Ben Tipping

in Exemplary Epic

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

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs


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This chapter summarizes the arguments presented in the book. The book began with the assertion that the Punica should be the Roman epic. In so doing, it provided an instance of a text taken to exemplify a literary tradition. In the ensuing exploration of patterns of paradigmatic heroism, it identified instances of example as theme in literature. The central contentions have been that heroization of exemplary Romans by reference to Herculean heroism or Punic otherness operates less straightforwardly in the Punica than might at first appear, and that even those Roman heroes whose example seems unquestionably protreptic in Silius' poem are, on examination, significantly flawed. Such a reading of the Punica is more sensitive to complex intertextuality and correspondingly complex levels of signification than one according to which Silius as epicist simply labours to rehabilitate Rome by reference to exemplary heroes of the past.

Keywords: Silius; Punica; Roman epic; epic poem; Herculean heroism

Chapter.  2968 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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