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1 FERRUM FODDER By NICHOLAS A. RICH 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 2011
2 2011 Nicholas A. Rich
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Jennifer Rea, for her advice and diligence. I would also like to thank my commi ttee members, Dr. James Marks and Dr. Mary Ann Eaverly, for there poignant comments and criticisms that undoubtedly benefited this work. Finally, I would like to thank my fellow graduate students who were always willing to give advice and honest feedback abou t my scholarship.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 6 BIRTH ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 8 Mortis A( g / m )or ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 8 Oxford English Dictionary versus Emil Durkheim ................................ .................. 12 TEENS ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 17 Suicide: The Aristocratic Occupational Hazard ................................ ....................... 17 Destructive Methodology ................................ ................................ ........................ 26 Furor Est ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 28 TWENTYS ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 41 Scripti Caesares ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 41 What a Lovely Vest of Spears You Have ................................ ............................... 50 EULOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 69 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................... 72 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 77
6 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School o f the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts FERRUM FODDER By N i c h o l a s A R i c h M a y 2 0 1 1 Chair: Jennifer Rea Major: Cl assic a l Stu dies Scholars such as Shadi Bartsch, Robert Sklenar, and Timothy Hill (1997; 2003; Pompey is replete with suicidal imagery and impulses. Lucan begins his poem by equati ng this civil war to voluntary self killing. This theme runs throughout the Bellum Civile and taints most, if not all, of the scenes. The goal of this thesis is to illustrate how s by with this suicidal proclivity. I will focus on two scenes from the Bellum Civile (4.465 581 and 6.144 262) and show how the main characters in these scenes Vulteius and Scaeva attempt to assimilate themselves to two of the most prominent figures from the Roman imagination Cato and Aeneas. Further, I will elucidate how Lucan portrays Caesar and Caesarianism as the catalysts and embodiments of this suicidal proclivity Chapter one will begin by clarifying the reason for using these two scenes as comparanda I will show how these scenes function as a narrative doublet and ought to be read in tandem. Next, I will establish a working definition of suicide I will argue that the mainstream definition of suicide is too narrow and culturally conditioned to be
7 suicide that has a more sufficient scope and betters understands the syntactic relationship between the semantic modifier sui and the verbal semantic head cide This chapter will close by refining a particular type of suicide important to this study and by assessing its paradoxical nature. In chapter two I will investigate the f irst of the two topoi Bellum Civile the mass suicide of Vulteius and his cohort ( Bellum Civile 4.465 581). I will begin by contextualizing suicide to circa 1 st contemporaries, especially those inclined to Stoic philosophy, saw suicide as a potentially powerful weapon. For these men, Cato was the literary and historical example par excellence of the noble, Stoic suicide. I will argue that in order for Lucan to strengthen his metaphor of civil war as suicide he must address and confute this popular belief that suicide could be a positive act in the hands of the correct individual. Lucan does this by having Vulteius attempt to assimilate himself to key aspects of the calmness, t heatricality, and philosophical musings However, in trying to do so, Lucan shows how Vulteius merely invalidates the act itself by of his moral depravity, his bloodlust, and his utter devotion to Caesar. Further, I will contend that Lucan seems to be us ing this example of corrupted Roman virtue as a serve as an instance of a dissonance between these two audiences, that the external audience will recognize the moral decadence of Vulteius.
8 BIRTH Mortis A( g / m )or Bella per Emathios plus quam civilia campos Iusque datum sceleri canimus, populumque potentem In sua victrici conversum viscera dextra, Cognatasque acies, et rupto foedere regni Certatum totis concu ssi viribus orbis In commune nefas, infestisque obvia signis Signa, pares aquilas et pila minantia pilis. . Bella geri placuit nullos habitura triumphos? Heu, quantum terrae potuit pelagique parari Hoc quem civiles hauserunt sanguine dextrae . Tum, si tant us amor belli tibi, Roma, nefandi, Totum sub Latias leges cum miseris orbem, In te verte manus (1.1 7, 12 14, 21 3) 1 right given to wrong, and of a powerful body (politic) who gutted itself with its own shaken world vied for a share of the nefas once the pact of tyranny was broken; how standards opposed hostile standards, eagles were paired, and j avelins threatened javelins. . Did it seem like a good idea to wage unwinnable wars? Alas! How much land and sea could have been purchased with the blood spilt by civilian hands. . Then, Rome, if your love of wicked war is so great, after you have impos ed Roman laws on the whole world, turn your hands back onto yourself.] In the first three lines of the Bellum Civile Lucan equates civil war to voluntary self killing; from the proem to mass suicides to suicidal aristeiai this equation work. In fact, twice within the first twenty three lines he employs the imagery of hands turning against their own bodies. The centrality of this theme in Lucan 1 All translations of ancient sources will be my own.
9 find s its chronicler in Tacitus it is to Lucan and his epic on the civil war between 2 Lucan makes it clear in line 13 Bella geri placuit nullos habitura triumphos that, in his eyes, civil war is enti rely destructive and self defeating. Therefore, by extension, suicide is just as deleterious. His poem makes no differentiation between murder and suicide, since it is all the same death. 3 It is one thing to notice a theme, but it is another to interpr purpose. I will argue that Lucan imbues topoi from the Roman imaginary with this suicidal penchant in order to show how the Republican and Augustan ethic have been trodden under foot. I hope to show how the bloodlust that has taken hold o f Rome, embodied in devotion to the harbinger of death, Caesar, has corrupted and mutilated its most intimate virtues. Lucan portrays devotion to Caesar negatively from the beginning. 86) brands such devotion itse lf as nefas He pectore si fratris gladium iuguloque parentis / condere me iubeas plenaeque in uiscera partu / coniugis, inuita peragam tamen omnia dextra est of my brother, the throats of my parents, or into the innards of my wife teeming with child, I 378). any attemp t to adhere to it must necessarily fail. Vulteius (4.465 581) and Scaeva 2 Hill, Timothy, Ambitiosa Mors: Suicide and the Self in Roman Thought and Literature (New York, NY: Routledge, 2004) 213. 3 Barthes, Roland, "Tacitus and the Funerary Baroque," in A Barthes Reader ed. S. Sontag (New York: 1982), 162 166.
10 (6.144 4 will, nevertheless, attempt to display true virtus by assimilating themselves to two of the most prominent figures in the Roman i magination; Vulteius will try his hand at a Stoic suicide and Scaeva will attempt a heroic aristeia Inevitably their assimilations will fail, but their attempts are two s cenes Lucan displays, with full rhetorical flourish, how the values of the mos maiorum cannot stand against the impetuously suicidal obsession that has taken hold of Rome. In a way, then, we can read Lucan as not only challenging the Augustan mythos of Ve rgil, but by extension the mythos of Rome itself. 5 The choice of these two scenes as comparanda supported by the fact that they mimic one another in narrative structure. In fact, no other scene in the Bellum Civile follows the narrative and thematic structure that these two scenes follow. 6 Both scenes begin with the main character in dire straits, with seemingly no way out (4.465 473; 6.133 139), followed by a speech of the character to h is surrounding men encouraging them to their respective deeds (4.476 520; 6.150 165). In this 4 Phrase comes from Sklenar, Robert, The Taste for Nothingness : A Study of Virtus and Relat ed Themes Bellum Civile (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2003) ch. 2. 5 Cf. Heinrich, Alan, Violence in Narrative : Imperium and Identity in Roman Epic (PhD. Diss., University of New York at Buffalo, 1996), 103. 6 That is not to say the themes in these scenes do not occur elsewhere or that no other scenes mimic one another; only that the specific combination of narrative progression and thematic progression is unparalleled. Other scenes in the Bellum Civile are narrative doublets ju st as the Vulteius and Scaeva scenes are. For instance, the Delphic episode (5.71 253) and the Erictho necromancy scene (6.419 830) are such a doublet. Cf. Masters, Jamie, Bellum Civile (New York, NY: Press Syndicate of Un have it, is complete or virtually complete a position I will address in chapter 3. Thus, no further scenes would have been written that would mimic the Vulteius/Scaeva doublet.
11 speech both commanders invoke Caesar, more or less lamenting his absence (4.500 503/512 514; 6.158 160). Upon hearing the speech, the troops are filled with exci tement and frenzy (4.520 525; 6.165 169). The actual battle description ensues, at which point the main character makes another speech (4.529 544; 6.230 235/241 246). The scenes close with the internal audiences expressing admiration for the main charact ers and their deeds (4.570 573; 6.251 259) while the narrator voices his disgust (4.575 581; 6.260 263). The similarity in the progression of the scenes is also mirrored in significant verbal and thematic echoes. One of the main themes both scenes have in common is the use of virtus to show the corruption of the term. Both scenes involve a Caesarian commander and forces, who are described as attonitus taken unawares by a Pompeian force (4.474; 6.131). 7 Also, in the first structural section of each scene the narrator comments, with apparent virtus (4.469 470; 6.132). 8 These remarks explain that the way in which virtus manifests itself in these scenes, is the only manner in which virtus can manifest itself in the context of civil war. In both scenes, as well, virtus is described as deprensa which more deeply connects 7 vultus left hand ) could stand in metonymy for a person. This is certainly not beyond Lucan who has used singular terms to refer to groups of men (e.g. iuventus 4.476) or body parts to refer to individuals (e.g. pectora 6.161) throughout the B.C For further War," Ramus 16 (1987), 122 164 and Masters (1992). 8 Lucan uses virtus 51 times in the Bellum Civile The number of occurrences in each book is in parentheses: 1 (3), 2 (4), 3 (4), 4 (9) 5 (2), 6 (7) 7 (4), 8 (3), 9 (13), 10 (2). In book 4 and 6 the uses cluster around Vulteius and Scaeva. Only 3 occurrences in book 4 are outside of the Vulteius scene, and in book 6 every instance occu explained by the pronounced role of Cato in that book, around whose activities virtus clusters. As I will argue in chapter 2, Cato was one the paradigms of virtus in Republican Rome. Th erefore, it stands to reason that such a figure would textually be surrounded by the virtue he supposedly exuded. I believe that the numerical distribution of virtus strengthens my argument that these two scenes ought to be read in tandem and that the cha virtus is one of their thematic centerpieces.
12 the two scenes at the verbal level (4.469; 6.168). Finally, and quite significantly, both characters, at some point during one of their two speeches, state that death has become an obsession for them (4.517; 6.246). Lucan makes these two announcements mimic one other but with slight variation. Vulteius states that totusque futurae / mortis agor stimulis: furor est ven on by the goad of impending death: it is a crazed 517). Scaeva closes his taunt to the Pompeians with Pompei vobis minor est causaeque senatus / quam mihi mortis amor amor mortis means more to me than both Pompey and the Senat 246). The echo of the phrase mortis a ( g / m ) or in both scenes is a nice bit of poetics that links 9 Lucan, however, does not necessarily state outright that his characters are ethical degenerates. Often he leaves this conclusion to be reached by his reader. As such, these scenes also function as litmus tests for his audiences, both internal and external. Oxford English Dictionary versus Emil Durkheim phor in its depth and beauty is to the type of suicide with which we will be dealing. The Oxford English Dictionary defines ile this probably coincides with how the average individual would define suicide, for our purposes this definition seems too restrictive. First, it fails to differentiate between different modes of self killing and 9 Love, it seems, is more often than not an unhealthy emotion in the B.C. mortis a ( g / m ) or we also find amor belli (1.21; 9.228), amor ferri (1.355), and amor sceleru m corrupted. Recalling the A M O R is simply an anagram of R O M was meant to kill two birds with one stone. By sh owing that AMOR has been corrupted, perhaps he also intended the same condemnation for its anagram, ROMA.
