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The Pharsalia Essay | Critical Essay #1

Lucan
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Critical Essay #1

In the following essay, Conrad-O'Briain looks at the Pharsalia in terms of Roman ideals and education.

The Romans were deeply practical, and they were also deeply superstitious. Their sense of self was defined in part by the participation in Roman tradition which required strict attention to the details of worship and to the phenomena by which the gods communicated with men. It was also defined, at least for the literate upper classes, by a view of history and of service which was embedded in their language, literature, and which dominated their education. Romanitas [the idea and ideal of "Roman-ness"] was not a matter of genes, but of language and outlook. Romanitas could be and was taught from the Euphrates to the Irish Sea, from the edge of the Sahara to the lowlands of Scotland. The effects of that teaching remain to this day, so much a part of...

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This section contains 2,001 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Pharsalia Study Guide
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The Pharsalia from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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