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''Pharsalia'', or ''Bellum Civile'' (''The Civil War''), is an {{epic poem}} by the first century AD [[AncientRome Roman]] poet {{Lucan}}. It covers the Roman Civil War between Creator/JuliusCaesar and UsefulNotes/PompeyTheGreat, from the former's crossing of the Rubicon to his seduction by UsefulNotes/{{Cleopatra}}. It was still in progress when [[AuthorExistenceFailure Lucan was forced to commit suicide]] for conspiracy to kill Emperor Nero. This gave it the mother of all Classical cliffhangers, with Caesar in the midst of a sword fight with Ganymede, a partisan of Cleopatra's brother Ptolemy.

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''Pharsalia'', or ''Bellum Civile'' (''The Civil War''), is an {{epic poem}} by the first century AD [[AncientRome Roman]] poet {{Lucan}}. It covers the Roman Civil War between Creator/JuliusCaesar UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar and UsefulNotes/PompeyTheGreat, from the former's crossing of the Rubicon to his seduction by UsefulNotes/{{Cleopatra}}. It was still in progress when [[AuthorExistenceFailure Lucan was forced to commit suicide]] for conspiracy to kill Emperor Nero. This gave it the mother of all Classical cliffhangers, with Caesar in the midst of a sword fight with Ganymede, a partisan of Cleopatra's brother Ptolemy.


* BlackAndGreyMorality: Neither side is depicted as having the moral high ground, and they're both tearing apart the Roman Empire.

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* BlackAndGreyMorality: Neither side is depicted as having the moral high ground, and they're both tearing apart the Roman Empire.Republic.

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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/4846.jpg]]



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* RuleOfSymbolism: The poem is full of descriptions of suicides and gory dismemberment, symbolising the Roman Empire hurting itself and falling apart in the civil war.


''Pharsalia'', or ''Bellum Civile'' (''The Civil War''), is an {{epic poem}} by the first century AD [[AncientRome Roman]] poet {{Lucan}}. It covers the Roman Civil War between Creator/JuliusCaesar and UsefulNotes/PompeyTheGreat, from the former's crossing of the Rubicon to his seduction by Cleopatra. It was still in progress when [[AuthorExistenceFailure Lucan was forced to commit suicide]] for conspiracy to kill Emperor Nero. This gave it the mother of all Classical cliffhangers, with Caesar in the midst of a sword fight with Ganymede, a partisan of Cleopatra's brother Ptolemy.

to:

''Pharsalia'', or ''Bellum Civile'' (''The Civil War''), is an {{epic poem}} by the first century AD [[AncientRome Roman]] poet {{Lucan}}. It covers the Roman Civil War between Creator/JuliusCaesar and UsefulNotes/PompeyTheGreat, from the former's crossing of the Rubicon to his seduction by Cleopatra.UsefulNotes/{{Cleopatra}}. It was still in progress when [[AuthorExistenceFailure Lucan was forced to commit suicide]] for conspiracy to kill Emperor Nero. This gave it the mother of all Classical cliffhangers, with Caesar in the midst of a sword fight with Ganymede, a partisan of Cleopatra's brother Ptolemy.


--> ''Victrix causa deis placuit sed Victa Catoni.''
--> ''The victor's cause pleased the gods, but the vanquished pleased Cato.''

''Pharsalia'', or ''Bellum Civile'' (''The Civil War''), is an {{epic poem}} by the first century AD [[AncientRome Roman]] poet {{Lucan}}. It covers the Roman Civil War between Creator/JuliusCaesar and {{Pompey the Great}}, from the former's crossing of the Rubicon to his seduction by Cleopatra. It was still in progress when [[AuthorExistenceFailure Lucan was forced to commit suicide]] for conspiracy to kill Emperor Nero. This gave it the mother of all Classical cliffhangers, with Caesar in the midst of a sword fight with Ganymede, a partisan of Cleopatra's brother Ptolemy.

to:

--> ''Victrix ->''Victrix causa deis placuit sed Victa Catoni.''
--> ''The ->''The victor's cause pleased the gods, but the vanquished pleased Cato.''