13 focuses too much attention on the semant ic modifier sui in the compound. 10 It would also omit many instances in Lucan which, as we will see later, ought to be categorized as suicide or suicidal. Emil Durkheim also thought this definition was insufficient and proposed a definition in terms of effect rather than intent which, he 11 The definition Durkheim formulated and the definition with which we will Suicide is applied to all cases of death resulting directly or indirectly from a positive or negative act of the victim himself, which he knows will produce this result 12 succeeds where the OED fails by foc using on the semantic head of the compound and analyzing sui cide which is effected in some way by oneself OED defines the syntactic relationship between the semantic modifier sui and the verbal seman tic head cide as accusative of affected object; rather we should understand it, following Durkheim, as that of ablative of cause. which has hindered much suicide researc h. We find a disinclination to classify certain 10 compounds, also known as endocentric compounds, are compound words consisting of a grammatical head and its modifiers, where the whole compound is a subtype of the semantic head. A compound, XY, would mean a type of Y which is related to X in a way corresponding to one of the grammatical cases of X. English doghouse where house is the semantic head and dog is its modifier, is analyzed as a house for a dog or as a Dative compound. s are to be differentiated from Ba huvrihi or exocentric, compounds, which do not have a semantic head. English sabretooth is a bahuvrihi compound, but a sabretooth is neither a sabre nor a tooth; it is an animal that has teeth which are like sabers. Bahuvrihi itself is a bahuvrihi compo und bahu vrihi bahuvrihi who has much rice or a rich person. 11 Durkheim, Emil, Suicide: A Study in Sociology John Spaulding and George Simpson trans., (New York, NY : Free Press, 1951) 43. 12 Ibid., 4 Italics in original.
14 acts as suicides because they seem to be morally upstanding actions. But this operates under the assumption that suicide is somehow inherently immoral. Durkheim cites does not kill himself who, obeying only noble and generous sentiments, throws himself in certain peril, exposes himself to inevitable death, and willingly sacrifices his life in obedience to the laws, to keep pledged faith, for 13 Mi grounds that it would label heroic acts in war or martyrdom as suicides. 14 Unless, however, we assume suicide to be an un heroic, immoral, or irreligious act, there seems to be no reason we should n ot identify such acts as suicides. In order to have a ine with the lone emphasis on the reflexive aspect, modern society has a tendency to focus on the intention of the suicide rather than on the act itself. Therefore, we must be careful not to cling too tightly to a modern concept of suicide, steeped in ima ges of psychiatric patients and angst ridden teenagers who kill themselves from a long standing mental disposition, a concept which seems distinct in kind from our ancient examples. 15 The 13 Ibid., 66, from Etienne Esquirol, Des Maladies Mentales (Paris: 1838) 529. Durkheim also cites others, such as Falret and Bourdin, who refuse to classify certain actions as suicidal that Durkheim b elieves must be classified as such. 14 Greece and Rome 33.1 (1986a), 69. 15 Surely there were suicides which correspond categorically to suicides in modern times, but as per ion, they should be significantly fewer since ancient Roman and Greek society differed from our own, homocentric society, in being very community centric. As the manner of daily life differs from ours, so do the causes of suicide. Cf. Van Hooff, Anton, F rom Autothanasia to Suicide: Self Killing in Classical Antiquity (New York, NY: Routledge, 1990), where he does attempt to catalogue and classify ancient suicides according to modi and causae moriendi although he omits many cases from Lucan which I would have included viz. the Massilians and Scaeva.
15 general focus will be on altruistic suicide which occurs in societie s with high personal where the goal of 16 Durkheim also notes that normally there is social prestige to be gained from altruistic suicide and thus it is, in some ways, a political act. We now have a broad, working definition of suicide and a refined notion of an important type of suicide, but there is a paradox inherent in altruistic suicide which we must address. Once we have looked at the general problem we can contextualize it to circa first century C. E. Rome and see in The paradoxical nature of the altruistic suicide arises because the act is simult Man who rants about it being sometimes profitable to choose what is in fact contrary to one 16 at this point I must part ways with Durkheim. While he cites many examples from Greek and Roman texts, the examples are never about Greeks or Romans; rather, they concern the Gauls, Germans, Celts. In fact, almost every ancient civilization from India to America to China is cited, with the exception of Greece and Rome. Durkheim believed that altruistic suicide was ch moral hierarchy built on social individuation. But his own words show his error. He writes variously, because it is his duty statements seem to describe suicide in Rome, especially under Greco Archives of Suicide Research 8.1 (2004), 43 56.
16 and 17 The Underground Man seems to ignore willfully the obvious counterintuitive logic of his position. If this independent choice leads him to suicide, even though he may be able to assert his will by performing such a purely free choi ce, he will cease to exist if the action is successful. This, then, is our paradox. To whatever degree suicide is an act of agency, that agency is nullified by death; but if the suicide fails, the act is no longer a display of agency. Thus, altruistic s uicide asserts 17 Dostoevsky, Fyodor, Notes from the Underground Hugh Alpin trans., (London, UK: Hesperus Classics, 2006), 30.
17 TEENS Suicide: The Aristocratic Occupational Hazard )contemporaries also saw altruistic suicide, in general, a s entirely destructive, but for many of them, especially his uncle Seneca, suicide could be a powerful tool in the hands of the correct individual. Cato was the Roman literary and historical example par excellence of the noble suicide. 18 In order to maint ain his metaphor of civil war as suicide in spite of the belief prevalent under the Principate that suicide could be used in a positive way, Lucan must deny its supposed noble and positive aspects while emphasizing its wholly destructive aspects. He does this by directly confronting and confuting important elements of suicide in general. In order for altruistic suicide to fit the Roman context we need to identify an affro descriptions in De Officiis that in Roman society the human being was most fully realized when fulfilling his or her proper social role in the best manner possible. 19 But as aris tocratic social roles began to shrink under the Empire, the optimates began to lose their sense of self, as they understood it under the Republic, to the emperor who metaphys 18 Phaedo as can be gathered by his choice of reading material prior to his suicide Phaedo Fo cf. Griffin (1986a). 19 Hill, 57 71, 203.
18 20 so did political autonomy maintain personality and individuality for a Roman. The political system by which they structured their lives was changing drastically, their position as arbitri honorum of the Republican ethic was losing viability, and they were left fewer and fewer means by which to express their libertas One can imagine the aristocrats having something of an existential cris is as they were filched of their autonomy and wanting desperately a way in which to reassert it. It stands to reason that had members of the aristocratic class found a new means of asserting their personal autonomy, they would have cleaved to it zealously For a new liberum arbitrium the Roman aristocrats looked to Cato and his choice of suicide over subjugation. Suicide permeated society in Rome under the Empire and Principate to such an extent that some scholars have argued that political suicide was nearly an institution in 21 Others, such as Yolande Gris, take the contrary position and argue that the data in our sources simply do not support the conclusion 22 bombastic, but our sources, like Tacitus, do corroborate the extreme frequency of suicides from the ascension of Tiberius in 14 C. E. to the death of Nero in 68 C. E ., amounting to what he calls a caede continua (Tac. Ann 6.29, 16.16). Moreover, the 16 extant books of his Annales which span only 50 years, record 74 counts of suicide, 20 Dostoevsky, 33. 21 Greece and Rome 33.2 (1986b), 192 202; Plass, Paul, The Game of D eath in Ancient Rome: Arena Sport and Political Suicide (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995) ch. 7 8; Hill (2004) op. cit.; Edwards, Catharine, Death in Ancient Rome (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007). Griffin (1986a) attributes the ph Conversion: The Old and New in Religion from Alexander the Great to Augustine of Hippo (Oxford: 1933) 197. 22 Gris Yolande, Le Suicide dans la Rome antique (Paris: Bellarmin) 53ff.
19 Periochae covering nearly 500 years, recount little more half of this number. 23 Not only are the numbers drastically different between these two authors, but the circumstances surrounding the suicides differ as well. Many of the suicides in Livy occur during a military campaign, on the side whose city has been besieged, in a situation Van Hooff terms desperata salus (21.14, 23.41, 26.13 15). During the siege of Capua, when they realized that there was no way to fend off the Roman attack, Vibius Virrius and other top citizens chose to end th eir own lives rather than submit to Roman cruciatus contumeliasque (26.13 15). A similar situation is recorded during immolation over submission to Hannibal (21.14). are more eclectic, yet differ in kind from the politically motivated suicides recurrent in Tacitus. Lucretia committed suicide because of an affront to her chastity (1.58), the Curules and M. Fabius, M. Curtius, and Decius Mus I offered their lives by way of devotio 24 (5.41, 7.5, 8.9), Floronia, a Vestal Virgin, committed suicide after having been convicted of stuprum (22.57), and Fulvius Flaccus hanged himself after he went mad from luctus metusque (42.28). In Tacitus, however, we see a shift of perspecti ve from the martial to the civic Roman, military suicides, reminiscent of those found in Livy, 23 Van Hooff, appendix A. The se numbers may not be entirely correct; Van Hooff, in his BMCR of Ambitiosa Mors comments that new data have come to light which were unavailable to him during his research. But the new numbers do not oblige Van Hooff to change his over co nclusions. Cf. Van Hooff, Anton, review of Ambitiosa Mors: Suicide and Self in Roman Thought and Literature by Timothy Hill, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2005.09.09. 24 Hardie, Philip, The Epic Successors of Virgil : A Study in the Dynamics of a Tradition (MA: Cambridge Entretiens Hardt 27 (Geneva: 1980) 135 Representations 33 (1991), 1 36 and C. Barton, The Sorrows of the Ancient Romans (Princeton: 1995).
20 Annales 14.35 37, become far less prominent. He also relates motivations to suicide that are much more wide ranging than those in Livy. Tacitus the primary motivations for suicide ( Ann 6.29). Tacitus presents these motivations as a byproduct of the interaction between the Senatorial class and the princeps ; thus, one rise of the Principate. The incr ease in suicide rates during this period stands in a reaction to it. By the time of Domitian the princeps functions such as establi shing laws by edict, appointing candidates for magistracies, and appointing Senatorial officers. 25 26 Political suicide primarily allowed Roman a ristocrats to remain loyal to their 27 In Roman society where the individual was viewed mainly in terms of allegiance to the Republic at De Providentia libertatem, quam patriae non potuit ( De Prov. 1.2.10). A similar sentiment is found at De Constantia Sapientis 2.2.2; where Seneca concludes that neque enim Cato post libertatem vixit nec libertas 25 McQuire, Donald T., Acts of Silence: Civil War, Tyranny, and Suicide in the Flavian Epics (Germany: Olms, 1997) 8. 26 Hill, 185. 27 Hill, 184.
