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Tumens Atavis: Republican Kinship and Virtue in Silius Italicus’ Punica 4

By Maya Chakravorty (Boston University)

Scholars such as Henriette van der Blom, Alison Cooley, and Susan Treggiari observe that a biological connection with heroic ancestors inspired descendants to emulate their deeds and mannerisms (van der Blom 2010: 88; Cooley 1998: 206-7; Treggiari 2003: 144, 148, 150). Silius Italicus’ Punica features the descendants of many famous regnal and early Republican heroes, such as Cloelius, a descendant of the early Republican heroine Cloelia, and Scaevola, descended from Mucius Scaevola.

Seneca's Sublime and Statius' Thebaid

By Thomas Bolt (Florida State University)

Despite recent work on aesthetics in Latin literature (Hardie 2013, Day 2013, Hardie 2009), Statius’ bold experimentation with the sublime remains poorly understood. Statius’ sublime is decidedly ambivalent, careening from the lofty to the absurd in a short space.

Reading and Writing Epic Serially: Thetis, Venus, and Entreaty Scenes in Trojan War Epics

By Jennifer Weintritt (Northwestern University)

Modes of reading become modes of writing (Barchiesi). In the last two decades, scholars of Greek scholia have brought into clearer focus how ancient critics read Greek poetry, Homer most of all (e.g., Nünlist, Schironi, Kelly et al.). Accordingly, our understanding of how Roman poets metabolized these reading practices in their own writing has increased (Hexter, Farrell), with still more work to be done.

Anti-Juno: Reversing Expectations in Statius’ Thebaid

By Rebecca A Deitsch (Harvard University)

In Statius’ Thebaid, Juno reverses expectations to emerge as the opposite of her Vergilian self. While she lacks her predecessor’s cosmic influence, her characterization has major ramifications for the divine politics of the Thebaid. I argue that a network of Vergilian intertexts establishes a Juno who rejects her literary past in every respect except one: she remains at odds with Jupiter.

The Volcanic Poetics of Statius’ Thebaid

By Kenneth Draper

This paper explores an overlooked symbolic program in Statius’ Thebaid and in his commentary on the Thebaid in the Silvae. Statius fuses diverse associations of Vulcan, Aetna, and Phlegra to make volcanic fire a multifaceted emblem of his epic verse. On the one hand, Vulcan’s forges in Aetna and elsewhere furnish an image of the poet crafting epic arma.

Sicilian Strife in Silius Italicus' Punica

By Julia Mebane

Although Latin writers on civil war revel in inverted norms, paradoxical extremes, and collapsed boundaries, they typically center the city of Rome in their narratives. Writers from Caesar to Lucan describe how discord born in the Curia and Comitia expands outward to encompass the whole world.