Salylor, Charles. 1982. “Curio and Antaeus: the African Episode of Lucan Pharsalia IV”, Transactions of the American Philological Association 112: 169-177.
169: (Pharsalia 4.581-824)…designed to show the decay of Roman virtus. In this, Curio figures as a miserable shadow of Hercules the conqueror whose role can only be filled by Cato… It seems to me unquestionable that Lucan intended an equation between the mythical struggle of Hercules and Antaeus and the combat of Curio and Juba,
170: It seems to me, however, that a clear identification exists between Juba and Antaeus, and, because of some definite connections that have not been noted, an equally clear identification between Curio and the giant. Or, the true form of the equation is that both Juba and Curio assume the role of Antaeus, but the former in a good, advantageous way and the latter in a negative, self-destructive way. The equation is not confused except for dramatic effect. Hercules, whose role is indeed assumed by heroes in other epics (e.g., by Aeneas in Vergil or by Scipio and Regulus in Silius), only acts as foil here
175: the civil war here assumes the charac-ter of a show in the arena with a vain expending of lives, and thus too in the manner of the arena the deaths of Romans are like an expiatory sacrifice to Carthage