The life and work of the Roman poet Lucan functions as an important intertext for Chaucer's Legend of Good Women. It demonstrates that the vita Lucani and the Bellum Civile were widely available in medieval Europe and that Chaucer likely used both sources in both the Prologue to the Legend and the “Legend of Lucrece.” Chaucer uses Lucan as a model for critiquing Richard II and illustrating the problem of tyrannical monarchy. The article demonstrates the presence of republican poetics and thought in fourteenth-century England.

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