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Lucan in His Contemporary Contexts - Provo - 13-14-15/04/2017, Provo (UT, USA)



Keynote speaker: Paul Roche (University of Sydney)


Interest in the poet Lucan and his epic on Roman civil war has grown steadily over the past several decades, leading to a better understanding of the Bellum Civile and the variety of political and poetic themes at work (or even ‘at war’) within. Lucan’s own time period, however, is less commonly a central focus of research. The Bellum Civile has long been studied as exemplary of post-Vergilian imperial epic and as an essential creative conduit that invigorated subsequent Flavian epic. Yet it is also true that Lucan’s epic stands as a gateway to the world of Neronian Rome, the intellectual and geographical post-Augustan Roman space that Lucan inhabited and which in turn shaped his worldview. Accordingly, we seek to bring together scholars for a conference on the Neronian age with Lucan as a common connecting point for the papers and ideas presented. All artists are in constant conversation with their own cultural environment, and we envision a conference where that wider cultural environment of Neronian (and Claudian) Rome is placed in clear conversation with Lucan and his epic poem.


FECHA /DATE/DATA: 13-14-15/04/2017 


LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Brigham Young University, Provo (Utah, USA)




INFO: web - ;





THURSDAY April 13th

7:00 pm – Paul Roche (University of Sydney), Public Campus Lecture: “Neronian Rome in Ten Texts and Images” (Main Library auditorium, 1st level)



FRIDAY April 14th
8:00 am – Shuttle transportation from Provo to Aspen Grove Conference Center (all sessions in Timpanagos A on the upper floor of Aspen Lodge)
8:40 – check-in and light breakfast
9:15 – Welcome & Introduction (Mark Thorne and Laura Zientek, BYU)


Session 1a: 9:30-10:30am
9:30 – Florian Barriere (Université Stendhal-Grenoble 3) : “Lucan’s Repititions: ‘Blemishes’ of a Young poet or Neronian Features? ”
10:00 – Francesca Behr (University of Houston), “The Aesthetics of Apostrophe in Lucan’s Bellum Civile”
[10:30 – 15-min break]


Session 1b: 10:45-11:45
10:45 – Giuilio Celotto (Florida State University), “Lucan, the Principate, and Nero: The Paradigmatic Figure of Alexander the Great”
11:15 – Julia Mebane (University of Chicago), “The Ghost of Sulla in Neronian Rome”

11:45-12:30 Lunch Break 


Session 2a: 12:30-1:30
12:30 – James Taylor (Harvard University), “Even Natura Nods: Lucan’s Alternative Explanatios of the Syrtes”
1:00 – Laura Zientek (Brigham Young University), “Mining, Morality, and Civil War in Neronian Literature”
[1:30 – 10-min break]


Session 2b: 1:40-2:40
1:40 – Alex Forte (Harvard University), “Neronian Inheritance: Lucan’s Massilia and Seneca’s Thyestes”
2:10 – Allison Ditmore (Washington University-St. Louis), “What an Artist Dies in Me: The Delphic Episode and Censorship in Lucan’s Bellum Civile”
[2:40 – 20 min break]

3:00 – Shuttle Transportation back to BYU campus (with the potential of sight-seeing along the way, weather permitting)


Session 3: 4:15-5:15 [Education in Zion Theater, JFSB B198]
4:15 – Jake Nabel (Cornell University), “Lucan’s Parthians in Nero’s Rome”
4:45 – Mauro Serena (University of Reading), “Measuring the Disorder of a System: Lucan, Seneca, and Rome’s Attempt to Incorporate Parthia”

Keynote Lecture [Education in Zion Theater, JFSB B198]
5:30 – Paul Roche (University of Sydney), “Imperial Ethics, The Individual and Autonomy in Lucan and Seneca’s Letters”

7:00 – Conference Dinner



SATURDAY April 15th
(All Saturday sessions are in the Foreign Language Activity Commons, JFSB B003)
8:30 – Shuttle transportation to BYU campus (breakfast snacks provided)


Session 4a: 9:00-10:30
9:00 – Tom Biggs (University of Georgia), “Lucanus mirabatur adeo scripta Flacci: Lucan and Persius”
9:30 – Patrick Kappacher (Humboldt University of Berlin), “Outside/In: Pompey outside of Lucan’s Bellum Civile and Trimalchio in the Satyricon”
10:00 – Annette M. Baertschi (Bryn Mawr College), “Impersonation and Role-Play in Lucan: Cicero’s Speech in Bellum Civile 7.62ff”
[10:30 – 15-min break]


Session 4b: 10:45-11:45
10:45 – David Kaufman (Transylvania University), “Lucan’s Cato and Popular (Mis)conceptions of Stoicism”
11:15 – Mark Thorne (Brigham Young University) – “Rome's Civil War Participation Award: Cato Uticensis in Lucan and Seneca’s Letters”

11:45-1:00 – Lunch Break (on your own on campus or nearby)


Session 5a: 1:00-2:00
1:00 – Jesse Weiner (Hamilton College), “Re-Membering the Palatine in Lucan’s Civil War”
1:30 – Nell Mulhern (Temple University), “The Paradox of Lucan’s Nostalgia”
[2:00 – 15-min break]


Session 5b: 2:15-3:15
2:15 – Lee Fratantuono (Ohio Wesleyan University), “Troy in the Neronian Imagination”
2:45 – Andrew McClellan (Florida State University), “Lucan’s Neronian Res Publica Restituta”
[3:15 – 15-min break]

3:30-4:30 – Closing Roundtable Recap and Discussion

5:00 – Optional Hiking Excursion

7:00 – Optional Dinner (for those sticking around until Sunday; not paid for in conference fees)

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