21 post Catonem battle for the Republic has been lost, and Cato, as fully committed to its values, cannot viably live under a tyranny; therefore, in order to assert his allegiance to the Republic and show that his own conception of self is symbiotically tied to it, he must render his own existence coterminous with that of the Republic. Cato, just like Seneca, took the right to suicide upon himself rather than be granted it by a tyrant who had no right to act as such (Plut. Cat. Mi. mors voluntaria was u niquely suitable for conveying reverse political meaning 28 Interestingly, both the emperor and the suicidal individual were aware of the potency of a political suicide. As we see in Tacitus Annales 3.16, the emperor Tiberius was well aware that these aristocratic suicides could be unfavorable to him, complaining to the Senate that the suicide of Piso was intended to cast invidia upon him. On the reverse, Tacitus intimates that Silan us purposefully staged his suicide agendam ad invidiam ( Ann. 12.8). Although personal goals may have varied, the nobility seem purposefully to have modeled their suicides after a pre established stereotype. The suicides of Thrasea Paetus and Seneca as des cribed by Tacitus show commonalities readily traceable to Cato Minor ; 29 both scenes include the presence of an audience and philosophical overtones. 30 Along with adherence to this 28 Plass, 102. 29 Thrasea: Ann 16.34 5; Seneca: Ann 15.62 4; Cato: Cato Mi 66 73. 30 These common features are more or less noted by Griffin (1986a) 65 6, Hill (2004) 183 88, and Edwards (2007) passim
22 basic scheme, there was a tendency to wax theatrical among the aristocrats. 31 Whether the suicidal individuals themselves also took part in this increasing dramatization or not, phenomenon was publicized wi dely and appeared consistently and uniformly Catonian 32 Hill further argues, following Van Hooff (1990), that the motif of by the time of Nero that it could be parodied by Petronius in his suicide in 66 C.E.: 33 Incisas venas, ut libitum, obligatas aperire rursum et adloqui amicos, non per seria aut quibus gloriam constantiae peteret. Audiebatque referentis nihil de immortalitate animae et sapientium pl acitis, sed levia carmina et facilis versus. (Tac. Ann 16.19) [Having cut open his veins and, according to his humor, bound them up, he again opened them, while he conversed with his friends, not in a serious strain or on topics through which one might strive for the glory of constantia And he listened to them as they recited, not thoughts on the immortality of the soul or on the theories of philosophers, but light poetry and playful verses.] egative clauses (noted in the translation with italics) to suggest that he did precisely the opposite of what was statement on the self conscious literary homogeneity o f suicide scenes. Thus, Cato became the paradigmatic political suicide for the Roman aristocratic class because in his suicide he displayed and upheld the virtus of an aristocrat, asserted his allegiance to the Republic, and protested against Caesar. Si 31 32 Hill, 187. 33 Hill, 186. Cf. Van Hooff (1990) 52.
23 ethical ideals were diametrically opposed to those of Caesar, making continued existence under his rule impossible, Cicero concludes that Catoni moriendum potius quam tyranni vultus aspiciendum fuit upon the De.Off 1.112). By choosing to die rather than deviate from the aristocratic modus operandi Cato displayed his own aptitude for participating in the government of the res publica bility with it. The same set of self Underground Man can be found in the stereotyped suicides of the Roman aristocrats; one asserting, the other destroying. An aristocrat who wished to redefine his identity or display his allegiance to the Republic through a Catonian suicide, could do so only by we seem to encounter a serious hitch. If civil war equates to s uicide, and suicide as defined has both a positive and a negative aspect, then civil war also has the same two aspects. As noted above, however, Lucan makes it clear in the proem that civil war is unwinnable, it is nullos habitura triumphos For Lucan, t he equation of civil war to suicide holds if and only if suicide equals self destruction. But the passages from Seneca, Cicero, and Tacitus show that belief in an upside to suicide was prominent in the aristocratic milieu of the early Empire. In the end, rendered hollow, if he does not both address this aspect of suicide and attempt to shape the response of his intended audience. But the depth to which the Bellum Civile is steeped in suicide and suicidal tendencies indicates that Lucan meant the metaphor to work on a much deeper level. Theodore Crane cites twenty seven examples of suicide
24 34 inclusive, in a ten book poem spanning less than two years that equates to roughly 2.7 Annales yields 4.6 suicides per book, which is more than Lucan, but only 1.5 suicides per year. The numbers for Livy are miniscule compared to both of t hese authors; a mere .84 suicides prominence accorded to suicide by Lucan supports this in terpretation. 35 The dramatic date of the Bellum Civile is 49 rates among the aristocracy crested from 14 B.C.E. 68 C.E., which encompasses 65 C.E. In order to resurrect his metaph or Lucan must counter and cancel out the Catonian aspects of suicide which display the positive side to suicide in Imperial Rome. When the Catonian calmness theatricality and philosophical musings have been nullified Lucan can further his metaphor by an intensification of bodily mutilation and anonymity and by a de emphasis of subjectivity The conditions of calmness and philosophical musings are connected to one another. A proper suicide exhibits the former while engaging in the latter. In the 34 Crane, Theodore, The Imagery of Sui De Bello Civili (PhD Diss., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1964), 122. Data for Tacitus and Livy found in Van Hooff (1990), Appendix A. 35 Cf. Masters (1992: ch. 3 ssion of Lucan Bellum Civile Reflections of Nero: Culture, History, and Representation eds. Ja Elsner and Jamie Masters (London: Duckworth, 1994), 151 177, where Masters argues that what previous scholars have seen as glaring historical mistakes in Lucan actually betray a deep and intimate understanding of the facts as presented in authors such as Livy, Valerius Maximus, and especially Caesar. Instead of historicity or lack thereof. Therefore, he concludes, Lucan makes intentional alterations to the historical material. Commenta rii
25 acco unts of Cato, Thrasea Paetus, and Seneca each man is seen discussing philosophy with those around him, seemingly unconcerned with his coming doom. In discussion took place, C ato calmly retired and began to read the Phaedo (Plut. Cato Mi. 67 68.2). Tacitus relates how Thrasea Paetus was found de natura animae et separation of the soul a 36 The death scenes of Seneca and Cato are extremely intricate and drawn out, each one attempting multiple methods by which to k point so that we might focus on the composition of the audience rather than its size, and on the other, to add a further stipulation of its use as a continuing exemplum. In the case of Cato, his suicide was clearly used as an exemplum of virtus and libertas for aristocratic Romans. Aside from the fact that the suicides of Seneca, Thrasea Paetus, ex exemplum for future ages, more by design than happenstance, since he summoned scribes before his death and dictated plera to them (Tac. Ann. 15.63). The importance of an a udience for Seneca and Cato lay not in how many individuals they could gather around them, but rather in whom they could gather. The success of an aristocratic suicide hinged on its validation as an exemplum by an audience of worthy arbitri honorum. With out such an audience or with no audience at all, the suicide would 36 Griffin (1986a), 65.
26 benefit neither the audience nor the suicide himself since the audience, if not of the correct composition, would be incapable of competently witnessing the act and of understanding its pol itical function. Thus it is termed theatricality because a direct analogy can be drawn to the stage. Acting a part requires an audience to which the actor can communicate a message. In a way, this is the most important aspect of the suicide since all th e preparations one made can only achieve their desired meaning when performed on a stage before a suitable audience. We will see how important an they believe they can secure subjectivity and validation for their actions. 37 Destructive Methodology Lucan confronts all three tendencies of the Catonian model and disarms them one h the stereotyped aspects of suicide that aristocratic Romans exploited. Afterward we can Bellum Civile and identify his methodology in action. Our primary focus will be on Vulteius and his troops who commit mass suicide at 4.465 581, but occasion for parallel examples will lead us afield. This scene showcases, on values inherent therein and, on the other, allows his ingenuity for describi ng the 37 thing given, it is something added and invented and Will to Power §481). We must necessarily conclude that each subject is constituted not simply by the fact that it thinks, wants, and acts, but also by what it thinks, wan ts, and does. As it is for Nietzsche, so it is for the Stoics who define their conception of self over against the Quod facit, corpus est. Sen. Ep from De Officiis that a pers
27 destructive aspects of suicide through bodily mutilation, excess, and a general negation of subjectivity to come to the fore. blatant rejection. In turn, this renunciat ion of tranquility debilitates the philosophical musings elsewhere in the scenes. The Stoic sapiens was to be indifferent to the events of the physical world. This indifference would manifest itself by a rational acceptance of the happenings of the unive rse. As I noted for Cato and Seneca, these two aspects seem intertwined; the person destined to commit suicide was expected to partake of rational, philosophical discourse with those around him, thus displaying his calmness and acceptance of his fate. On musings than sincere contemplations on the nature of death or the soul. ritique of the suicidal theatricality and exemplarity arbitri honorum and thereby negating the acts they deem as praiseworthy, or vice versa. Just as arbitri honorum is predicated upon their ability to comprehend the action properly and praise its virtus Reciprocally, the success or failure of the act hinges on the audience, and once the value of the audience has been brought to naught, the action is rendered dramatis personae and his internal audiences believe that their actions are praiseworthy and in line with proper virtus This not only critiques Caesar Julius and
28 by extension his successors but it also allows the poem to work as a litmus test of sorts for the status of i ts external audience. If the reader agrees with the internal character perceptions, if he lauds the virtus of a Vulteius or a Scaeva, he thereby becomes implicit in the same crimes as they do. 38 But if the reader notices this dissonance, if he sides with the narrator in feeling disgust at the actions of certain characters, he then validates his status as a proper arbiter honorum Furor Est Vulteius enters the stage as a set of three Caesarian rates are attempting an escape from the island of Curicta, jus t off the Illyrian coast, unaware that the Pompeians have laid snares just under the surface of the water. The first two rafts escape, but the the thousands of Pom peian forces surrounding them. After night falls and the battle concludes, Vulteius makes an extraordinary speech to his cohort exhorting them to mass suicide at daybreak. The scene in total is quite long, encompassing 116 lines Vulteius begins his speech to his cohort with language steeped in Stoicism. The libertas especially as it pertains to death. In a very arresting pass age from De Ira asks rhetorically, Quaeris quod sit ad libertatem iter? Quaelibet in corpore tuo vena! (3.15.4). He further comments on suicide as a means for obtaining freedom in Epistles 38 nefas of civil war by merely writing about it Cf. Masters (1992).
