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Pharsalia; Dramatic Episodes of the Civil Wars

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Author: Lucan
Language: English
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 60.8
LoC Category: PA
Downloads: 465
Added to site: 2008.10.09 22296
Genre: Poetry

Originally written in Latin, approximately A.D. 61-65, by theRoman poet Lucan, and probably left unfinished upon his death inA.D. 65. Although the work has been generally known through mostof history as the "Pharsalia", modern scholarship tends to agreethat this was not Lucan's choice for a title.

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ing of a brother's blood.

Concord, on discord based, brief time endured,
Unwelcome to the rivals; and alone
Crassus delayed the advent of the war.
Like to the slender neck that separates
The seas of Graecia: should it be engulfed
Then would th' Ionian and Aegean mains (4)
Break each on other: thus when Crassus fell,
Who held apart the chiefs, in piteous death,
And stained Assyria's plains with Latian blood,
Defeat in Parthia loosed the war in Rome.
More in that victory than ye thought was won,
Ye sons of Arsaces; your conquered foes
Took at your hands the rage of civil strife.
The mighty realm that earth and sea contained,
To which all peoples bowed, split by the sword,
Could not find space for two (5). For Julia bore,
Cut off by fate unpitying(6), the bond
Of that ill-omened marriage, and the pledge
Of blood united, to the shades below.
Had'st thou but longer stayed, it had been thine
To keep the husband and the sire apart



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