Defining the <i>Other</i>: From <i>altera patria</i> to <i>tellus mater</i> in Silius Italicus' <i>Punica</i>

Antony Augoustakis

in Motherhood and the Other

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199584413
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723117 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Classical Literature and Gender Theory

Defining the Other: From altera patria to tellus mater in Silius Italicus' Punica

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In the second chapter, attention is paid to the construction of what constitutes same and other in the early books of the Punica, by looking at the role of patria, Italy and Africa respectively: the word patria is closely associated with the male protagonists of the poem, especially pairs of fathers and sons, who try to protect their respective fatherlands, quite unsuccessfully. Alienation from one's patria is also evident in Rome's allied cities, especially Saguntum, where women are either silenced (the Amazon Asbyte) or inspired by bacchic frenzy, with a borrowed voice (Tiburna). The appearance of Tellus in book 15, however, marks a change, as the figure of the mother-earth empowers the male warriors to initiate war and discover a new identity.

Keywords: Silius Italicus' Punica; Patria; Italy; Africa; fathers and sons; Saguntum; Asbyte; Tiburna; Tellus; identity

Chapter.  25421 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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