29 thematically, but intratextually it sets libertas as the topic or the goal towards which his speech is oriented. The first l philosophical musings which would characterize a proper Catonian suicide. Libera non ultra parva quam nocte iuventus, consulite extremis angusto in tempore rebus. Vita brevis nulli superest, qui tempus in illa quaer endae sibi mortis habet Par animi laus est et, quos speraveris, annos perdere et extremae momentum abrumpere lucis accersas dum fata manu; non cogitur ullus velle mori. Fuga nulla patet, stant undique nostris intenti cives iugulis: decernite letum, et metus omnis abest. Cupias, quodcumque necesse est. (4.476 487) Soldiers, free for hardly longer than a short night, during this trying time, take stock of the end. It is not a brief life that is left to one who has time to seek death. It is as praisewor thy to cut short the years you might look forward to as it is to curtail the short time of the final day, provided that you summon fate with your own hand; no one is compelled to want to die. No means of escape is at hand; citizens stand all about, intent on your throats: decide upon death and all your fears will go away. Desire whatever is necessary.] Vulteius further connects his speech to Stoicism in line 478. Vita brevis explicitly alludes to another work of Seneca by roughly the same name, De Brevit ate Vitae in which he argues, just as Vulteius does here to his crew, that there is plenty of time in a life however short to do what is necessary. He finishes his Stoic invocation by urging his men not to fear death but even to desire it. Interestingly 484 485 non cogitur ullus / velle mori ad voluntariam mortem coactum liberum mortis arbitrium 39 On the one 39 Suet. Tib 54.2; Tac. Ann 11.3, 16.33. The liberum mortis arbi trium was offered to the aristocrat by the emperor in place of public execution. For a discussion of its consequences and the degree to which the
30 hand, the phrase is significant because it strengthens the link t o libertas begun in line 476, specifically as it relates to freedom through death. But more importantly, it allows Lucan straightforwardly to connect, albeit with a heavy dash of sarcasm, Vulteius to the aristocratic suicides prevalent in his own time and thus to the Catonian model in which they were cast. Lucan uses the idea of an autonomously chosen, but forced, death to comment negatively on the institution of aristocratic suicide itself and to draw to the fore the unresolvable contradictions inherent in an action that is supposedly self generated but yet also imposed. Lucan describes Vulteius as beginning his motivational speech with magnanima voce He is set in contrast to his soldiers who are attonitam and paventem two states which his speech is designed to remedy. But Vulteius, calm and poised during his Stoic exhortation at the opening of his speech, begins to lose his composure by line 506, and his collected demeanor begins to give way to Lucanian frenzy. He proclaims: Indomitos sciat esse v iros timeatque furentes et morti faciles animos et gaudeat hostis non plures haesisse rates. (4.505 507) [Let him know that our men are unconquerable, let him fear the crazed courage that welcomes death, and let him be glad that only one raft stuck fast .] gone in a different direction had the other two rafts gotten caught as well or that all three rafts, presumably carrying roughly 500 soldiers each, would have committ ed mass suicide? The answer seems to come from Vulteius himself only a few lines later. Furor Romans may have been aware of its paradoxical nature cf. Plass (1995), 96; Hill (2004) 183 212; Edwards (2007 ), 126 8 For a discussion on the degree to which Lucan might have been aware of it, see below.
31 is contagious, and once it touches Vulteius, it spreads like wildfire. He is so committed to suicide that even if a path to safety were found, he would willing ly shun it. He vows, probably yelling at this point, Proieci vitam, comites, totusque futurae / mortis agor stimulis: furor est desired effect, and ardor stirs the minds of his cohort. With commander and cohort so possessed by furor one questions, as I believe Lucan intends, the sincerity of the philosophical discussion with which Vulteius began h Catonian calmness was simply a flimsy faade to hide his unhealthy, Lucanian amor mortis. In addition to this, in an interesting bit of poetics at line 558, Lucan juxtaposes mors and virtutis. Sic mutua pacti / fa ta cadunt iuvenes, minimumque in morte virorum / mors virtutis habet these men death itself needed the least bit of virtus 558). The genitive virtutis is dependent grammatical ly upon minimum split between the 3 rd and 4 th feet of line 557, but the juxtaposition, enjambment, and hyperbaton detail nicely just how Lucan sees this scene; as a mors virtutis This is the same effect wrought at 4.484 485 40 where the enjambment separat es the non cogitur of 484 from the verbal idea dependent upon it, in effect un negating the infinitive velle The reader is confronted with a line beginning with what could be construed as a positive statement, but is in fact the opposite. By rearranging the syntax and enjambing key phrases, Lucan can simultaneously insinuate one thing with a phrase that grammatically states its opposite. Also, as I noted earlier, 40 non cogitur ullus / velle mori (4.484 485).
32 these lines bear resemblance to phrases found in Tacitus and Suetonius. It is possible that Lucan is drawing poetic attention to this phrase in particular because he himself notices the contradictions inherent in the very idea of a freely undertaken, state mandated death. He, then, separates in the text what he believes cannot coherently coinci regarding the moral status of his readership, this sort of enjambment could act on a smaller scale as the poem does as a whole. Should one mentally insert certain words in insta 41 Regardless of calmness and philosophical musings theatricality fares no better than does his attempt at calmness He beseeches his troops with a retrospectively ironic plea to theatricality, reminding them that they have a unique opportunity at hand. Nos in conspicua sociis hostisque carina constituere dei. Praebebunt aequo ra testes, praebebunt terrae, summis dabit insula saxis, spectabunt geminae diverso litore partes. Nescio quod nostris magnum et memorabile fatis exemplum, Fortuna, paras. (4.492 497) [The Gods have placed us on this ship, visible to allies and enemies. The sea and land will bear witness, the island will lend its upper peaks, and the twin armies will act as spectators from opposite shores. I am unsure what magnum et memorabile exemplum you will make out of our deaths, Fortune.] 41 This may also be the motivation behind 4.496 497, ( Nescio quod nostris magnum et memorabile fatis / exemplum, Fortuna, paras ), where Lucan enjambs exemplum the noun modified by magnum and memorabile in the preceding line. The delay here of the noun acts to create ambiguity and a moment of magnum et memorabile thing coul d possibly be done by the deaths of Vulteius and his cohort.
33 Vulteius positions himse lf and his crew to fulfill the Catonian quality of theatricality. He treats their coming deaths as a performance. They occupy a makeshift stage in the middle of the sea, in clear view of the Histrians and Liburnians who have taken their narrator explicitly labels Vulteius (et al.) as possible exempla, but of what could they be exempla? Vulteius wishes them to be an exemplum of Catonian suicide, but as the scene progresses i the one hand through his emotional furor and on the other though his outright devotion to Caesar. The episode is surely meant as a parody of a Stoic sage seeking libertas through suic ide. 42 As the soldiers fall the narrator waxes pessimistic, complaining that totumque in partibus unis / bellorum fecere nefas (4.548 549). This does not bode well for the Pompeians who stand amazed by the marvels and seems to praise the actions of Vulteius and his crew, actions Lucan has made clear resulted in nefas, their status as arbitri honorum is effectively negated. Th e has explicitly labeled nefas makes known their moral ineptitude. This very ineptit ude works in the reverse and over actions. 42 Greece and Rome 31 (1984) 69.
34 The Pompeians, however, are not the audience Vulteius believes could most fully understand the significance of his actions. They are a substitute for Vultei in absentia, Caesar, whom he invokes at 4.500. Caesar himself, in his Bellum Gallicum, somehow empowers his men and serves to validate their actions. Even th e imagined Vulteius does nothing for his own depiction as ethically backwards but increase the pe rceptions of himself. Edwards notes that Lucan portrays Caesar a harbinger of evil 43 Thus, it stands to reason that the only actions with which Caesar w ould be pleased are those as equally corrupt and evil as himself. Vulteius comments that magna virtute merendum est / Caesar ut amissis inter tot milia paucis / hoc damnum en out 514). Recalling that virtus in this scene has been entirely corrupted and reversed, one must read this ironically. It may otionally, but Lucanian virtus is nefas, not the Republican ethical apogee. 43 Edwards, 42.
35 suicides of Cato or Seneca or Thrasea Paetus it is exceptionally clear that it was the confrontation between themselves and their respective tyrants that occasioned their suicides. From the evidence earlier concerning the fear of invidia, this seems to have been a common characteristic of aristocratic suicide as well. Cato confronts Caesar, but then ki lls himself at Utica in order to outstrip his offer of clementia. Vulteius confronts Caesar as well, but commits suicide on behalf of him, pro te (4.500), rather opp osed to common, aristocratic practice, it also connects it to it intimately by being reactionary. Vulteius thus fails to conform to any of the Catonian aspects of suicide. His attempts at calmness and Stoic ponderings fail miserably because of his pench ant for furor. His obsession with theatricality fares no better once his virtus has been compromised. In addition to these, he beseeches Caesar, the most ethically backwards deaths 44 metaphor in this scene before mo against Vulteius and his crew is anonymity and subject negation. This becomes all the crew that, 44 Edwards, 44.
36 Non tamen i n caeca bellorum nube cadendum est, aut cum permixtas acies sua tela tenebris involvent. Conferta iacent cum corpora campo, in medium mors omnis abit, perit obruta virtus. (4.488 491) [We do not have to die in the blind cloud of battle or when their spears envelop the intermingled battle lines. When bodies lie piled up in a field, every death merges into one, virtus beaten down, perishes.] aristeia of Homer and Vergil In the martial determined both by the length of his aristeia and by the valor of those he killed. While leading the Myrmidons into battle in Iliad 16 Patroclus kills 25 Trojans, all of whom receive names. Upon his reentrance into battle in Iliad 19 through his duel with Hector in Iliad 22, Achilles slaughters 24 named Trojans. 45 He gains kleos through his sizable list of kills, but those killed by him gain a bit of kleos as well simply by falling to him. In Iliad 21, he chides Lycaon for not relishing the chance to die at the hands of someone as noble as himself (106 107). Later, he himself complains that he would rather die at the hands of Hector, the most valiant of the Trojans, rather than be swallowe d by Scamander, since his own heroism would be validated by having been killed by 280). 46 It hinges on the promise that their act would shelter them fr om becoming a nameless, 45 Iliad http://records.viu.ca/~johnstoi/homer/Iliaddeaths.htm (Accessed 10.21.2010). 46 For a detailed discussion of the concept of hero in epic cf. Nagy, Gregory, The Best of the Achaeans: Concepts o f the Hero in Ancient Greek Poetry (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1979) and Nagy A Companion to Ancient Epic ed. J. M. Foley (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2005), 71 89. For a discussion of Vergilian battle scenes as heroic ariste iai Non Viribus Aequis Greece and Rome 34 (1987), 48 55, Hardie Aristeia and the Hero of the Bellum Civile The Classical Journal 96.3 (2001), 263 290.
37 undifferentiated pile of corpses. But we see that the heroic ideal of individuality is jeopardized from the very first suicidal blow. 47 No sooner than Vulteius demands death does non unus ensis run him through. As Vulteius falls, he returns the blow, not to a specified soldier, but cui volnera prima / debebat (4.546 547). No one other than Vulteius receives a name, collective nouns are used to refer to the soldiers, and there is but a single voltu superbo (4.569). Suicide compoun ds the loss of the heroic ideal by collapsing the victor and the victus into the same individual; if one is unnamed, both are unnamed, and, thus, neither receives the glory of killing or being killed by an heroic warrior. Lucan highlights the ambiguity an d anonymity of who has conquered whom by playing loose and fast with the term victores which occurs twice within four lines. Despectam cernere lucem victores que suos voltu spectare superbo et mortem sentire iuvat. (4.568 570) [To see the light they had spurned, to gaze upon their own victores with an upturned face, and to feel death pleases them] Bustisque remittent corpora victores ducibus mirantibus, ulli esse ducem tanti. (4.571 573) [The victores send the corpses to the funeral pyres, while their leaders marvel that a leader is prized so highly.] Victores appears, at first blush, to refer to the Pompeians in both lines; they are, after all, the army that has won the day. But one readily notices that the Pompeians have done next to nothing in this scene save be held at bay by a much smaller army. By reference to 7.706 ( vincere peius erat ), a sententia 47 The Roman Gaze: Vision, Power, and the Body ed. David Fredrick (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 200 2), 71.
