Civil wars, more than other wars, sear themselves into the memory of societies that suffer them. This is particularly true at Rome, where in a period of 150 years the Romans fought four epochal wars against themselves. The present volume brings together exciting new perspectives on the subject by an international group of distinguished contributors. The basis of the investigation is broad, encompassing literary texts, documentary texts, and material culture, spanning the Greek and Roman worlds. Attention is devoted not only to Rome's four major conflicts from the period between the 80s BC and AD 69, but the frame extends to engage conflicts both previous and much later, as well as post-classical constructions of the theme of civil war at Rome. Divided into four sections, the first (Beginnings, Endings) addresses the basic questions of when civil war began in Rome and when it ended. Cycles is concerned with civil war as a recurrent phenomenon without end. Aftermath focuses on attempts to put civil war in the past, or, conversely, to claim the legacy of past civil wars, for better or worse. Finally, the section Afterlife provides views of Rome's civil wars from more distant perspectives, from those found in Augustan lyric and elegy to those in much later post-classical literary responses. As a whole, the collection sheds new light on the ways in which the Roman civil wars were perceived, experienced, and represented across a variety of media and historical periods.
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