Ripensare lo straniero. Lesbii e Parti nell'ottavo libro del Bellum civile di Lucano

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The eighth book of Lucan's bellum ciuile opens with the loss of Pompeius fleeing from the Thessalian battlefield. This departure, which sees the old fighter now prostrate and on which hangs a heavy fate of death, includes a double description of peoples and nations. The inhabitants of Lesbos, in which Cornelia had found shelter, offer a safe haven to Pompeius, urging him to remain. Moreover Pompeius seem to be inclined to the Parthians, the traditional enemy of Rome, but the option is destined to be defeated at the urging of Lentulus, which will convince the council of war to turn to Egypt. Within this opposing and contradictory motivations, where the reasons of the history emerge strongly marking the path to defeat, it is strongly evident the bitter feeling of the poet who finds in the hospitality of others, whether real or only idealized, a chance to talk about other things to the affirmation paradoxical and subversive to assume the help of an enemy of Rome, the Parthians. Will, however, other findings, drawn from the wealth of traditional prejudices on the stranger, to lead Pompey to death in the land of Egypt.
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationPrésence de Lucain
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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