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M.Annaei Lucani Pharsalia, sive de bello civili Caesaris et Pompeji lib. X. Additae sunt in fine Hugonis Grotii notae, ex binis antehac editis junctae, auctae, correctae, et Thomae Farnabii in margine, etc
Amsterdam (Amsterodami), Apud Ioannem Blaeuw, 1643. 12mo. (X),328,(9 index),(1 blank) p. Overlapping vellum 13 cm The Pharsalia contains some of the finest rhetoric ever written in verse (Ref: Schweiger 2,563/64; Graesse 4,273; Ebert 12345; Ter Meulen-Diermanse 430) (Details: 5 thongs laced through the joints. Engraved architectural title, depicting 2 Roman generals, Caesar and Pompeius, above them Dea Roma on her throne. Edges dyed red) (Condition: Vellum age-toned and with some stains. Small ink inscription of the frontcover. Front inner hinge cracking) (Note: When the first three books of the only surving work of the Roman poet Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, 39-65 A.D., the epic 'Bellum Civile' or 'Pharsalia', were published in 62 or 63, the emperor Nero was not amused, because it was great poetry, and because it contained eloquent denunciations of tyranny. The epic was on the civil war between Caesar and Pompeius, a war that ended the Roman republic. Lucan soon joined the conspiracy of Piso against Nero, and was forced to commit suicide on its disclosure, spring 65. The remaining books of the Pharsalia, the last, book X being unfinished, were published posthumously after the death of Nero. 'Beginning with the causes of the war between Caesar and Pompey, it carries the story beyond the death of Pompey until it breaks off with Caesar's occupation of Pharos in Egypt. The battle of Pharsalus is related in book 7. (...) All the resources of rhetoric are enlisted to impress the reader; vehement declamation and brilliant epigrammatic utterances (sententiae) are everywhere in evidence. There are numerous digressions, many of them making a display of curious learning'. (OCD 2nd ed. p. 620) Lucan made Pompey a tragic figure and evoked sympathy for him and his lost republican cause. The climax of the story is the battle at Pharsalos. According to Rose, the Pharsalia contains some of the finest rhetoric ever written in verse'. (H.J. Rose, A handbook of Latin literature, London 1967, p. 380) The philosophy of the Pharsalia is grotesque Stoic. Lucan was during the Middle Ages a popular school-author, he survives in ca. 300 manuscripts. His afterlife is interesting. At the beginning of the Renaissance he was placed by Dante alongside Homer, Horace and Ovid. The Englishman Thomas May composed a Continutation of the Pharsalia in English (1630). His Latin version of the Continuation (1640) was for 2 centuries added to editions of Lucan. 'For the Renaissance, Lucan provided an important precedent for composing epics about comparatively recent historical events, and more remarkably (...) for epics whose sympathies favor the losing side', e.g Alonso de Ercilla's 'Araucana', or Agrippa d'Aubigné's 'Tragiques', about the persecution of the Huguenots. Lucan's republicanism made him in the 17th century unsuitable for incorporation in the series 'editions for the Dauphin', the crown prince of France, while on the other hand the poet was admired by Voltaire for his 'libertas'. § The greatest scholarly achievement of the English scholar Thomas Farnaby, c. 1575-1647, were his editions of classical Roman poets and playwrights, accompanied by thorough Latin notes, such as Juvenal (1612), the tragedies of Seneca (1613), Martialis (1615), Lucanus (1618), Vergil (1634), Ovid's Metamorphoses (1636), Terentius (1651) 'As a school teacher, a rhetorical theorist and an editor of classical texts, Farnaby was one of the most influential scholars of the early seventeenth century. His schoolbooks on rhetoric were highly popular in the schoolroom, he collaborated and corresponded with some of the most distinguished continental scholars of his day, and his editions contributed greatly to the development of early modern textual criticism'. (DBC 1,308/9) Farnaby's Lucan was often reprinted in Britain and on the continent in the next century. The 20th century editor of Lucan's Pharsalia, A.E. Housman, wrote very favourably about Farnaby in the preface to his edition of 1926. It is his opinion that the excellent and indefatigable Farnaby produced a worthy commentary. Farnaby's notes, he observes 'while full of matter, are succinct and practical, and the poem has even now no better commentary'. (Lucanus, Oxford 1926, p. XXXI) At the end have been added 33 pages with notes of the Dutch scholar Hugo Grotius, 1583-1645) (Provenance: On the front flyleaf: 'U.J.J. Cüber, anno 1768', and a 2oth century name: 'Werner (?) Zohles') (Collation: A - O-12, P-6) (Photographs on request)
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Last Found On: 2017-06-22           Check availability:      IOBABooks    


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