Silius Italicus, in full Tiberius Catius Silius Italicus (25 or 26 - 101), was a Latin epic poet. Year 25 was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Julian calendar. Year 26 was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Julian calendar. Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. A poet is a person who writes Poetry. Etymology From the Ancient greek: ποιέω, poieō: "I make or compose"
His birthplace is unknown. From his cognomen Italicus the conclusion has been drawn that he came from the town of Italica in Spain; but Latin usage would in that case have demanded the form Italicensis, and it is highly improbable that Martial would have failed to name him among the literary celebrities of Spain in the latter half of the 1st century. The cognomen (plural cognomina) was originally the third name of an Ancient Roman in the Roman naming convention. This article is about the city in Spain. Italica is also the name of the cultivar group of the species Brassica oleracea, commonly known as Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Marcus Valerius Martialis (known in English as Martial) (March 1 40 AD - ca The 1st century was the Century that lasted from 1 to 100 according the Julian calendar. The conjecture that Silius derived from Italica, the capital of the Italian confederation during the Social War, is open to still stronger objection. This article is about the conflict between Rome and her Italian allies between 91 and 88 BC For the Athenian conflict with its allies between 357 and 355 BC see Most likely some ancestor of the poet acquired the title Italicus from having been a member of one of the corporations of Italici who are often mentioned in inscriptions from Sicily and elsewhere. Sicily ( Italian and Sicilian: Sicilia) is an autonomous region of Italy.
In early life Silius was a renowned forensic orator, later a safe and cautious politician, without ability or ambition enough to be legitimately obnoxious to the cruel rulers under whom he lived. A politician (from Greek " Polis " is an individual who is involved in influencing public decision making through the influence of Politics or a person But mediocrity was hardly an efficient protection against the murderous whims of Nero, and Silius was generally believed to have secured at once his own safety and his promotion to the consulship by prostituting his oratorical powers in the judicial farces which often ushered in the doom of the emperor's victims. Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus ( December 15, 37 – June 9, 68) born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, also called He was consul in the year of Nero's death (68), and is mentioned by Tacitus as having been one of two witnesses who were present at the conferences between Vitellius and Flavius Sabinus, the elder brother of Vespasian, when the legions from the East were marching rapidly on the capital. Year 68 was a Leap year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Julian calendar. Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus (ca 56 &ndash ca 117 was a senator and a Historian of the Roman Empire. Aulus Vitellius Germanicus, born Aulus Vitellius and commonly known as Vitellius ( 24 September, 15 &ndash 22 December, 69 Titus Flavius Vespasianus, commonly known as Vespasian ( November 17 9 &ndash June 23 79) was a Roman Emperor who
The life of Silius after his consulship is well depicted by the younger Pliny: He conducted himself wisely and courteously as the friend of the luxurious and cruel Vitellius; he won repute by his proconsulship of Asia, and obliterated by the praiseworthy use he made of his leisure the stain he had incurred through his active exertions in former days. Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo (61/63 - ca In dignity and contentment, avoiding power and therefore hostility, he outlived the Flavian dynasty, keeping to a private station after his governorship of Asia.
His poem contains only two passages relating to the Flavians; in both Domitian is eulogized as a warrior; in one he figures as a singer whose lyre is sweeter than that of Orpheus himself. Titus Flavius Domitianus (24 October 51 &ndash 18 September 96 commonly known as Domitian, was a Roman Emperor who reigned from 14 September 81 until his death Silius was a great student and patron of literature and art, and a passionate collector. Two great Romans of the past, Cicero and Virgil, were by him idealized and veritably worshipped; and he was the happy possessor of their estates at Tusculum and Naples. Marcus Tullius Cicero ( Classical Latin ˈkikeroː usually ˈsɪsərəʊ in English January 3, 106 BC &ndash December 7, 43 BC was a Roman Publius Vergilius Maro ( October 15, 70 BCE &ndash September 21, 19 BCE later called Virgilius, and known in English as Virgil or The later life of Silius was passed on the Campanian shore, hard by the tomb of Virgil, at which he offered the homage of a devotee. Campania is a region of Southern Italy in Europe. The region has a population of around 5
He closely emulated the lives of his two great heroes: the one he followed in composing epic verse, the other in debating philosophic questions with his friends of like tastes. Among these was Epictetus, who judged him to be the most philosophic spirit among the Romans of his time, and Cornutus, the Stoic, rhetorician and grammarian, who appropriately dedicated to Silius a commentary upon Virgil. Epictetus ( Greek:; ca 55&ndashca 135 was a Greek Stoic philosopher. Lucius Annaeus Cornutus, (Ἀνναῖος Κορνοῦτος a Stoic Philosopher, flourished in the reign of Nero (c Rhetoric has had many definitions no simple definition can do it justice Grammar is the field of Linguistics that covers the Rules governing the use of any given natural language.