38 mind during the composition of the Bellum Civile I would argue that the victores in 569 refers to Vulteius an d his men. 48 cleverly reminding his readers that the victor in civil war has still slain his own kin and thus committed nefas 49 The victor here is paradoxically dead, which is exactly how suicide fun ctions. In the same way that we saw political suicide able to assert and to destroy in tandem, here we see that the suicides of Vulteius and his men render them victores due solely to the fact that they simultaneously render them victi ; thus removing any shred of dignity from the former term. Lucan not only pilfers any chance of a heroic, Iliadic death from Vulteius and his cohort, he also objectifies and entirely removes agency from these men, thereby drawing attention to the destructive aspect of h is metaphor begun in the proem. Throughout the Bellum Civile scenes are marked by an inversion or a confusion of subject object relations. One recurring manifestation of this is a phenomenon that U Hbner has called hypallage 50 Widely, it is a process whereby the logical object is elevated to become the means by which the state of affairs of a sentence obtains usually resulting in a peculiar verbal quality being conveyed to the subject. In a rela ted vein, Elaine Fantham argues that 51 This, 48 7.706 itself echoes 1.366 where Laelius details his crazed devotion to Caesar. Usque adeo miserum est ciuili uincere bello? al question in book one. 49 The victores in 572 obviously refers to the Pompeians, but by being so close to a clearly moralized usage of the term four lines earlier, one cannot help but impute the same meaning to it here. Cf. Barthes, Funerary Baroque an Bellum Civile Classical Antiquity 15 (1996), 319 346, especially § I. 50 Pharsalia Hermes 100 (1972), 577 600. 51 Fantham, Elaine, Lucan, D e Bello Civile, Book 2, (Cambridge: 1992) 37.
39 describes the suicidal blows of Vulteius and his men as swords being bashed by chests and throats bearing down upon sword hands ( percussum est pectore ferrum, / et iuguli pressere manum 4.561 away from Vulteius and his men qua men, there by marginalizing their subjectivity and objectifying them both metaphorically and literally. Hill argues, perhaps following of the notion that civil war is a form 52 concepts of subject and object, sometimes reversing, sometimes melding, in order to affront the personal identity of his characters. At the end of the day, in a morbidly ironic twist, Vulteius and his cre w literally become the anonymous pile of corpora he argued suicide would avoid. Iam strage cruenta / conspicitur cumulata ratis raft is seen overloaded with bloody 571). Lucan continues to pile on the abuse, using the same v erbal stem Vulteius used in the beginning of his plea to theatricality conspic* to describe the new state of the raft. Lucan devalues Vulteius and his men so deeply that even as a pile of corpora he begrudges them grammatical prominence; they are no longe r autonomous agents but have been demoted to a subordinate descriptor of a raft. of a Catonian suicide aspects in a way, institutionalized by his time in the mouth of his m ain character. Vulteius exhibits calmness, partakes of Stoic philosophical discourse, and surrounds himself and his men with testes who presumably will bear 52 Hill, 217. Cf. Bartsch, Shadi, Ideology in Cold Blood (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997) ch. 1, specifically 24ff.
40 witness to the virtus of their glorious deaths. Lucan, however, refutes these Catonian aspects, e xpunging any claim to virtus the actions of Vulteius might have had. Further, in order to emphasize the negative aspect of suicide and to show that the imagined positive aspect is nothing but smoke and mirrors, Lucan objectifies Vulteius and his men and d evalues their subjectivity. When he has had his way with them they are nothing but the blood and gore (strage cruenta) which their acts have brought about. We will see that Lucan does similar things in the case of Scaeva. He will make his character go t hrough the proper steps of his respective topos, only to end up as a complete bastardization of it.
41 TWENTYS Scripti Caesares established Catonian scheme for Stoic suicide in taking on the heroic aristeia Lucan chooses to use and adapt an historic example, Cassius Scaeva. 53 As with his other adaptations of historical events, his reception of Scaeva confronts and reacts to other historical accounts; most notably those of V alerius Maximus and Julius Caesar. 54 Fierce debate still rages over whether and whom Lucan used as historical sources. Prior to the 1960s scholars doubted whether Lucan had made use of any historian but Livy and argued that his use of Livy was many times ancillary and inaccurate. 55 They amplifications of scenes, which the historians recounted as quite inconsequential, as evidence for his lack of historical wherewithal. 56 More recently, however, scholars have begun to historical borrowings, in part stemming from a realization that Lucan ought not to be 53 Cf. Asso, Paolo, A Commentary in Lucan De Bello Civili IV (Berlin: De Gruyter BC 54 Although these instances are widespread, Lucan is still constrained at the end by the outcome of the Civil War. For a discussion of Les Sources De Lucain Bellum Civile IL 12 (1960), 155 162, Inventio tpold Wallach ed. The Classical Tradition: Literary and Historical Studies in Honor of Harry Caplan (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1966), 239 257, Masters (1992) and Sklenar (2003) also v.s. n. 35. 55 Cf. Pichon, (1912). As Masters (1992: 15) remarks, communis opinio acco extant, propositions of this nature add nothing to the scholarship. Also, cf. Masters (1992: 242f mediation. 56 M. Annaei Lucani Pharsalia ilian naval battle, which many ancient historians Caesar excluded portray as a pit (1992) 13ff.
42 held to the standards of a historian. 57 in verse, and, as John Makowski explains, if one comports oneself to the text in this way, one is bound to object to parts of his narrative that are not directly related to the conflict or that grossly distort their reality. 58 accounts of Scaeva so that we may b character. We will also be able to sift out the possible effects Lucan intended these how miserably he fails in h is attempted aristeia Commentarii de Bello Civili 3 .53). 59 propagandistic. He writes that Pompey lost nearly 2,000 men, but that his own forces lost no more than 20. He also mentions that none of his soldiers escaped unwounded, and further that quattuorque ex una cohorte centuriones oculos amiserunt valiantly, his soldiers counted the spent arrows lying around the fort amazingly, ne arly 30,000 scutum which had been pierced 120 times. In return for his valor, Caesar rewarded Scaeva with a copious sum of money and a 57 Marti (1966), Henderson (1987), Masters (1992). 58 Makowski, John, Pharsalia, (PhD. Di ss., Princeton University, 1974) 144. CQ 21 (1971), 480 505. 59 A Cassius Scaeva is mentioned in an inscription dated from 48 BCE ( C.I.L 10.5728), and Cicero mentions a Scaeva who is assoc iated with Caesar in two of his letters to Atticus (13.23; 14.100); neither, however, contain any significant information about the Dyrrhachium defense or anything else.
43 promotion to the primum pilum giv es no description of the battle proper, merely its aftermath. He dispenses with narrative in lieu of punctual, straightforward statements of the bare facts; 60 he tells his readers the number of the cohort, the number of dead on both sides, the number of sp ent arrows, the suffering of his centurions, and the rewards granted to them. en masse while later accounts tend to focus the lens onto Scaeva and occasionally a second soldier. 61 Next, chron Facta et Dicta Memorabilia (3.2.23), published shortly after 31 C.E. 62 and has much more of a literary hue to it. The focus is overwhelmingly on Scaeva, t, while featuring Scaeva, focuses more on the loyalty of the whole cohort. Valerius adds Justuleius, a praefectus of Pompey, to set over against the Caesarian champion, Scaeva. In the narrative proper, he depicts Scaeva as fighting alone, further margin alizing the efforts of the rest of the soldiers. During his fight scutum however, he alters four centurions. 60 narrative. 61 Valerius Maximus, Plutarch, and Suetonius mention a C. Acilius who fought in the sea battle of Massilia ( Fact a 3.2.23; Caesar 16.1; Caesar wounded severely ( B.C. 2.9.60). 62 Cf. W Oxford Classical Dictionary dating the work. For an earlier date of publication and extended bibliography on the issues of dating exempla ANRW II.32.1 (1984), 437 496.
44 Scaeva is among the four soldiers who lose their eyes. Overwhelmingly, however, under the influe nce of Valerius and Lucan, this is how later historians would interpret fight despite the loss of his eye. 63 Further, Valerius adds a second episode during the battle of Britain of which Scaeva is also the hero. Plutarch also reports this battle; however, he attributes the deeds with which Valerius credits Scaeva to a nameless Commentarii may be due to t deeds, in this instance the valor and military discipline of Scaeva. Plutarch, Suetonius, by also dramatizing and mor Lucan, however, is not writing a military report, like Caesar, nor an encomium of martial deeds, like Valerius, nor a biography, like Plutarch. Instead, he is writing epic poetry, and in choosing to include this well attested h istorical episode he must weld two literary genres, historical narrative and epic poetry. descriptive the number of holes in the shield, the number of arrows littering the rampart, the number of the cohort, the courage and injuries of the other soldiers, and the rewards given by eminding 63 Plutarch Caesar 16, Suetonius Caesar 68, Appian B. C. 2 .9.60.
45 him that non tu bellorum spoliis ornare Tonantis / templa potes, non tu laetis ululare triumphis es not say that Scaeva celebrated any triumphs presumably because centurions did not receive them fellow soldiers, which Caesar saw as so important and over which Valerius simply passed. As the Pompeians issue over the rampart, with horn blasts and glittering standards, the Caesarians stand attoniti talk (6 .150 165), these soldiers do not fight; instead they follow Scaeva to watch in admiration. Finally, Lucan, quite humorously, adapts the pierced shield motif of Valerius and Caesar. His Scaeva apparently tosses aside his armor and shield and tot volnera b elli / solus obit 205) because he veritus credi clipeo laevaque vacasse vest of spears ( densamque ferens in pectore silvam ), which eventually causes him to stagger and fall (6.205 shield motif extends even further. After Scaeva collapses and his fellow soldiers hoist him onto their shoulders they praise velut inclusum perfosso in pectore numen perfossum which is the 10 ( scutum C et XX ictibus perfossum ). Cleverly, Lucan has transferred the pierced shield motif of Caesar and
46 Valerius into a pierced body motif via his choice of vocabulary. 64 This fits well with his general penchant for blood and gore, of which there is no shortag e in this passage. even within the events surrounding Dyrrhachium. Caesarian army attempts to maintain the siege of the Pompeians at Dyrrhac hium. Paradoxically, the Caesarians seem to be in the worse position; their situation is grim, starvation has set in, and the soldiers are eating in pecudum (6.111). Quae mollire queunt flamma, quae frangere morsu, quaeque per abrasas utero demittere fauc es, plurimaque humanis ante hoc incognita mensis diripiens (6.114 116) [They vie for whatever they could soften in the fire, crush with their teeth, or force down into their stomachs through their rasped gullets, In themselves, these lines do not necessarily set off any alarms. When read over he describes the circumstances. He writes that, after he had ordered the blocka de of two passes in order to stop Pompey from foraging for food, erat summa inopia pabuli, adeo ut foliis ex arboribus strictis et teneris harundinum radicibus contusis equos alerent; frumenta enim, quae fuerant intra munitiones sata, consumpserant. Et cogebantur Corcyra atque Acarnania longo interiecto navigationis spatio pabulum subportare, quodque erat eius rei minor copia hordeo adaugere atque his rationibus equitatum tolerare. ( B. C. 3.58.1 3.58.4) [There was such a scarcity of fodder that they supported their horses with leaves plucked from trees and the green roots of canes, which they bruised; for they had consumed the grain which had been sown inside their forts. They were even forced to import fodder from Corcyra and Acarnania across a long sea voyage. Even this was so measly that they had to mix it with barley and by these methods sustain their cavalry.] 64 126.96.36.199 10 is the only instance in Valerius Maximus of perfodio
47 One immediately sees the similarities in these two passages and how one, the poem in toto blatantly one sided narrative. Masters argues that Lucan takes on Caesarian history in it is hardly conceivable that Lucan would have had no interest in what his evil protagonist had to say for himself in 65 Bellum Civile Commentarii begin and end at n early the same spots. 66 Caesar is a character who is reluctant to fight. He is the well meaning anti aggressor. John Henderson, while describing how Caesar consciously molds his own identity in the Commentarii nergetic Blitzkrieg, Caesar was not even at war 67 This is how Caesar wants Caesar to be received and Caesar on the other hand, 68 Lucan compares Caesar to a lightning bolt that Aetheris impulsi sonitu mundique fragore emicuit, rupitque diem, populosque paventes terruit, oblique praestringens lumina flamma. In sua templa furit: nullaque exire vetante 65 Masters, 19. 66 Both begin, roughly, with the crossing of the Rubicon and end with the beginning of the Alexandrian position which I endorse. The had, more or less, completed his Bellum Civile For arguments for the texts completeness cf. Masters, 216 259. For arg uments for the texts incompleteness cf. Ahl, Frederick, Lucan: An Introduction (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1979); Leigh, Matthew, Lucan: Spectacle and Engagement (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997) 2ff. 67 Bellum Ciuile Classical Antiquity 15 (1996), 261 288. 68 Johnson, W. R. Momentary Monsters: Lucan and His Heros (Ithaca: University of Cornell Press, 1987) 74.
