A Commentary on Silius Italicus' Punica 10 by R. Joy LittlewoodA Commentary on Silius Italicus' Punica 10 by R. Joy Littlewood

A Commentary on Silius Italicus' Punica 10

byR. Joy Littlewood

Hardcover | May 1, 2017

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The Battle of Cannae represents a conflict of mighty powers and a crushing defeat, notoriously the worst in Rome's history. Dawn on 2 August 216 BC saw the armies of Rome and Carthage clash in what the participants hoped would be the decisive engagement for supremacy in Mediterranean trade andempire. Punica 10 opens with the final phase of the battle, when there lingered no hope of victory in the Roman ranks. The military narrative moves mercilessly through the aristeia and death of the heroic consul Paulus to the ghastly tableau of Roman defeat. But the mystique of Cannae lies in aparadox: that the army ignominiously vanquished emerges the ultimate victor. Although night falls on a battlefield littered with the wreckage of Rome's military might and a triumphant victor still unsated with Roman blood, the second half of the book unfolds a sequence of unexpected twists in theaction which destabilize Hannibal's confidence and initiate acts of heroism inspiring fresh resolution in the traumatized Romans. In one of Silius' finest books, the climactic sweep of his epic is enriched by intertextual allusions to Virgil's great narrative of epic closure, Aeneid 12. In contrast to her earlier commentary on Punica 7, which explores intertexts associated with Hannibal's desecration of rural Italy, R. Joy Littlewood's new commentary focuses on Silius' military narrative; the poetics of defeat with its imagery of shipwreck and the spectacle of death in the Romanamphitheatre. It aims to show how a poet with long experience in politics as a senior senator in the first century AD interpreted Rome's historic disaster and eventual triumph in the light of his own experiences of civil war and a swift succession of Roman emperors. Presented here alongside theLatin text and translation, and supplemented with plans of the battlefield, this commentary offers both philological and stylistic exegesis together with historical analysis and up-to-date literary criticism. It is accompanied by an extended introduction including analyses of Silius' adaptation ofLivy's Cannae narrative, of the contrasting moral strengths of his three Roman heroes, and of the ideas contained in the intertextually rich, exemplary epigram which closes Book 10.
Dr R. Joy Littlewood is an independent scholar based in Oxford, where she has been a member of the Centre for the Study of Greek and Roman Antiquity at Corpus Christi College for the last decade. Her early research in the late 1970s led to three pioneering articles on Ovid's Fasti followed by a commentary on Ovid's Fasti, Book 6 (Oxfor...
Title:A Commentary on Silius Italicus' Punica 10Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 8.5 × 5.31 × 0 inPublished:May 1, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198713819

ISBN - 13:9780198713814

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsAbbreviationsIntroductionI. Ti. Catius Asconius Silius Italicus: Politician and PoetII. From History to Epic: Silius' Adaptation of Livy in Punica 10III. The Roman Heroes of Cannae and its Aftermath1. The Poetics of Defeat: L. Aemilius Paulus2. 2. The Architects of Recovery: P. Cornelius Scipio and Q. Fabius Maximus3. 3. The Inconstancy of Fortuna: Hannibal after CannaeIV. Silius' Exemplary Epilogue: Empire, Luxus, and Civil WarV. Silius' Epic Style1. The Structure of Punica 102. Language and Style3. Epic Rhetoric, Flavian Style4. The Similes of CannaeVI. Metre and ProsodyVII. Transmission and Reception of the TextSiglaSili Italici Punicorum Liber DecimusCommentaryEndmatterBibliographyIndex VerborumGeneral Index