Lucan was born in Cordoba on 3rd November 39 AD.
His father, Marcus Anneus Mela, was the brother of Seneca the philosopher, and his mother was Acilia, daughter of Acilius Lucano. His father, unlike the other brothers, decided to look after his family’s financial affairs instead of joining the Senatorial order. At the age of only eight months, Lucan was taken to Rome, where he received an excellent education, which was completed in Greece.
He was promptly called by Nero to join his inner circle of friends, named senator and given public office, and his book Pharsalia, a ten-volume epic poem recounting the civil war between Pompey and Caesar, brought him instant literary fame and popularity.
However, in 65 AD, the tyrannical Nero, jealous of Lucan’s increasing popularity as a poet, ordered his death – although the poet preferred, like his uncle, Seneca, to take his own life instead.