Commentary on Silius Italicus, Punica 7

Hardcover | July 30, 2011

byR. Joy Littlewood

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Once stigmatized as 'the worst epic ever written', Silius Italicus' Punica is now the focus of a resurgence of critical interest and wide-ranging positive reappraisal. In a climate of flourishing interest in Flavian literary culture, Punica 7 now joins the rising number of commentaries onFlavian epic. Littlewood demonstrates how Silius' republican theme bears the imprint of Rome's more recent experience of civil conflict, illuminating the military and civic ethos of the Flavians and exploring tensions within the literary and political culture of the Age of Domitian. The narrativeof Punica 7 is a tale of treachery and perseverance of a battle of wills and the desecration of the land of Italy, poetically interpreted through intertextual allusion to Virgil's Georgics. A penetrating analysis of Silius' complex intertextuality illustrates how Silius' central panel, Hannibal's night raid on the Roman positions and incineration of 2,000 Roman plough oxen, combines thematic material from Homer's Doloneia with Virgilian imagery so that the burning flesh of a subvertedsacrifice is interwoven with bacchanal madness and the rising smoke of the sack of Troy. This sets the stage for a dramatic finale in which Rome's traditional virtues triumph over oriental guile and internal discord and the historical narrative coalesces with mythology, the proto-history of Rome,and the genealogy of its contrasted protagonists, Fabius and Hannibal. Littlewood's volume is the first full English commentary on a book of Silius Italicus' Punica and is supported by an extended introduction covering Silius' life, literary models and epic style, his characterization of Fabius and Hannibal, and the transmission of the text of Punica.

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Once stigmatized as 'the worst epic ever written', Silius Italicus' Punica is now the focus of a resurgence of critical interest and wide-ranging positive reappraisal. In a climate of flourishing interest in Flavian literary culture, Punica 7 now joins the rising number of commentaries onFlavian epic. Littlewood demonstrates how Silius...

Joy Littlewood is an independent scholar based in Oxford. The main focus of her research in Latin literature has been the rehabilitation of two major Latin poems once notoriously misjudged as literary failures: Ovid's Fasti and Silius Italicus' Punica.

other books by R. Joy Littlewood

A Commentary on Ovids Fasti, Book 6
A Commentary on Ovids Fasti, Book 6

Hardcover|Jun 29 2006

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.93 inPublished:July 30, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199570930

ISBN - 13:9780199570935

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Table of Contents

List of illustrationsAbbreviationsIntroduction1. Ti. Catius Asconius Silius Italicus: His Contribution to Public Life and Literature2. Literary ModelsI. Intertextual allusion in SiliusII. Silius historical sources: Livy and PolybiusIII. HomerIV. EnniusV. Virgil(i) The fall of Troy(ii) The violation of Italy: Silius subverted GeorgicVI. Ovid s Fasti(i) Faunus, fertility, and the Fabii(ii) Contrasting theoxenies: Ovid s Hyreius and Silius FalernusVII. Lucan(i) Civil war and the divided command(ii) Personal ambition and the danger of autocracy(iii) The discourse of luxuriaVIII. StatiusIX. Valerius Flaccus3. The Protagonists of Punica 7I. Q. Fabius Maximus, a Flavian and a Stoic heroII. Hannibal, an oriental enemy4. Silius Epic StyleI. The structure of Punica 7II Language and styleIII. Epic rhetoric: The speeches of Fabius and HannibalIV. Poetic uarietas in Silius hand-to-hand combat5. The Transmission and Reception of PunicaSiglaSili Italici Pvnicorvm Liber SeptimvsCommentaryBibliographyFurther ReadingIndex VerborumIndex Nominum et Rerum