ex quo faciesque iacentum agnoscat. iuuat Emathiam non cernere terram e t lustrare oculis campos sub clade latentes (7.789b 795) He sees blood driven rivers and bodies piled as high as lofty hills, he watches heaps settling in putrefaction, and he counts the peoples of Magnus, and that place is prepared for a feast where he can discern the faces and features of those lying dead. It pleases him that he can no longer see the Emathian land and scan with his eyes the fields hidden beneath carnage. Caesar has not openly professed to love carnage, yet Lucan charges him with exac tly his men to avoid looting corpses and spared many of the conquered. The table set overlooking the battlefield is a partial omission; Caesar claims to have found it in the enemy camp, set for Pompey and his commanders (3.96 civil war. Lucan directly blames Caesar by providing him with intentions where he ( Caesar the character) provides none of his own, and they are abetted by the selectivity Praise for Caesar? Closely related to direct blame are thos when accommodate his version of Caesar
53 and the direct application of blame is that, while dire ct blame here may provide an intention where none is apparent, scorn renders an apparently positive action negative. Commonly this occurs whenever Caesar bestows clemency (2.507 515, 3.134 140, 4.273 280). 12 One example comes shortly after Caesar has entere d Rome, when he recognizes the hunger among her citizens: tum pectore curas expulit armorum pacique intentus agebat quoque modo uanos populi conciret amores, gnarus et irarum causas et summa fauoris annona momenta trahi. namque adserit urbes sola fames, emiturque metus, cum segne potentes uolgus alunt: nescit plebes ieiuna timere (3.52b 58). Then Caesar drove from his heart the worries of war and focused instead on peace a nd how to win over the vain love of the people. He knew that both the causes of wrath and the greatest moments of favor were won by the price of food, since hunger alone frees cities, and fear is purchased, when those in power feed the lethargic mob; hung ry people do not know how to fear. Curio to ob tain grain fro m Sicily, which is a prompt and adequate solution for a starving nation. Pompey has, while presiding over the grain supply, allowed the people to starve, and on the surface it seems that Caesar is tending to his people and seeking to fulfill their need. Lu means to purchase their fear. In this sense Lucan forces Caesar from his non initiating venee r, and although Caesar continues his war under the pretense of necessity, Lucan 12 clementia into a criminal value, see my previous chapter.
54 insists that his readers see past any good deeds and detect his villainous motives. Lucan does not hesitate to write between the lines: even when Caesar does good for his peop le, he is acting out of self serving motivations. Guilty by Association Lucan also draws a negative image of Caesar by associating him with blood lusty allies (1.352 91, 5.310 73, 6.118 262, 7.495 505). After Caesar has crossed the Rubicon, for example, h e justifies his march on Rome (1.296 351). His rhetoric is met by murmurs of discontent from his soldiers, not because they disagree with the action but because Caesar fe lt it necessary to justify himself to such an intensely loyal speech affirming his devotion: he is so loyal to Caesar that he would kill his pregnant wife, pierce his br 391). Horrendous familial bloodletting 13 affirms his devotion to Caesar, and consequently association. 13 blood (1.95). As Caesar founds his new Troy/Rome, he imagines himself a new Aeneas/Romulus (9.987 slaughter, i in law even ridden looting of the corpses of family members after Pharsalus, which comes only after Caesar has urged his soldiers to do so (7.736 59).
5 5 unproven by mutiny: non pudet, heu, Caesar, soli tibi bella placere iam manibus damnata tuis? hos ante pigebit sanguinis? his ferri graue ius erit, ipse per omne fasque nefasque rues? (5.310 3) Oh! in a war condemned by your troops? Will they be disgusted by blood before you? Will rule by sword grow burdensome to them, while you rush through every right and wrong? rt while later, as mutiny br eaks out among his troops, Caesar invites his soldiers to quit the legion if they so wish, though the instigators of the mutiny must be punished (319 364). When Caesar expresses that he has neither affection nor a need for them, his soldiers, as if having suffered some deeply emotional blow, recall their devotion. They volunteer their necks to his sword in hopes that this demonstration might win his love. The mutiny 373). This ep isode reinforces that, even while Caesar does not personally initiate battle, he is his their perverse patriotism to Caesarian rule rather than to Rome herself is slaked by fraternal blood.
