The Kings Of Nothing

The war between Julius Caesar and Pompey engulfed the Roman world between 49 and 48 B.C.  Historians, seeking concision and brevity at the expense of accuracy, call it a “civil war”; and in one sense it is.  But to those who lived through it, or fell under the long shadow of its aftershocks, it was more than a civil war.  It was with good reason that the poet Lucan, in the first line of his Pharsalia, described the conflict as something “worse than civil”:

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