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The Roman epic poetry of the Neronian and Flavian periods, once denigrated as “silver,” is now the subject of a significant increase in scholarly attention and appreciation. Lucan’s Bellum Civile, Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica, Statius’ Thebaid and Achilleid, and Silius Italicus’ Punica have collectively gained more admirers in the past few decades than they have had in centuries. This book assesses the current state of scholarly approaches to the poems and addresses the question of why now is the time when we can appreciate the merits of these poems that had been dismissed for so long. The answer lies not only in the qualities of the poems themselves, but also in the historical circumstances of scholarship in the twenty-first century.

In: Lucan and Flavian Epic