Silius Italicus and the Tradition of the Roman Historical Epos


Volume Editors: and
The aim of this volume is to study Silius’ poem as an important step in the development of the Roman historical epic tradition. The Punica is analyzed as transitional segment between the beginnings of Roman literature in the Republican age (Naevius and Ennius) and Claudian’s panegyrical epic in late antiquity, shedding light on its ‘inclusiveness’ and its peculiar, internal dialectic between antiquarian taste and problematic actualization. This is an innovative attempt to connect epic poems and authors belonging to different ages, to frame the development of the literary genre, according to its specific aims and interests throughout the centuries.

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Antony Augoustakis is Professor of Classics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Urbana, Illinois, US. His research interests include Latin imperial epic, Roman comedy and historiography, women in antiquity, classical reception, and gender theory. He is the author of many monographs and edited volumes on various topics in classical literature.

Marco Fucecchi is Associate professor of Latin language and literature at the University of Udine (Italy). His research interests include Latin literature from the Augustan age to the Ist century CE, with particular regard to epic poetry. He is the author of some monographs on Flavian epic poems (Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica and Silius’ Punica) as well as many articles on various topics in Latin literature.

Contributors are Thomas Baier, Neil W. Bernstein, Sergio Casali, Paolo Esposito, Filippo Fabbri, Alison Keith, Nicola Lanzarone, Gesine Manuwald, Raymond Marks, Stefano Poletti, Angeliki N. Roumpou, Clayton Schroer, Claire Stocks.
"The editors write that they “hope that this collection will continue the discussion of the tradition of historical epic poetry in Rome and open up further avenues of research on Silius Italicus and the Punica in the future” (p. 15). I think they have absolutely succeeded in this regard. [...] To sum up, this book is highly recommended for everyone dealing with Latin literature. I am sure that students and scholars will benefit enormously from this volume and I am confident that Silius Italicus’ poem will continue to reaffirm his position within the academic curriculum." Vicente Flores Militello, BMCR 2023.03.10.
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Silius Italicus and the Tradition of the Roman Historical Epos
Antony Augoustakis and Marco Fucecchi

Part 1 The Historical Epic Tradition

Silius Italicus and the Conventions of Historical Epic at Rome
Gesine Manuwald

Silius Italicus between Epos and Historiography
Paolo Esposito

Part 2 Rethinking Roman ‘Mythical History’

Silius Ciceronianus: Regulus as a Reflection of Cicero in Punica 6
Thomas Baier

Silius Italicus and Ovid’s Roman History
Raymond Marks

Claudian’s Silius
Neil W. Bernstein

Part 3 Historical Challenges to ‘National’ Epic

Silius Italicus as an Interpreter of Virgil: Dido and Anna
Sergio Casali

Pompey and Aemilius Paulus, or the Epic Genre between Lucan and Silius Italicus
Nicola Lanzarone

From the Rubicon to the Alps: Re-reading Eumolpus’ Caesar in Light of Silius Italicus’ Hannibal
Stefano Poletti

Part 4 Viewing Roman History (and Literature) from the Inside

Scaevola’s aristeia: A Complementary Reworking of a Historical Source and the Epic Tradition
Filippo Fabbri

Exul in orbe toto, or, How to Map Future Power in Silius Italicus
Clayton A. Schroer

Temples of Song in Silius Italicus
Alison Keith

Romuleos superabit voce nepotes: Remembering Romulus in Silius Italicus
Claire Stocks

Hannibal Redivivus: Fear and Haunting Memory in Silius Italicus
Angeliki N. Roumpou

Index Locorum
General Index
The wide range of texts discussed in this volume renders it appealing to students (undergraduates and postgraduates) and scholars working on Latin literature, with particular regard to the field of epic poetry and the relationship between epic poetry and Roman history.
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