Homeric Precedents in the Representation of Lucan’s Pompey
Abstract

ABSTRACT:

In composing the Pharsalia, Lucan drew on and interacted with a number of other texts, particularly epic. While much scholarly attention has focused on such intertexts as Vergil, Lucan’s reception of Homer has not attracted the same interest. Nevertheless, an examination of the Pharsalia reveals a thoroughgoing engagement with the Iliad. Lucan in particular draws from Homer in three instances: Pompey’s assertions of his own power as a parallel to Agamemnon’s claim to superior authority; Pompey’s sally against the enemy in book 6 as a corollary to Hector’s assault on the Greek ships; and Pompey’s farewell to Cornelia as compared with Hector’s to Andromache.