Though the verse of Silius is not wrapped in Stoic gloom like that of Lucan, yet Stoicism lends in many places a not ungraceful gravity to his poem. Marcus Annaeus Lucanus ( November 3, 39 AD – April 30, 65 AD better known in English as Lucan, was a Roman Stoicism, a school of Hellenistic philosophy, was founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early third century BC Silius was one of the numerous Romans of the early empire who had the courage of their opinions, and carried into perfect practice the theory of suicide adopted by their school. Stricken by an incurable tumour, he starved himself to death, keeping a cheerful countenance to the end.
Whether Silius committed his philosophic dialogues to writing or not, we cannot say. Chance has preserved to us his epic poem entitled Punica, in seventeen books, and comprising some fourteen thousand lines.
In choosing the Second Punic War for his subject, Silius had, we know, many predecessors, as he doubtless had many followers. The Second Punic War (referred to as "The War Against Hannibal" by the Romans lasted from 218 to 201 BC and involved combatants in the western From the time of Naevius onwards every great military struggle in which the Romans had been engaged had found its poet over and over again. To be fair to both Silius and Lucan, it should be observed that the task of the mythologic poet was likely to have been far easier than that of the historic poet.
In a well-known passage Petronius pointedly describes the difficulties of the historic theme. Petronius (ca 27–66 was a Roman writer of the Neronian age he was a noted satirist. A poet, he said, who should take upon him the vast subject of the civil wars would break down beneath the burden unless he were full of learning, since he would have not merely to record facts, which the historians did much better, but must possess an unshackled genius, to which full course must be given. by the use of digressions, by bringing divine beings on to the stage, and by giving generally a mythologic tinge to the subject. The Latin laws of the historic epic were fixed by Ennius, and were still binding when Claudian wrote. Quintus Ennius (239 - 169 BC was a writer during the period of the Roman Republic, and is often considered the father of Roman Poetry. They were never seriously infringed, except by Lucan, who substituted for the dei ex machina of his predecessors the vast, dim and imposing Stoic conception of destiny. A deus ex machina ( lat. ˈdeːus eks ˈmaːkʰina literally "god from a/the machine" is an improbable
By protracted application, and being full of learning, Silius had acquired excellent recipes for every ingredient that went to the making of the conventional historic epic. Though he is not named by Quintilian, he is probably hinted at in the mention of a class of poets who, as the writer says, write to show their learning. Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (ca 35 – ca 100 was a Roman Rhetorician from Hispania, widely referred to in medieval schools of rhetoric and To seize the moments in the history, however unimportant, which were capable of picturesque treatment; to pass over all events, however important, which could not readily be rendered into heroics; to stuff out the somewhat modern heroes to something like Homeric proportions; to subject all their movements to the passions and caprices of the Olympians; to ransack the poetry of the past for incidents and similes on which a slightly new face might be put; to foist in by well-worn artifices episodes, however strange to the subject, taken from the mythologic or historic glories of Rome and Greece, all this Silius knew how to do. Homer ( Ancient Greek:, Homēros) is a legendary ancient Greek epic Poet, traditionally said to be the author of the epic poems the He did it all with the languid grace of the inveterate connoisseur, and with a simplicity foreign to his time, which sprang in part from cultivated taste and horror of the venturesome word, and in part from the subdued tone of a life which had come unscathed through the reigns of Caligula, Nero and Domitian. Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (August 31 AD 12 &ndash January 24 AD 41 more commonly known by his nickname Caligula (kəˈlɪɡjʊlə was a Roman Emperor