48 materia, magnamque cadens, magnamque revertens dat stragem late, sparosque recolligit ignes. (1.151 157) [strikes with a crack of rent air and a world in tumult, and it splits the sky and terrifies the quaking peoples, while it sears their eyes with sidelong flames. In its own precincts it rages: and since noth ing solid dares oppose its coming, in its advance and its retreat it gives great havoc far and wide, and then gathers back up its scattered fires.] is truthfully relating t assuredly is not. It is only to say that however far Caesar embellishes or skews his account to one side of the spectrum, Lucan warps his own account equally or farther to the other side. The next thing we notice about B.C. 6.144 262 when compared to Facta et Dicta 3.2.23 is that, although they ostensibly are written about the same events, there is an th is is due to the fact that Lucan, more so than Valerius, throws his literary floodlight onto Scaeva and his deeds; on the other hand, however, it is also due to how Lucan mo gory 122 lines, one eighth of book 6, while Valerius needs only 46 lines to report both the Dyrrhachium defense and the subsequent naval battle in Britain. 69 69 Caesar uses only a measly 20 lines in his report of the Dyrrhachium defense. Line numbers for Luc an are taken from the Loeb Classical Series. Line numbers for Caesar and Valerius Maximus are taken from Commentarii Facta et Dicta I realize that comparing scenes from a prose compilation of heroic deeds to scenes in an hexameter poem via line numbers may seem a bit arbitrary, but there seems to be no better metric for determining the relative importance of scenes. Any talk of length is reducible to physical space allotted to c ertain information. In truth, any method of partitioning will be arbitrary in some sense. However, Hunink, Vincent, M. Annaeus Lucanus Bellum Civile Book III (Amsterdam: Gieben, 1992) xv, writing about his own choice of textual partitioning, is correct
49 A more in depth reading of the passages shows a marked preference for different finite verbs, six of which are perfect. 70 contains more of a report. Lucan, however, with truly epic poetics, narrates the story of Scaeva. His choice of tenses, overwhelmingly in favor of the present, aids in his poetic project. From the 159) Lucan uses five present tenses and even one future tense. 71 His text makes it such that one sees Scaeva mounting the r ampart to fight off the Pompeians every time one reads this passage. Lucan takes his readers through an in and out of internal and external narration, while using narratorial apostrophes much more than is common in his martial epic predecessors. 72 His pic torial description of the bloody struggle, the details of important ( v.i. h and depth of description. 70 Perfect (6) Subsecutus est Interemit Conruit Apparuit Aluit Inhaesit ; pluperfect (3) Praepositus erat Fecerat Accesserant ; imperfect (2) Dimicaret Niteretur The only two present forms in the entirety of cription of Scaeva, prosequar and nescio he uses as a segue between Dyrrhachium proper and the naval battle in Britain. 71 Present (5) Gerit cernit inquit datis pudet ; future (1) Stabitis To count the number of finite verbs in this scene seems unnecessary since a small sample will suffice. The tense distribution for the rest of the passage, however, does follow that of these first fourteen lines. Even the few perfects Lucan uses ( adegit electi sumus negavit ) can easily be explained as present perfects with the focus more on the aspectual usage rather than the temporal. Further, this tense usage seems to be highly associated with Caesar and his cronies as exuding energy and movement rather than sta gnation and complacency. Cf. Indocilis Privata Loqui Oxford Readings in Classical Studies: Lucan ed. Charles Tesoriero (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 355 368, who 72 So often do the Iliad Odyssey and Aeneid make narratological transitions that passages need not be Homeric epic and Hesiodic epic. Such a switching of narratological perspectives does not seem to be as prominent a feature of the Hesiodic Theogony and Works and Days Cf. Bal, Mieke, Narratology trans., Christine van Boheemen, (Canada: University of Toronto Press,
50 which are works of his poetic imagination, gives a visceral texture to the scene and elicits feelings of shock and awe. Having outlined how Lucan interacts and adapts the historical sources for thi s scene, we can now look at how Lucan incorporates these What a Lovely Vest of Spears You Have! scenes is virtus The ambiguous nature of this word shapes the overall meaning of both virtus in question is that of a Stoic sapiens In virtus is that of a loyal soldier of Rome, a defender of libertas We saw abo ve that Cicero believed words such as pietas virtus libertas inpius nefas and crimen were interconnected in a cultural matrix of moral categories in Republican Rome. For him these terms could only exist when defined in reference to a res publica Fu rther, he claimed that proper grasp of these concepts can 73 Itaque, ut in fidibus musicorum aures vel minima sentiunt, sic nos, si acres ac diligentes esse volumus animadversoresque vitiorum, magna saepe intellegemus ex parvis; ex oculorum optutu, superciliorum aut remissione aut contractione ex contentione vocis, ex summissione, ex ceteris similibus facile iudicabimus, quid eorum apte fiat, quid ab officio natura que discrepet. (De. Off. 1.146.1 9) [And so, just like the ears detect the slightest error in tuning, so we, if we want to be keen and vigilant observers of vices, often we will interpret Authorisation and Authorship in the Hesiodic Theogony Ramus 21 (1992), 119 130 [esp. 125 Classical Antiquity 23 (2004) 1 Nautila and the Ibycus Fragment 282 PMG Classical Philology 100 (2005), 347 355. 73 Hill, 70.
51 significant conclusions from trivial things; we shall easily judge from a glance of the eyes, from a relaxa tion or a furrowing of the brow from a raising or lowering of the voice, and from other similar things what has been done adequately, and what is at odds with duty and nature.] The nodes of the ethical matrix are interwoven and have a very pronounced communal quality to them just as we saw earlier in the case of the Stoic suicide. Matthew Roller describes it as threefold system: other member s of the community, not by his own self judgment. Second, moral value is allocated on the basis of observed actions, not on the basis of any internal, privately accessible states of mind. Third, these actions are evaluated in terms of the effect they hav e on the community as a whole reproduce its ideologies. 74 This matrix persists into the Imperial period, but the nature of the relationship between the terms changes. 75 Once the socia l bonds by which the older ethical matrix defined itself break down as in the case of civil war the relationships between the concepts are thrown into turmoil by dividing the community and turning it against itself. Virtus and pietas become interchangeabl e with nefas and crimen Lucan plays with the interchangeability of these terms in the beginning of pronus ad omne nefas, et qui nesciret in armis / quam magnum virtus crimen civilibus esset nefas an d who was ignorant of how great a crimen virtus would be in( 148). This biographical note announces that a regular confusion of virtus and crimen will Lucan uses 74 Roller, 321. 75 For the changes in the cognitive scope of libertas cf. Wirszubski, C. H., Libertas as a Politic al Idea at Rome during the Late Republic and Early Principate (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1950).
52 inpius for only the third time in the poem. 76 use of pius in the context of Roman martial epic would immediately and unavoidably have recalled Aeneas, the ever pius There is a high concentration of pius b ased words Because the scene centers around Scaeva it is, after all, his aristeia he becomes the antithesis to Aeneas. In fact, Scaeva himself describes his fellow soldie pavor pavor that keeps them from engaging the enemy, as inpius However, this action can only be labeled inpius in a context other than civil war. In civil war, to abstain from harming hostis civis is the mark of pietas and virtus Scaeva betrays his own moral ineptitude by calling their pavor inpius He is unaware of the ethical system under which he must function. The narrator intimates the existence of these two conflicting types of virtus He says that quod solum va luit virtus, iacuere perempti / debuerant quo stare loco virtus could do but one thing, they lay dead at the post where they should 133). All that true virtus can do is avoid harming a fellow citizen and maintain proper pietas ; this is the kind of virtus seem to have at the outset of the scene. The scene progresses from the Republican virtus to an explicit announcement that virtus is a crimen virtus related concep ts in an entirely backwards way. The intertextual irony is such, however, that it almost seems as if Scaeva is self conscious of his intertextual identity. In his first speech, he calls the Pompeians hostes at which point he is functioning under 76 inpius ness. Whereas Lucan uses this word once in book one and once in book three, he uses it five tim es in book six, four times in book seven, and four times in book eight. The final occurrences in books nine and ten, once and twice respectively, round out the uses of inpius totaling eighteen.
53 the new ethical matrix where to kill in civil war is not a crime. Later, however, during his fake supplication, he addresses the Pompeians as cives The historical accounts paint Scaeva as a hero and a loyal, imitable soldier. Lucan, however, defies these acco unts by setting him up as the antithesis to Aeneas, in order to show yet again how the normative values of Rome devalue themselves under the new Caesarian ethic. Just as Vulteius attempted, but failed, to assimilate himself point for point to Cato, Scaeva will attempt to do the same with Aeneas. But before we can map Scaeva onto a heroic ideal we must briefly outline the heroic ideal as Lucan inherited it. In other words, we By identifying what makes a successful aristeia we can better pinpoint where Scaeva falls short. Most importantly a proper aristeia ought to identify its combatants, of which there should be only two at any given time. Also, these combatants ought to be on the open field of battle, in view of their peers. As we saw earlier, this is exactly the situation in the Iliad during the aristeiai of Patroclus and Achilles. 77 Since kleos is cumulative and personal, without such an identification neither the hero no r the slain would be able to obtain gloria or kleos through the battle. 78 Vanessa Gorman, using an example from 70), and then a seventh, Halaesus, but not before that man has himself killed five men (10.571 92) so that those 77 Cf. n.43. 78 The cumulative nature of death is the concep t behind the Highlander movies. Whenever an immortal kills another immortal, the powers of the slain, and by extension anyone he has slain, are transferred to
54 79 This concept is embodied by Achilles as the river Scamander looms over him when he laments not being able to die at the hands of Hector, for then ken exenarixe ( Il. 21.280). A second important element of the heroic persona and aristeia is anger. The first word of the Iliad is the insatiable m of Achilles, which will flare when he learns of anger defines him throughout the epic and is the motivation behind many of the deeds he undertakes during his ari steia 80 An unhealthy rage seems to take hold of Aeneas as he attempts to escape Troy. However, he slowly learns to cope with this anger in order to fulfill his duties to those around him. The inter furor and his pietas is a central theme to the poem as a whole, which raises the question of whether a Roman man should control his anger in every conceivable situation, or whether there are times where he should give it free rei n. 81 monomachia balteus he furiis accensus et ira / terribilis 947). He is also 79 Gorman, 265. Cf. Il. 16.827 828 h s poleas pephnonta Menoitiou alkimon huion / Hekt r Priamid s skhedon egkhe thumon ap ura 80 As one would expect since he is, at least in par t, the Vergilian counterpart to the Homeric Achilles. Also, in good Vergilian stylistics, since the Aeneid is the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey anger closes the poem rather than opens it. 81 Williams, R. D., Aeneas and the Roman Hero (Hong Kong: MacMillan Education, 1976) 55.
