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Sparsis Mauors agitatus in oris: The Theme of Civil War in Punica 14

By Raymond Marks

Thanks to the studies of Ahl, Davis, and Pomeroy and McGuire, it is widely acknowledged that Silius Italicus invites readers of his Punica to reflect on Rome’s history of civil strife. Scholars have since identified many references to civil war and allusions to texts dealing with the topic (especially Lucan’s Bellum Civile) and have shown that civil war is indeed a wide-spread preoccupation in the Punica (e.g., Dominik, Fucecchi, Marks 2008, 2010, Tipping).

Iterum belli diversa peragrat: Argonautic and Roman Civil War

By Leo Landrey

It has long been understood that the Argonauts’ battles against Cyzicus and Perses in Books 3 and 6 of Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica, respectively, are narrative doublets (Schenk). The poet reduplicates the conflicts in structure and tone, providing Jason and his crew with two eerily similar opportunities to display their martial recuperation (Hershkowitz; Stover) against enemies eerily similar to themselves.

Valerius Flaccus’s Collapsible Universe

By Darcy Krasne

For the Romans in particular, the Argonauts’ voyage was the prisca fraus (Verg. Ecl. 4.31) that led to the end of the Golden Age (Davis, Fabre-Serris). Multiple poets confronted the Argonauts’ association with and responsibility for this crime against the natural order of things, drawing explicit connections between mankind’s violation of the sea and later human crimes of internecine strife and civil war.

Diplomacy and Doubling in Statius’ Thebaid

By Pramit Chaudhuri

Literary treatments of civil war inevitably reflect on the concepts of self and other, perhaps nowhere more explicitly than in Statius’ epic about fraternas acies (Theb. 1.1). In this paper, I argue that the negotiation of these concepts comes especially to the fore in episodes of embassy, when the actors are expected to mediate opposing points of view to the advancement of their side’s interests.