The more threadbare the theme, and the more worn the machinery, the greater the need of genius. Two of the most rigid requirements of the ancient epic were abundant similes and abundant single combats. But all the obvious resemblances between the actions of heroic man and external nature had long been worked out, while for the renovation of the single combat little could be done till the hero of the Homeric type was replaced by the medieval knight. Silius, however, had perfect poetic appreciation, with scarce a trace of poetic creativeness. No writer has ever been more correctly and more uniformly judged by contemporaries and by posterity alike. Only the shameless flatterer, Martial, ventured to call his friend a poet as great as Virgil. But the younger Pliny gently says that he wrote poems with greater diligence than talent, and that, when, according to the fashion of the time, he recited them to his friends, he sometimes found out what men really thought of them. It is indeed strange that the poem lived on. Silius is never mentioned by ancient writers after Pliny except Sidonius, who, under different conditions and at a much lower level, was such another as he. For the Franco-Irish saint see Sidonius of Saint-Saëns. Gaius Sollius (Modestus Apollinaris Sidonius or Saint Sidonius Apollinaris
Since the discovery of Silius by Poggio, no modern enthusiast has arisen to sing his praises. (Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini ( February 11, 1380 – October 30, 1459) was one of the most important Italian humanists. His poem has been rarely edited since the 18th century. The 18th century lasted from 1701 to 1800 in the Gregorian calendar, in accordance with the Anno Domini / Common Era numbering system Yet, by the purity of his taste and his Latin in an age when taste was fast becoming vicious and Latin corrupt, by his presentation to us of a type of a thousand vanished Latin epics, and by the historic aspects of his subject, Silius merits better treatment from scholars than he has received. The general reader he can hardly interest again. He is indeed of imitation all compact, and usually dilutes what he borrows; he may add a new beauty, but new strength he never gives. Hardly a dozen lines anywhere are without an echo of Virgil, and there are frequent admixtures of Lucretius, Horace, Ovid, Lucan, Homer, Hesiod and many other poets still extant. Titus Lucretius Carus (ca 99 BC- ca 55 BC was a Roman Poet and Philosopher. Quintus Horatius Flaccus, ( Venosa, December 8, 65 BC - Rome, November 27, 8 BC known in the English-speaking world as Horace Publius Ovidius Naso ( March 20, 43 BC – 17 AD was a Roman poet known to the English -speaking world as Ovid who wrote on many topics including Marcus Annaeus Lucanus ( November 3, 39 AD – April 30, 65 AD better known in English as Lucan, was a Roman Homer ( Ancient Greek:, Homēros) is a legendary ancient Greek epic Poet, traditionally said to be the author of the epic poems the Hesiod ( Greek: Hesiodos) was an early Greek Poet and Rhapsode, who presumably lived around 700 BCE If we could reconstitute the library of Silius we should probably find that scarcely an idea or a phrase in his entire work was wholly his own.
The raw material of the Punica was supplied in the main by the third decade of Livy, though Silius may have consulted other historians of the Hannibalic war. Such facts as are used are generally presented with their actual circumstances unchanged, and in their historic sequence. The spirit of the Punic times is but rarely misconceived--as when to secret voting is attributed the election of men like Gaius Flaminius and Gaius Terentius Varro, and distinguished Romans are depicted as contending in a gladiatorial exhibition. Gaius Flaminius Nepos was a Politician and Consul of the Roman Republic in the 3rd century BC Gaius Terentius Varro (fl 3rd century BC was a Roman Consul and commander Silius clearly intended the poem to consist of twenty-four books, like the Iliad and the Odyssey, but after the twelfth he hurries in visible weariness to the end, and concludes with seventeen. The Iliad ( Greek: Ἰλιάς (Ancient Ιλιάδα (Modern is together with the Odyssey, one of two ancient The Odyssey ( Greek: Ὀδύσσεια or Odússeia) is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer.
