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War, Liberty, and CaesarResponses to Lucan's Bellum Ciuile, ca. 1580 - 1650$
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Edward Paleit

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199602988

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199602988.001.0001

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Divided Readers: Lucan in Mid-Jacobean England

Divided Readers: Lucan in Mid-Jacobean England

(p.166) 5 Divided Readers: Lucan in Mid-Jacobean England
War, Liberty, and Caesar

Edward Paleit

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at two sustained readings of Lucan during the mid-Jacobean period. The translation of Arthur Gorges (published 1614) and the commentary of Thomas Farnaby (1618) demonstrate how Lucan’s text was often the site for exploring unresolved conflicts and contradictions between different political perspectives and their associated structures of feeling. Gorges translation reflects the pressure on his own gentry class and its privileges or ‘liberties’, which he identified with Lucan’s libertas, but also warms to Lucan’s portrait of Caesar’s military generalship. Likewise, Thomas Farnaby’s commentary is warmly sympathetic to Julius Caesar but admires Lucan’s passionate commemoration of liberty.

Keywords:   renaissance humanism, classical scholarship, translation, Lucan, political experience, the ancient constitution, ideas of liberty, julius caesar, the English civil war

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