55 ferv idus Ira drives Aeneas to kill Turnus, but his anger is not unprovoked. Many attempts have been made to find fault with Aeneas for allowing his anger to govern his actions in this scene. 82 However, ancien t commentators, like Servius, do not fault him for his expressions of anger. 83 The heroic anger and can be gathered from the interaction between furor and pietas with whi ch Aeneas has been struggling since Book 2. When he chooses to heed his 620), he subordinates his fiery desire for vengeance to his duty; he shows that bridled, controllable anger is not immoral. In fact, the hall mark of Aeneas is his ability to continue to subordinate his anger to his duty. One might even argue that his fury in the closing scene is exactly what his duty towards Pallas and the gods requires of him, since Turnus has broken code by not dedicating th e spoils of his battle with Pallas to the gods. He keeps the war prize for himself and must be punished for doing so. 84 determined and long deserved death, an audience has ample cause for empathizing with Aeneas. Aristeiai also have a fairly established heroic armory. Iliadic and Vergilian warriors confront their enemies with shield, spear, sword, and, occasionally, a large rock, alternating spear throws before moving in for hand to hand combat. Another set piece of an aristei a is the animal simile and supplication scene. Animal similes are 82 American Journal of Philology 109 (1988), 322 seems to Lactantius. 83 Cf. Galinsk action in the non Christian ancient Aeneiskritik 84 Belt of Pallas: Moral Symbolism and Political Ideology Aeneid 10.495 Aeneid: Augustan Epic and Political Context ed. Hans Peter Stahl (London: Duckworth, 1998), 223 242.
56 typical of battle scenes, as can be seen from their distributions in the Iliad and the Odyssey C. M. Bowra concludes that in the Iliad while only 38 85 He notes that this same tendency occurs in the Aeneid where Aeneid 3, which is not battle centered, contains only one simile, while Aeneid 12, which is battle centered, contains 15. 86 These similes tend to be rather 87 However, since animal similes during battle abound, they need not be expanded upon here at length, but perhaps a short word on battlefield supplication scenes is in order. 88 Lycaon begs Achilles to spare his life since he is not a Trojan by birth (21.68 96). In a similar vein, Adrestus begs Menelaus to take him alive and receive an axia apoina instead (6.46). Both pleas are rejected and both are struck down, the former straightaway, the 85 Bowra, C. M., Tradition and Design in the Iliad, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1930) 123. The exact number and categoriza tion of similes in the Homeric corpus varies from scholar to scholar as the criteria are somewhat ad hoc Cf. Lee, D. J. N., The Similes of the Iliad and Odyssey Compared (Sydney: Melbourne University Press, 1964) 3, and Briggs, Ward W. Jr., Narrative and Simile From the Georgics in the Aeneid (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 1980) 11n.1. For the present work, precision is less important than proportion. Lee tallies 330 similes in the Iliad but only 117 in the Odyssey The difference, Lee also concludes, i s due to the tendency to crowd similes in the battle scenes (Lee 1964: 5). Battle similes make use many animals including birds ( Il 16.582), lions ( Il. 17.133), boars (12.41 49), wolves ( Il. 16.156 163), dogs ( Il. 8.338 340) and snakes ( Il. 3.33 35). Fo r more on the types and uses of simile in Homer cf. Lee (1964: 50 73); Scott, William, The Oral Nature of the Homeric Simile (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 1974). 86 Bowra, 123. 87 Briggs, 11. Objective similes are contrasted with subjective similes which ad mit of multiple correspondences between the comparee and comparand and are more typical of Vergilian poetics. This is not to say that Homeric similes are incapable of such multiple correspondences (cf. Il. 4. 275 279) only that in general they tend to foc us on a single point of comparison. 88 For more on general supplication in the ancient world cf. Naiden, F. S., Ancient Supplication (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2006). For supplication in the Iliad and Odyssey in particular cf. Dodds, E. R., The Greeks and the Irrational (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1951) 32, Gould, HIKETEIA JHS 93 (1973), 74 103 [esp. 74 Iliad and the Odyssey ), 125 140. Pedrick (1982: 140) notes that although supplication in both poems shows similarities in gesture and vocabulary, the Iliad and Odyssey seem to depict supplication in are manipulated for poetic effect.
57 latter after some prodding by Agamemnon. 89 Further, both Lycaon and Adrestus are beseeching the hero of the aristeia for their lives in quite a sincere manner. No warrior begs for mercy during his aristeia 90 Even Patroclus, whose aristeia ends in his death, that, although he has dealt the death blow, Apollo, Zeus, and Euphorbus really caused him to fall (16.844 850). Finally, regardless of whether the hero lives or dies, his endgame in entering battle is to kill and therefore to live. Neither Patroclus nor Aeneas dons his armor believing that it will be stripped soon; they enter battle in hopes o f surviving the day. They are aware that any kleos gained will be lost in tandem with their lives, and, thus, the only way to retain it is to be, as it were, the last man standing. These aspects of the heroic aristeia or at least their obvious rejection heavily adulterated form. epic. His entrance to battle puts him on a ruens agger pushing the corpses piled around him onto the approaching Pompeians as if they were boulders (6.170). Next, he decides to use fragments of the agger as projectiles and cudgels. roboraque et moles hosti seque ipse minatur. Nunc sude, nunc duro contraria pectora conto detrudit muris (6.172 176) [And the entire t eetering mass provides projectiles for the hero, and with beams, boulders, and even himself he threatens the enemy. Now with 89 Iliad 90 supp lication in the Iliad.
58 stakes, now with hardened poles he dislodges from the walls the breasts that are coming to kill him.] Although he uses his sword e ventually, its usefulness soon fades when it becomes epic. His defensive armory is equally as questionable. Although he does have a shield, as we saw earlier, he s oon is rid of it so that he might have another hand with which to wield an offensive weapon. In lieu of a scutum proper, his chest functions as the (6.204 205). much for him to bear, he actually uses his falling body as a means to take out one more Pompeian. Scaeva uses his sword, spear, and shield, but in ways that challenge epic usage. also warp the H the imagery of a Libyan elephant that, just like Scaeva, countless arrows and javelins cannot bring down (6.207 212). The Libyan elephant would have conjured ideas of expeditions and the Punic Wars. So, it seems, Lucan has chosen to use an animal unknown to Homeric zoology, but very well known in the Roman imaginary, to 91 Vergil works his similes to a similar effect. The first extended simile in the Aeneid (1.148 153) is recognizable as generally Homeric, but it differentiates itself by inverting the typical Homeric relationship between man and nature in order to relate to its Roman audiences. 92 Lucan also adapts the 91 Cf. Lee, 65 73. 92 Aeneid Aeneid : An Interpretive Guide ed., Christine Perkell, (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999), 29 Homeric si miles the convention is to compare human events to those in the natural world . For a
59 secon d simile to suit his particular needs. As Scaeva rips out the arrow that has pierced his eye, Lucan describes him as a Pannonian bear that angrily chases the arrows lodged in her body (6.220 audien ce of a scene from the Roman amphitheater. 93 In both of these similes, Lucan has foregone the universality and objectivity of the Homeric simile in order to give his sli comparing his warrior to a wild animal but subverts it by shunning the epic bestiary in 94 So Lucan, unlike Vergil in his opening simile, has mainta ined the general Homeric practice of equating the world of men to nature, but has also altered it by opting for imagery that is culturally conditioned to his Roman audience. Paradoxically, perhaps, the animals described here are wild animals, but wild anim als forced into a civilized context. Both similes make use of wild animals put into the service of civilized man, thus putting them at a further remove from the Homeric animals in that they are no longer truly wild. We should not, however, malign Lucan f or improper or misplaced similes. He consciously chose these two similes to show, by another him, Scaeva seems to mimic his Vergilian and Homeric predecessors but yet t o differ from them significantly. characterized the rest of the scene. First, and most scathingly, Scaeva is the one who 93 Cf. Lucan, Civil War, Susan Braund trans., (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1992) 276. 94 Sklenar, 53.
60 begs to be spared, which seems absurd in light of t he fact that we are supposedly in the midst of his aristeia Second, in direct contradiction to the battlefield supplications of the Iliad 95 Third, general epic convention requires the battlefi eld suppliant to address an opponent of a different nationality, as Adrestus and Lycaon do. 96 Scaeva, however, aims his supplication at a group he identifies as cives (6.230). This is complicated further by the fact that he identified this same group as h ostes earlier in the scene (6.156). This brings to the fore yet again the problematic relationship between virtus and pietas in civil war. In his first speech, Scaeva chides his fellow soldiers, shouting: Inpius et cunct is ignotus Caesaris armis? Terga datis morti? Cumulo vos desse virorum non pudet et bustis interque cadavera quaeri? Non ira saltem, iuvenes, pietate remota stabitis? E cunctis, per quos erumperet hostis, (6.154 157) to deprive the mound and funeral pyres of men, to be searched for in vain among the corpses? Even though you have discarded y our sense of duty, will not even rage make you stand your ground? Out of everybody, we are When Scaeva labels their pavor as inpius another instance of the dissonance between external audienc e and internal character perceptions occurs. Lucan assumes that his contemporary external audience is aware of the intimate relationship between pietas and virtus If one practices proper virtus (conduct befitting a man) one will 95 Cf. Gould, 80 n.38. 96 Vide Supra notes 88 90.
61 necessarily practice pie tas 97 Thus, by a simple modus tollens, 98 if Scaeva accuses his soldiers of not practicing pietas then they have also failed in practicing virtus However, the fear that bids the soldiers to stand attonit us virtus (6.131 132). We then are virtus and the other under which they are inpius The external audience ought to recognize th at Scaeva is erroneously labeling as inpius the pavor that is inhibiting his soldiers from attacking fellow cives and thus from transgressing pietas by acting improperly towards members of their community. It seems as if Scaeva himself is aware of this et hical duplicity since it is not until he tegens alta suppressum mente furorem / mitis et a voltu penitus virtute remota depths of his heart and, with a calm demeanor, banishes virtus he can ad dress the Pompeians as cives and actually begin his supplication. Virtute remota is a metrical echo of pietate remota soldiers. Scaeva is drawing explicit attention to the relationship between virtus and piet as outlined above, in effect assimilating the former to the latter. In assimilating himself to his soldiers, he thus repositions himself into their ethical matrix (6.229). However, regardless of the ethical framework under which one functions, in civil w ar supplication falls prey to the same problem as death in general: when the opposing side action directed at the enemy is also directed at fellow cives. 97 Cf. Roller, 321. 98 If A, then B; Not B; Therefore, Not A.
