Only recently have scholars turned their attention to Silius Italicus'
Punica, a poem the reputation of which was eclipsed by the emergence of Virgil’s
Aeneid as the canonical Latin epos of Augustan Rome. This collection of essays aims at examining the importance of Silius' historical epic in Flavian, Domitianic Rome by offering a detailed overview of the poem's context and intertext, its themes and images, and its reception from antiquity through Renaissance and modern philological criticism. This pioneering volume is the first comprehensive, collaborative study on the longest epic poem in Latin literature.
This paper offers a discussion of the intertextual relationship between Lucan’s Cornelia and Silius Italicus’ Saguntine women. The act of metaphorical burial is exploited by both poets as a device to deconstruct and then reconstruct Roman identity. Silius exploits both sides of the Lucanian Cornelia, as both the monstrous and the sympathetic, the maenadic and the philosophical, to create a complex intertextual nexus with those mothers that historically precede but literarily follow Lucan’s epic.