Marcus Annaeus Lucanus (November 3, 39 AD – April 30, 65 AD) was a Roman poet, born in Corduba (modern-day Córdoba), in the Hispania Baetica. Despite his short life, he is regarded as one of the outstanding figures of the Imperial Latin period. His youth and speed of composition set him apart from other poets.
Three brief ancient lives allow for the reconstruction of a modest biography – the earliest attributed to Suetonius, another to an otherwise unknown Vacca, and the third anonymous and undated – along with references in Martial, Cassius Dio, Tacitus's Annals, and one of Statius's Silvae. Lucan was the son of Marcus Annaeus Mela and grandson of Seneca the Elder; he grew up under the tutelage of his uncle Seneca the Younger. Born into a wealthy family, he studied rhetoric at Athens and was probably provided with a philosophical and Stoic education by his uncle.
He found success under Nero, became one of the emperor's close friends and was rewarded with a quaestorship in advance of the legal age. In 60 AD, he won a prize for extemporizing Orpheus and Laudes Neronis at the quinquennial Neronia, and was again rewarded when the emperor appointed him to the augurate. During this time he circulated the first three books of his epic poem, Pharsalia (labelled De Bello civili in the manuscripts), which told the story of the civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey...
Quotes by Lucan
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