''Pharsalia'', or ''Bellum Civile'' (''The Civil War''), is an {{epic poem}} by the first century AD [[AncientRome Roman]] poet {{Lucan}}. It covers the Roman Civil War between Creator/JuliusCaesar and {{Pompey the Great}}, UsefulNotes/PompeyTheGreat, from the former's crossing of the Rubicon to his seduction by Cleopatra. It was still in progress when [[AuthorExistenceFailure Lucan was forced to commit suicide]] for conspiracy to kill Emperor Nero. This gave it the mother of all Classical cliffhangers, with Caesar in the midst of a sword fight with Ganymede, a partisan of Cleopatra's brother Ptolemy.


* BodyHorror: In Book 9, Cato's army marches through Libya and is attacked by African snakes whose bites have some horrifying effects, such as completely dissolving one victim (including his skeleton), or causing one to swell up to an amorphous lump that shows no sign of stopping its growth when the others leave him behind.



* Gorn: The poem is considerably gorier than previous epic poems, relishing in descriptions of death and injuries.

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* Gorn: {{Gorn}}: The poem is considerably gorier than previous earlier epic poems, relishing in descriptions of death and injuries.

Added DiffLines:

* BlackAndGreyMorality: Neither side is depicted as having the moral high ground, and they're both tearing apart the Roman Empire.


Added DiffLines:

* Gorn: The poem is considerably gorier than previous epic poems, relishing in descriptions of death and injuries.

Added DiffLines:



''Pharsalia'', or ''Bellum Civile'' (''The Civil War''), is an {{epic poem}} by the first century AD [[AncientRome Roman]] poet {{Lucan}}. It covers the Roman Civil War between {{Julius Caesar}} and {{Pompey the Great}}, from the former's crossing of the Rubicon to his seduction by Cleopatra. It was still in progress when [[AuthorExistenceFailure Lucan was forced to commit suicide]] for conspiracy to kill Emperor Nero. This gave it the mother of all Classical cliffhangers, with Caesar in the midst of a sword fight with Ganymede, a partisan of Cleopatra's brother Ptolemy.

to:

''Pharsalia'', or ''Bellum Civile'' (''The Civil War''), is an {{epic poem}} by the first century AD [[AncientRome Roman]] poet {{Lucan}}. It covers the Roman Civil War between {{Julius Caesar}} Creator/JuliusCaesar and {{Pompey the Great}}, from the former's crossing of the Rubicon to his seduction by Cleopatra. It was still in progress when [[AuthorExistenceFailure Lucan was forced to commit suicide]] for conspiracy to kill Emperor Nero. This gave it the mother of all Classical cliffhangers, with Caesar in the midst of a sword fight with Ganymede, a partisan of Cleopatra's brother Ptolemy.


--> ''Victrix causa deis placuit sed Victa Catoni''
--> ''The victor's cause pleased the gods, but the vanquished pleased Cato''

''Pharsalia'', or ''Bellum Civile'' (the Civil War), is an epic poem by the first century AD Roman poet {{Lucan}}. It covers the Roman Civil War between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great, from the former's crossing of the Rubicon to his seduction by Cleopatra. It was still in progress when [[AuthorExistenceFailure Lucan was forced to commit suicide]] for conspiracy to kill Emperor Nero. This gave it the mother of all Classical cliffhangers, with Caesar in the midst of a sword fight with Ganymede, a partisan of Cleopatra's brother Ptolemy.

What makes the ''Pharsalia'' special among epics is Lucan's decision to depict the gods as dead. Other Roman poets had attempted to portray relatively-recent history, such as the Second Punic War, as world-historical events on par with the Trojan War. All they succeeded in doing was producing knockoffs of Literature/TheIliad. Lucan abandoned the Homeric trope of human conflict as a family feud among the Olympians. Every bad thing that happens can be ascribed entirely to [[HumansAreBastards human leaders]], with the issue of ''why'' these particular men had power being ascribed to the Stoic concept of "fate."

to:

--> ''Victrix causa deis placuit sed Victa Catoni''
Catoni.''
--> ''The victor's cause pleased the gods, but the vanquished pleased Cato''

Cato.''