56 Scaeva. Here is the most hyperbolic aristeia typically a heroic feature, although initiating persona. Scaeva cuts down enemies right and left and suffers wound after wound, which might otherwise be mortal, were he not so driven by his perverse affection for Caesar (6.118 nders him entirely unheroic, and his aristeia does not inspire the virtus of his fellow soldiers but rather, as Leigh notes, turns him and them into spectacle (1997: 166 the only option a man has is to stand in awe (or laugh ). 14 Scaeva raises the bar for blood letting to a level where other troops would dare not proceed, so that virtus is utterly befouled, and it shrivels and dies at the spectacle. As Sklenar notes, Scaeva pollutes virtus by displaying pietas in a manner that becomes nefas and crimen ; essentially, Scaeva is evidence that Caesar taints even the most excellent characteristics (2003: 45 8). This embodiment of all that is terrible about civil war is a prime example of the transformation of a heroic attribute into villainy, so that Caesar becomes culpable for bloodlust by proxy. A Very Good Enemy so vilifies Caesar. His purest opponent is the imago Romae who appears to him at the edge o f the Rubicon and admonishes him for crossing (1.185 to her is tantamount to opposition to all of Rome; fitting, since to cross the Rubicon with his army is to break Roman law. From the very onset of the war, Caesar is an outlaw 14
57 By casting Rome herself as an opponent to Caesar Lucan clarifies that, as Caesar sets More often, however, men possessing a passion for virtus and an arduous love for Rome oppose Caes ar. Whereas the imago Romae stands against Caesar as the collective Roman will, these individuals are holistic representations of that same will. Caesar subdues each of these men by bestowing upon them clemency, which is a fate worse than death. The bes t example is Domitius (2.478 525, 7.599 616). as he appears at the siege of Corfinium, is a coward. He fails to lead effectively because he is afraid, and, when he surrenders, he begs Caesar for his life (1.21). Bu 493) and hurling 502). In time, however, the tables turn. Treachery betrays Domit ius: ecce, nefas belli, reseratis agmina portis captiuum traxere ducem, ciuisque superbi constitit ante pedes. uoltu tamen alta minaci nobilitas recta ferrum ceruice poposcit. scit Caesar poenamque peti ueniamque timeri. 'ui ue, licet nolis, et nostro m nere' dixit 'cerne diem. uictis iam spes bona partibus esto exemplumque Mei. uel, si libet, arma retempta, et nihil hac uenia, si uiceris, ipse paciscor (2.507 515) Behold, crime of war! When the gates are thrown open, troops dragged out their captive leader, and he stands before the feet of a proud citizen. Nonetheless, with threatening face and neck unbowed, his high nobility demanded the sword. Caesar knows he desires the punishment and fears a pardon. He sa you do not wish it, and by my generosity see day. Be a good hope now for the conquered and an example of my behavior. You may even take up arms again, if you like, and, for my part, I demand nothing for this pardon, if
58 you should con Even as he is taken prisoner Domitius remains indomitable in spirit. To Domitius, Caesar is not a great or unconquerable figure, but instead a civis superbus Domitius dy for his meaningful death. Caesar instead chooses to make Domitius a model for his clementia thus denying him right to the death he desires. Worse still is the fact that Caesar demands nothing in return. Domitius leaves Corfinium a failed leader, living (although he does not wish it), his will forfeited to a man to whom he is neither indebted nor otherwise bound. Caesar even adds si libet as if he is presenting Dom itius with a choice. The opportunity for a politically meaningful death, however, is lost, robbed of clementia like so many others. 15 clementia Domitius must willfully continue on the path of civil wa r, but even as he rises Finally, at Pharsalus, Domitius wins the death he desires (which is a stark contrast t o the historical record). 16 Lucan invents a singularly dramatic 17 death for Domitius 15 16 The historic death of Domitius that is, if we trust the accounts of Caesar and of Cicero, who both had their own political agendas tied up in their writing comes as he flees Pharsalus near the end of nd is trampled by his horse. Cicero, meanwhile, insists in his Phillipics that Marc Antony cut down Domitius, as he was fleeing from battle on his horse. Cicero moreover notes that Caesar would have spared Domitius, as he spared others in the battle ( BC 3 .99.5, Phil. 2.71). 17 Singularly dramatic, because it is the only death to which Lucan gives much detail. lamenting the individual death (7.617 646).
