Date of Award
College of Liberal Arts
Type of Degree
E. Del Chrol
Lucan’s Bellum Ciuile has provided much difﬁculty for scholars in the identiﬁcation of a hero, as none of the main characters of the epic, Caesar, Pompey, and Cato, fully become a hero. I argue that a minor character, Erichtho, the necromancer in book 6, is not only the hero, but also the supreme uates and reﬂection of the poet. Through her comparison with Scaeva in book 6 as well as Aeneas of Vergil’s Aeneid and her interactions with Sextus Pompey, her heroism becomes fully developed. She creates a corpse uates through her vatic powers and gains access into the Underworld deeper than conventional oracles. Her vatic connection to the poet gives insight into the poet’s own magical abilities. Once her various important roles in the BC are understood, her infernal powers can be seen to permeate the whole of the epic as she becomes the poem’s central ﬁgure.
Lucan, 39-65. Pharsalia - Criticism and interpretation.
Pharsalus, Battle of, Farsala, Greece, 48 B.C. - Poetry.
Young, John Byron, "Deathly Erichtho as Vital to Lucan’s Bellum Ciuile" (2011). Theses, Dissertations and Capstones. 293.