This chapter focuses on the neglected traces of the Punic Wars in the Aeneid and their origins in Ennius’ Annales and Naevius’ Bellum Punicum. In particular, it examines Sicily in the Aeneid as a lieu de mémoire, evocative primarily of the First Punic War. Virgil’s poem, it is argued, enacts a shadow war, including a ship race which echoes a similar episode in Ennius, in the very landscape and seascape in which key events of the First Punic War took place. The chapter then goes on to examine the war in Italy in the second half of the Aeneid—a war which, in Jupiter’s words, is in danger of bringing prematurely into action a future war in Italy when Carthage will ‘open up of the Alps’ against the Roman citadels (Aen. 10.11–14)—as a proto-Hannibalic war.
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