59 (7.599 616): victus totiens a Caesare salua / libertate perit: tunc mille in volnera laetus / labitur ac venia gaudet caruissa secunda died wi th his liberty intact: now happily he falls beneath a thousand wounds, rejoicing aristeia is never given its fair share of lurid details (perhaps because any battle valor is at this point bound to be reminiscent of Scaeva or else falter by comparison), it is implied here. Domitius falls mille in volnera suggestive of an aristeia blood lusting display. Domitius moreover faces death bravely and willingly, the reby fulfilling his ideal, perishing in a meaningful way. Caesar approaches him and declares: iam Magni deseris arma / successor Domiti ; sine te iam bella geruntur .607 8). Domitius, despite his many wounds, dying as the first and only man to assert victory over Caesar, is still permitted a speech: Non te funesta scelerum mercede potitum sed dubium fati, Caesar, generoque minorem aspiciens Stygias Magno duce libe r ad umbras et securus eo: te, saevo Marte subactum, Pompeioque gravis poenas nobisque daturum, cum moriar, sperare licet (7.610 5) Because I do not see you as a master of wickedness at so foul a price, but rather uncertain of your fate, Caesar, vie wing you as less than your son in law, I go well and free to the Stygian shades with Magnus as my leader; while I die I can hope that you, subdued in savage war, will pay a heavy penalty for Pompey and me. Domitius sees in hi s final moments hope for Ca He dis empowers Caesar because he ceases to be the master over even his rightful domain, wickedness, and becomes dubium Domitius moreover attains freedom in his death, which, as
60 discussed in the previous chapter, was something that heret o had belonged only to Caesar. Domitius is also securus ; to live under a Caesar is less secure than to dwell among Stygian shades. In these ways Domitius aristeia shown in the face of death further vilifies Caesar: the e more terrible Caesar becomes by comparison. The Makings of a Villain Gorman 2001: 270, Marti 1975: 76), it follows that we analyze how the villain Caesar reflects or subvert s the qualities of an epic hero Alt hough heroes have flaws they also represent traits and values that society admires. Caesar is the opposite; while he may uphold certain values, his efforts are cruel and harmful, making his positive attributes negative The same could be said, perhaps, for the likes of Achilles in the Iliad but Achilles, for his heroic depiction, is redeemable and Caesar is not. Caesar champions p ax ; and yet is overcome by bloodlust. He bestows clemency, but clemency is no longer me s hypocrisy representing a value, while denigrating what makes it good is one aspect that makes him the villain. Heroes also demonstrate aristeia a sustained battle valor through which they distinguish themselves from normal men. Trad itionally it is an admirable trait. Caesar is a neutral agent, however, and every characteristic assigned to Caesar manifests though aristeia as he, with indomitable devotion to his leader, fends off countless foes while suffering blow after bludgeoning blow without being fazed. Aristeia is polluted by how over the top the whole display is; virtus
61 is befouled, and any notion of heroic battle valor becomes disturbing. We may also say to be joined by worthy companions (Aeneas with his Trojans, Achilles with his vice versa is, again, antith etical to heroic convention. struggles. Caesar, however, experiences no struggle and ther efore no change. Necessity drives him onward like an unstoppable force, one that even recycles itself by bestowing clemency (forcing the defeated foe to be defeated again). Any resistance to Caesar (successfully anyway) must be either intensely disturbin g or downright comical (Henderson 1998: 166), for, although we may lament that there is no hero capable of slaughter even if Cato, for instance, were to stand against Caesar as an equal. Because Caesar does not struggle and because he is a non initiating character he can undergo no personal growth. We may instead see him as a self destructive character, since he both equates himself with Rome and wages civil war. 18 Self destruction rather than growth is, once more, antithetical to heroic convention. 18 destructive tendencies, the best case to be made is regarding his felling of the sacred grove in book three. Caesar is reminiscent of Erysichthon ( Ov. Meta. 8.749 884) as he cuts down an ancient tree. The difference is, while Ery sichthon is later struck with insatiable famine, consumes Rome. See Phillips 1968 for the detailed argument.
