Synopses & Reviews
In antiquity Lucullus was indisputably a great general, one to be numbered with alongside Sulla and Pompey. "Lucullus" narrates the great Asiatic campaigns upon which his military repute chiefly rests. Despite his reputation, some ancient traditions suggest that when the wars were done Lucullus became an overweight degenerate, a miserable trifler devoting his time to banquets, baths and the building of follies. Arthur Keaveney explodes this myth, arguing that Lucullus' leisure activities were the outward expression of an aesthetic impulse, not simply of weak self-indulgence. He demonstrates that Lucullus was highly active in public spheres up until the very end of his life.
Sulla, one of the Republic's great dictators, was a major influence on the life and political outlook of Lucullus. The general and his friends aimed to carry the Sullan political ideal and constitutional arrangements into the next generation. This book details Lucullus' fight to do this, showing how and why he ultimately failed. Keaveney suggests that he may be viewed as a paradigm of the age in which he lived. Inheritor of the Sullan ideal, Lucullus' failure is also its failure--in one man is embodied a whole class and its melancholy fate.
This is the first full length study of this most interesting figure to be undertaken in English. Lucullus offers a thoroughly revisionist account of this ruler--dispelling many of the wild fictions which have accumulated around his name.
This is the first biography in English of Lucullus, one of Rome's greatest soldiers, traditionally considered a degenerate. Paring back the legends and misconceptions surrounding his name, the book examines Lucullus as a soldier, politician and aesthete. Inheritor of the ideals of his friend Sulla, his career spans the last years of the Roman republic when it was governed under the constitution the dictator had devised. Through the eyes of Lucullus, the failure of that constitution is depicted.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -267) and index.