62 supplication seems to be doomed for failure, in terms of its reflection of its epic predecessors, before it can even get off the ground. is a ruse intended to lure one m ore Pompeian to his death, to give Scaeva one more notch on his club. The ruse is successful, and Aulus, the only Pompeian to receive a name, falls victim to Scaeva. Credidit infelix simulatis vocibus Aulus nec vidit tecto gladium mucrone prementem, memb raque captivi pariter laturus et arma fulmineum mediis excepit faucibus ensem. (6.236 239) [Unlucky Aulus fell for the feigned words and did not see Scaeva gripping his sword while he covered the point; as he was about to lift up the limbs and weapons of t he captured man, he took the lightning fast blade straight in his throat.] furor and ira As if this were not clear enough, almost as if refueled by the slaughter of Aulus, his virtus re kindles as he again addresses the Pompeians: speravit. Pacem gladio si quaerit ab isto Magnus, adorato summittat Caesare signa. An similem vestri segnemque ad fata putatis? Pompei vobis minor est causaeque senatus Quam mihi mortis amor (6.241 246) the penalty. If Magnus seeks peace from this sword of mine, let him bow his neck to Caesar and lower his standards. Did you really think t hat I, like you, was reluctant to meet my fate? My amor mortis means more to me With the reintroduction of his particular brand of virtus Scaeva undergoes another ethical reorientation. He returns to his previous moral matrix, which, as we saw, was
63 matrix any display of virtus is a crimen Again Lucan uses his syntax to mimic the meaning of his text and to paint pictu res with his words. In armis / quam magnum virtus crimen civilibus esset crimen virtus would be in( (6.147 148). He encloses virtus within magnum and crimen which is itself inside syntactically, physically, and concep tually armis civilibus. Thus, when Scaeva assimilates pietas to virtus he simultaneously, via the transitive property, 99 assimilates pietas to crimen and nefas As our look at his faux supplication and anti hopes of assim ilating himself to Aeneas are also plagued by a lack of identity. The entire scene sees this lack of individuality. In general, Lucan refuses to name names, when he does they are subversive or deliberately intended, as Gorman conjectures, to pollution inherent in civil war and condemn the moral failings of its 100 Thus, even though in Aulus Scaeva finally has found and bested a named adversary, with a name as generic as Aulus rendered ingeniously by John 101 he might as well be nameless like the rest of his fellow soldiers. This lack of individuality is emphasized by the intense focus Lucan places on the bloody details of the fight. One need not look very hard to find examples of mutilation and loss of su bjectivity. In a way strongly reminiscent of Vulteius, Scaeva goads his fellow soldiers to confringite tela / pectoris inpulsu iugulisque retundite ferrum their spears to smithereens with a blow from your chest and blunt their blades with your 99 A is B; B is C; Therefore, A is C. 100 Gorman, 267. 101 Henderson, 1998:173.
64 thr 161). This sort of hypallage, discussed above, attempts to invoke each amor mortis and to deemphasize his subjectivity by focusing attention onto his use as ferrum fodder and pila prey. When Scaeva begins his onslaught he even uses corpses as weapons, turning previously living beings into passive weapons, intentional ity are concerned: subjects become objects are no longer imbued with agency, while objects become 102 victims fare no better. Not only do they not receive names, they are not even described as whole human being s: Et valli summa tenentes amputat ense manus Caput obterit ossa que saxo ac male defensum fragili conpage cerebrum dissipat; alterius flamma crines que genas que succendit; strident oculis ardentibus ignes. (6.175 179) [And with his sword he amputates the hands that clutch at the top of the rampart. He grinds a head and bones into a powder with a rock, scattering the brains poorly protected by their fragile covering; he sets the hair and cheeks of another aflame, and the flames crackle as the eyes burn aw ay. Scaeva unleashes his fury upon hands and heads and hairs, but the single possessive genitive, alterius, is the closest Lucan will allow him to come to killing a human being. Problematically, for Scaeva, Lucan devotes more textual space to a description of wounds he incurs than to wounds he deals. Readers would except the hero of an aristeia to inflict more damage than he suffers. However, again, Lucan happily 188), 103 102 Bartsch, 25. 103 We may wis h to add the Aulus episode to this number, which will give us 23 lines total (6.236 239).
65 while Luca n takes great relish in acutely describing the mutilation inflicted upon Scaeva, allotting 36 lines for this purpose (6.189 gloria he c annot live up. Patroclus. Scaeva fights in order that he might die. This is symptomatic of the suicidal orse berserker than an heroic warrior. Another look at his initial deprecation of his soldiers betrays an oddity that may not have come to the fore at first blush. He does not reproach them for turning away from battle or for failing to repulse the enemy He takes them to task for avoiding death ( terga datis morti ) and for not being numbered among the dead ( interque cadavera quaeri ) (6.153 154). Following from this, he seems to have no desire to survive his battle at Dyrrhachium. Before he even begins to fight he avers that peterem felicior umbras / Caesaris in voltu: testem hunc fortuna negavit, / Pompeio laudante cadam watching. Circumstances have denied me him as a witness, so I will fall while t he 160). This is exactly the mindset we saw in Vulteius, who vowed to choose death even if he could find a way to escape alive. We also see the same desire for a specific audience, Caesar, whose gaze, however, would do no mor of mind are more appropriate to a devotio than an aristeia Heroic aristeiai should not be
66 suicidal. In fact, neither Caesar nor Valerius Maximus portray Scaeva as anything but heroic. Lucan, in turning Scaeva into a raging berserker who tries his hand at mimicking an heroic ideal, seems to be commenting on the new relationships between words and meaning in the altered cultural and moral matrix of civil war. This again ed desire to die in battle regardless of the circumstances bespeaks his improper balance between furor and pietas As R. D. Williams writes, furens Aeneid ] of the irrational kind of human behaviour 104 As we saw, Aeneas has to come to grips with his furor at various places throughout the Aeneid in order that he not transgress his duties towards others. 105 Furor is, then, at odds with pietas in that if the former shoul d run amok, the latter is normally disregarded. Aeneas finds a middle ground wherein he is able to retain some of the Iliadic irascibility while still comporting himself properly towards those around him; Scaeva, however, cannot and, except in order to lu re Aulus to his death, never even tries to curb his furor He barely makes it five lines into his opening speech before invoking ira (6.155). The reader quickly sees Furor dri the epitome of Lucanian excess and perversion. His furor however, is fundamentally and irreversibly at odds with pietas There can be no golden mean for Scaeva since he 104 Williams, 54 55. 105 1.291; 2.315; 2.353; 10.513; 12.946.
67 will necessarily direct his furor imbued actions at cives thus violating his relationship to them as members of his community. aristeia is an even more extreme instance of the dissension between external and internal perceptions of events th an the mass because external audiences, both contemporary and modern, have other historical excessive and unethical, and any hope of considering him an Aeneas substitute, from an external perspective, dies with his declaration of an amor mortis In fact, Lucan, in virtus to get off the ground. As Scaeva finally collapses, the internal audi ence, oblivious to the frenzied and grotesque nature of his deeds, praises him as a hero. Labentem turba suorum excipit atque umeris defectum inponere gaudet; ac velut inclusum perfosso in pectore numen et vivam magnae speciem Virtutis adorant. (6. 251 254) [The crowd of his men took him up as he fell and were glad to hoist him, fallen, upon their shoulders. And they worshipped the deity residing in his bored out chest and him as the living incarnation of Virtus .] Because the internal audience prais es the virtus of a man who himself identifies ethical exemplarity with self destructive frenzy and whose capacity for virtus has explicitly equated to a crimen they are no longer capable of functioning as arbitri honorum r, however, cannot let the verdict of the internal audience stand. Yet again he employs one of his favorite rhetorical devices, the apostrophe, to Felix hoc nomine famae, si tibi durus Hiber aut s i tibi terga dedisset Cantaber exiguis aut longis Teutonus armis. Non tu bellorum spoliis ornare Tonantis
68 templa potes, non tu laetis ululare triumphis. Infelix, quanta dominum virtute parasti! (6.257 262) [ Felix he would have been with this name to fame, had he routed a hardy Iberian or a tiny shielded Cantabrian or a long shielded Teuton. You can never decorate the temples of the Thunderer with your spoils of war nor squeal for joyful triumphs. Infelix with what virtus you fought just to have a tyrant! ]
69 EULOGY Lucan concentrates attention on the destructive side of suicide by culling focus away from human subjectivity, melding subjects and objects, and continually deconstructing the parameters of the body. Civil war is a negative sum game for Lucan; all bloodshed is that of a countryman, all death is citizen, all murder even of oneself is destructive. suicide as a metaphor for civil war, Lucan has effectively devalu ed it as an act, 106 I agree with Edwards itself. However, I would argue that that it is the intended effec t. Not only is Lucan using the negative dimension of suicide to vilify civil war, I believe he wants to turn the Alongside his disgust of civil war can be seen an acute awar eness of its logical Catonian model of suicide as a commentary on his perceived ineff ectiveness of such an act and, possibly, as indicative of his continual disillusionment with Stoicism. Lucan is not alone in feeling ambivalent towards aristocratic suicide. Tacitus, also, seems to intimate a feeling of dissatisfaction with it, calling i t an inani iactatione libertatis and claiming it bestows nullum rei publicae usum ( Agr. 42.3 4). 106 Edwards, 40.
70 I have shown how Lucan uses the metaphor from the proem to adulterate two of the most prominent topoi from the Roman imaginary, the aristocratic suicide and th e heroic aristeia He has two characters, Vulteius and Scaeva, attempt to assimilate themselves to the Roman persona connected with each topos Cato and Aeneas. For each scene we first identified the primary aspects of the original characters and then ma calmness, philosophical musings, and theatricality Vulteius tried to mold himself and his crew into these characteristics properly but failed. His ethical system was too over run by his death drive to allow him to properly exude Stoic virtues. Scaeva met a similar fate. Even though he went through many of the steps of a proper aristeia he was unable to become Aeneas because he could not curb his furor and he let his amor mo rtis control every one of his actions. Even two of the most morally upstanding characters in Roman thought, Cato and Aeneas, could not give Vulteius and Scaeva the moral high ground. Vulteius and Scaeva are not the only ethical degenerates in these scenes As we saw, both of them needed an audience of arbitri honorum to validate their actions. Bellum Civile as a text, has two levels of arbitri one internal, one external. But because the internal audiences are continually unable to see Vulteius or Scaeva from act like Roman heroes, they show themselves to be on no higher of a moral ground a rbitri honorum the
71 external audience both contemporary and future 107 pay attention to the warnings of the narrator, not fall prey to the same trap as his internal audiences, and pass his test. 107 That Lucan is not only concerned with his immediate circa 1 st century Roman audience bu t with future readers as well is shown by his apos trophe at 7.210 213 and 9.980 986. O sacer et magnus vatum labor! Omnia fato eripis et populis donas mortalibus aevum. Invidia sacrae, Caesar, ne tangere famae; Nam, si quid Latiis fas est promittere Mu sis, quantum Zmyrnaei durabunt vatis honores, venturi me teque legent; Pharsalia nostra vivet, et a nullo tenebris damnabimur aevo. (9.980 986) [O great and solemn task of the bard! You snatch everything from fate and give immortality to mortal men. Do not be jealous of sacred fame, Caesar; for, if the Latin Muses are allowed to promise anything, then, as long as the endure posterity will read me and you nostra Pharsalia will live and at no point will we be ancient history.]
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77 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Nicholas Rich was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1986 to Sheryl and David Rich. In 2009 he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Univer sity of Iowa in c lassical l anguages and p hilosophy. He plans to continue on with his education and receive his PhD.