62 Conclusion Lucan casts Caesar in the role of an unsympathetic villain The techniques he uses to do this include direct blame, which assigns to Caesar negative intentions; scorn, which also malicious men and opposing him to better men. All of these permit Lucan to achieve his goal vituperation of Caesar and still present him as a non initiating character. These devi ces, therefore, lead the narrative into chaos: what, other than nihilism, remains for a
63 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION ss (1.608 648, 1.673 695), it brings mass suicide (4.474 581), summons inclement weather (1.72 87, 4.49 120, 5.540 556, 5.593 677, 6.461 484), and blurs understanding of right and wrong. In a word, Lucan writes his world into nihilism, so that what ought to have clear definition defies all understanding, and morality becomes confused. Yet example, says that Lucan questions the validity of Stoicism and that chaos in t he poem (2) Chaos is the (un)natural result of Luc Chaos begs the reader to understand the terror of Caesarian rule. Because, as Sklenar notes (2003: 2 recent scholarship on Lucan with infrequent definition, I will clarify what I mean by the term. Nihilism can have two possible meanings relevant to our study here: either that emptiness or triv ought to have significant meaning (e.g. virtue) is instead meaningless. Nihilism in the
64 poem, simult but nothing is really right), is aggravated by how Lucan frames Caesar words and action, with lamentation, censure, or dismissal. Caesar alone is constant, he alone stands above t liber in orbe / solus Caesar 2.280 1), he is thus culpable for every crime. Both Caesar and his war are an affront to natural order. Lucan makes this evident chiefly through three adumbrati ons: first, that Rome had conquered the world (1.109 11); second, that Caesar was Rome (1.284 5, 5.397 9); and third, for perfect resolution, that Caesar was everything (3.108). This logic is supported by other passages in the poem that produce an image o f Caesar as power personified. Caesar crosses the Rubicon and tells the imago Romae that he will never be responsible for becoming an enemy of hers; he is her friend, and whoever opposes him is responsible for war (1.203). This incident establishes that Caesar transgresses both moral and legal boundaries without being personally responsible for either. He is, essentially, an all powerful agent claiming no agency. He continues to presume his own greatness when he raids the treasury in Rome, and Rome becom great leaders such as Curio have given in 271), wealth becomes a measure him a great deal of his power and claim to legitimacy (1.274 7). Without wealth Caesar would never have had Curio. Money thus gives Caesar power and the means to purchase moral right.
65 Here is the crux of the nihilism in the poem, to which Lucan gives constant attention: Caesar commands the world, thanks to his willingness to commit any crime, and yet he still insists on laying claim to the virtues he so clearly antithesizes. Pax, clementia iustitia pietas fortuna virtus and victoria are wholly illusory in the poem. Civil war to Caesar meant, among other things, the preservation of the apparent evident in tone and content ) draws out their fallaciousness. Lucan denigrates the illusion of them and promotes their actuality. This core theme of the poem forces some virtus tudy on the representation of virtus in the poem is vali d; although Lucan is not writing about virtus but the feigned Caesarian representation, and virtus itself is not a theme of the poem but part of a larger system turned against Caesar. This understand ing denigration of the seven Caesarian core virtues leads to the realization that chaos and nihilism themselves are a vilifying device. Indeed, the vilification of Caesar is not inci First, Caesar destroys libertas the sole hope for Roman moral and legal identity. By thrashing libertas Caesar removes every moral and legal boundary that might otherwise constrain h is conquest. Second, Caesar claims to represent admirable things, when in fact he either does not display the characteristics he claims or he transforms the positive aspects of those characteristics into something negative. This blurs all understanding o f right and wrong. Caesar proves to be wholly insincere appearing to represent something good, while in fact causing bad by removing moral
66 and legal bounds. Thus, the seven Caesarian core virtues are inextricably linked to libertas as is any stability through both targeted content and tone. Because Lucan makes Caesar into a cause for lamentation and retreats to that lamentation at every opportunity, he gives away the essence of his story: Caesar is the villain because Lucan insists on making him one. Were Lucan to distance himself as narrator, the impulse from the reader to regard perspective; regardless of whatever else Caesar does in the poem and wherever else events lead, Lucan is solely responsible for making Caesar unsympathetic. Caesar, the villain. We may speculate a s to the cause for Natura 6). Because written grand image as a libertator and his eagerness to wage civil war, simply because he cannot permit an equal, we may conclude that the Bellum Civile commentaries on the civil war. This is corroborated by the timeline of the story, which opting of swers Caesar: You
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72 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Andrew Roth was born in 1986, the second of two children, in Indianapo lis, Indiana. He was raised there until attending Beloit College in Beloit, WI for his undergraduate education, where he majored in classical p hi lology. After leaving Beloit in 2009, Andrew received his Masters from the University of Florida, where he co ntinues to teach th e u niversity ntroductory Latin sequence.