''Pharsalia'', or ''Bellum Civile'' (the (''The Civil War), War''), is an epic poem {{epic poem}} by the first century AD Roman [[AncientRome Roman]] poet {{Lucan}}. It covers the Roman Civil War between Julius Caesar {{Julius Caesar}} and Pompey {{Pompey the Great, Great}}, from the former's crossing of the Rubicon to his seduction by Cleopatra. It was still in progress when [[AuthorExistenceFailure Lucan was forced to commit suicide]] for conspiracy to kill Emperor Nero. This gave it the mother of all Classical cliffhangers, with Caesar in the midst of a sword fight with Ganymede, a partisan of Cleopatra's brother Ptolemy.

What makes the ''Pharsalia'' special among epics is Lucan's decision to depict the gods as dead. Other Roman poets had attempted to portray relatively-recent history, such as the Second Punic War, as world-historical events on par with the Trojan War. All they succeeded in doing was producing knockoffs of Literature/TheIliad.''Literature/TheIliad''. Lucan abandoned the Homeric trope of human conflict as a family feud among the Olympians. Every bad thing that happens can be ascribed entirely to [[HumansAreBastards human leaders]], with the issue of ''why'' these particular men had power being ascribed to the Stoic concept of "fate."



* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: One of Lucan's main sources was Julius Caesar's ''Commentaries on the Civil War''; but in ''Pharsalia'', Caesar is the villain.

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* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: One of Lucan's main sources was Julius Caesar's ''Commentaries on the Civil War''; but in ''Pharsalia'', Caesar is the villain.[[invoked]]

Added DiffLines:

--> ''Victrix causa deis placuit sed Victa Catoni''
--> ''The victor's cause pleased the gods, but the vanquished pleased Cato''

''Pharsalia'', or ''Bellum Civile'' (the Civil War), is an epic poem by the first century AD Roman poet {{Lucan}}. It covers the Roman Civil War between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great, from the former's crossing of the Rubicon to his seduction by Cleopatra. It was still in progress when [[AuthorExistenceFailure Lucan was forced to commit suicide]] for conspiracy to kill Emperor Nero. This gave it the mother of all Classical cliffhangers, with Caesar in the midst of a sword fight with Ganymede, a partisan of Cleopatra's brother Ptolemy.

What makes the ''Pharsalia'' special among epics is Lucan's decision to depict the gods as dead. Other Roman poets had attempted to portray relatively-recent history, such as the Second Punic War, as world-historical events on par with the Trojan War. All they succeeded in doing was producing knockoffs of Literature/TheIliad. Lucan abandoned the Homeric trope of human conflict as a family feud among the Olympians. Every bad thing that happens can be ascribed entirely to [[HumansAreBastards human leaders]], with the issue of ''why'' these particular men had power being ascribed to the Stoic concept of "fate."

Despite its unfinished status, the epic was a huge success and remained a popular school text as long as Latin was the language of instruction, though never enjoying universal use like ''Literature/TheAeneid'' and ''Literature/TheMetamorphoses''.
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!!Tropes found in ''Pharsalia'':

* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: One of Lucan's main sources was Julius Caesar's ''Commentaries on the Civil War''; but in ''Pharsalia'', Caesar is the villain.
* AuthorExistenceFailure: Though conveniently, it ends about where Caesar's autobiographical ''Commentaries'' did.
* DeathByIrony: Lucan himself. The epic was cut short by his involvement in a failed conspiracy against Nero, to whom the poem begins with a fawning dedication.
* GreenAesop: Men kill trees to build siege engines to kill other men, and it is '''evil'''!
* HistoricalHeroUpgrade: Cato the Younger.
* HumansAreBastards: Pretty much everyone but Cato.
* NarrativePoem
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