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252 BOOK REVIEWS Thiscollectionofessays sheds valuable lighton an under-documented subject(especiallyin English; most ofthe literature on these sites is in French). It is high time that scholarlyattention hasbeen drawn to the ancient outpostof Bactria, atthe intersection ofmany cultures along the Silk Road. Overall the essays in thiscollection are successful in promoting interestin a partof the world known mainly from newsof thecurrent conflict. While this symposium investigates some esoteric areasof art history,it is alwayscareful to return to the theme ofcrosscurrentsofculture. Thisvolume will no doubtbesuitable for a wide cross-section ofpeople; scholars, studentsand enthusiastswill find itreadily accessible. RACHAEL B. GOLDMAN Graduate Center-City University of NewYork,RGoldman@gc.cuny.edu * * * Anatomizing Civil War: Studies in Lucan’s Epic Technique. By Martin T. Dinter.Ann Arbor: The Universityof Michigan Press, 2012. Pp. viii + 186. Hardcover, $65.00. ISBN 978-0-472-11850-2. Scholarship has often regarded Lucan’s Bellum Civile as a fragmented, episodic work. Dinter’s monograph sets out to combat this idea by tracing the recurrent images, motifs, and stylistic techniques that serve to unify the epic. The book comprises four chapters, which examine respectively Lucan’s body imagery, the role of fama, the narrative and thematic function of sententiae, and poetic patterns of repetition. Throughout, Dinter argues that the Bellum Civile achieves coherence precisely via its most disjointed elements, which bind the epic at the same time as they represent the disintegration caused by civil war. Though promising, this premise fails in the execution and Dinter’s book suffers from its own lack of unity, cutting from topic to topic without engaging in the sort of prolonged analysis thatwould establish clear links between itsvariousarguments. The first chapter is by far Dinter’s strongest. Lightly reworked from two previously published essays,1 it examines the central theme of bodies and body metaphors in Lucan’s epic. Dinter presents a useful overview of how corporeality 1 M. T. Dinter, “Lucan’s Epic Body,” in C. Walde, ed., Lucan im 21. Jahrhundert (Leipzig, 2005) 295–312; id., “…und es bewegt sich doch! Der Automatismus des abgehackten Gliedes,” in N. Hömke and C. Reitz, eds., Lucan’s Bellum Civile: Between Epic Tradition and Aesthetic Innovation (Berlin, 2010) 175–90.. BOOK REVIEWS 253 pervades the Bellum Civile at the various levels of cosmos, state, army, human individual, and text. His analysis of heads (19–21) and hands (22–7) is particularly thought-provoking, yet also too superficial to be fully satisfying. An unfortunate result of Dinter’s overall approach is that he avoids close readings and too often cites a dizzying sequence of passages without pausing to discuss all their implications. A brief example: Dinter uses BC 5.252 ([Caesar] tot raptis truncus manibus) to illustrate the metaphor of army as body (22) but does not examine how this image of Caesar recalls that of Pompey at BC 1.139–40 in a manner that links themilitarycorpuswith the cosmic one. Similar problems hinder the treatment of Fama in Chapter 2. After listing numerous instances of fame, repute, and rumor in the Bellum Civile, Dinter concludes with the bland statement that in this work, “fame is the main concern” (62). Curiously for one analyzing the fame conferred by epic, Dinter never refers to Homeric kleos. Nor does he resolve his contradictory proposition that Lucan’s epic perpetuates fama at the same time as it leaves the majority of soldiers nameless (80–1 acknowledges the issue, but skirts it by talking about gloria instead—hardly the same thing as fama). That said, there are some strong sections in this chapter, such as when Dinter compares Lucan’s Erictho to the personified Fama of Ovid and Vergil (68–75) and when he examines Lucan’s epitaphic language (82–7). The second half of Dinter’s monograph shifts focus from content to style. Chapter 3 strips back the Bellum Civile to a skeleton of epigrammatic statements and shows how these sententiae articulate the paradoxes inherent in civil war. Lucan’s rhetoric of guilt and forgiveness is a particularly interesting topic, which Dinter summarizes well (103–5) despite omitting any reference to Matthew Roller,whose 1996 article on Lucan deals with very similar material.2 The...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2327-5812
Print ISSN
0009-8353
Pages
pp. 252-254
Open Access
No
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