Scipio Africanus Maior

Ben Tipping

in Exemplary Epic

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199550111
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191720611 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

Scipio Africanus Maior

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This chapter explores the character Scipio in Silius' Punica. The Punica ends with a triumph, and triumph is strongly closural. Yet by echoing Lucan's De bello civili, Silius points to the way in which the figure of Africanus is himself unclosed, the stuff of epic representation and its reception. There is a further Lucanian dimension to the undermined closure of the Punica. With the final, apostrophizing couplet of the poem, the narrator places himself among the citizens who watch Scipio's triumph. Participation in his own narrative here places him at a particular point in history, as if certain events, including, of course, Scipio's political downfall, were part of a future still to come.

Keywords: Scipio; Silius; Punica; Roman epic; epic poem; Lucan

Chapter.  23409 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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