<i>Haec tum Roma fuit</i>: Past, Present, and Closure in Silius Italicus’ Punica

Ben Tipping

in Classical Constructions

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780199218035
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191711534 | DOI:
Haec tum Roma fuit: Past, Present, and Closure in Silius Italicus’ Punica

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This chapter explores the wide range of closural issues that the Punica raises. It shows that the Liternum episode may be seen to illustrate not only the Punica’s openness to a Punic point of view, but more broadly Silius’ limited power, as Roman epicist, over aperture and closure: his poetic celebration of Roman victory — or victories — cannot altogether contain the dominant figure of the enemy, who thus perhaps becomes this ‘Punic’ poem’s anti-hero, nor control the problematic lapse between Roman past and present, nor, indeed, determine how, or how much of, the Punica will be read.

Keywords: Silius Italicus; Punica; Roman victory; closure

Chapter.  8526 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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