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Exemplary EpicSilius Italicus' Punica$
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Ben Tipping

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199550111

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199550111.001.0001

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Scipio Africanus Maior

Scipio Africanus Maior

(p.138) 5 Scipio Africanus Maior
Exemplary Epic

Ben Tipping

Oxford University Press

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

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