The general plan of the epic follows that of the Iliad and the Aeneid. For the group of nine Ancient Egyptian deities see Ennead. The Aeneid (əˈniːɪd in Its theme is conceived as a duel between two mighty nations, with parallel dissensions among the gods. Scipio Africanus and Hannibal are the two great heroes who take the place of Achilles and Hector on the one hand and of Aeneas and Turnus on the other, while the minor figures are all painted with Virgilian or Homeric pigments. Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Major ( Latin: P·CORNELIVS·P·F·L·N·SCIPIO·AFRICANVS ¹) (236&ndash183 Hannibal (Pronounced in Phoenician: Hanniba'al means " Ba'al is my grace " or " Ba'al has given me grace " 247 BC &ndash In Greek mythology, Hectōr ( "holding fast" or Hektōr, is a Trojan prince and one of the greatest fighters in the In Virgil 's Aeneid, Turnus was the King of the Rutuli, and the chief antagonist of the hero Aeneas. In the delineation. of character our poet is neither very powerful nor very consistent. His imagination was too weak to realize the actors with distinctness and individuality. His Hannibal is evidently at the outset meant for an incarnation of cruelty and treachery, the embodiment of all that the vulgar Roman attached to the name Punic. But in the course of the poem the greatness of Hannibal is borne in upon the poet, and his feeling of it betrays itself in many touches. Thus he names Scipio the great Hannibal of Ausonia; he makes Juno assure the Carthaginian leader that if fortune had only permitted him to be born a Roman he would have been admitted to a place among the gods; and, when the ungenerous monster of the first book accords in the fifteenth a splendid burial to Marcellus, the poet cries, You would fancy it was a Sidonian chief who had fallen. Juno was the protector and special counselor of the Roman state Silius deserves little pity for the failure of his attempt to make Scipio an equipoise to Hannibal and the counterpart in personal prowess and prestige of Achilles. He becomes in the process almost as mythical a figure as the medieval Alexander. The best drawn of the minor characters are Fabius Cunctator, an evident copy of Lucan's Cato, and Paullus, the consul killed at Cannae, who fights, hates and dies like a genuine man. Paullus is a Cognomen of ancient Rome, also appearing as an apparent Praenomen of several Romans Cannae is also a band from Boston Massachusetts Cannae (mod Canne della Battaglia) is an ancient village of the Apulia region
Clearly it was a matter of religion with Silius to repeat and adapt all the striking episodes of Homer and Virgil. Hannibal must have a shield of marvellous workmanship like Achilles and Aeneas; because Aeneas descended into Hades and had a vision of the future history of Rome, so must Scipio have his revelation from heaven; Trebia, choked with bodies, must rise in ire like Xanthus, and be put to flight by Vulcan; for Virgil's Camilla there must be an Asbyte, heroine of Saguntum; the beautiful speech of Euryalus when Nisus seeks to leave him is too good to be thrown away--furbished up a little, it will serve as a parting address from Imilce to her husband Hannibal. "Achilleus" redirects here For the emperor with this name see Achilleus (emperor. This article is about the Roman hero For other uses see Aeneas (disambiguation. The Trebbia (stressed Trèbbia; Trebia is a River of Liguria and Emilia Romagna in northern Italy. In ancient Roman religion and Hellenic neopaganism, Vulcan is the god of beneficial and hindering fire including the fire of Volcanoes He is also Sagunto ( Valencian Sagunt; Latin Saguntum) formerly Murviedro (Valencian Morvedre) is an ancient city in Eastern Euryalus refers to two different characters from classical literature In the Aeneid by Virgil, Nisus and Euryalus are ideal friends (V The descriptions of the numerous battles are made up in the main, according to epic rule, of single combats--wearisome sometimes in Homer, wearisome oftener in Virgil, painfully wearisome in Silius. The different component parts of the poem are on the whole fairly well knit together, and the transitions are not often needlessly abrupt; yet occasionally incidents and episodes are introduced with all the irrelevancy of the modern novel. The interposition of the gods is, however, usually managed with dignity and appropriateness.
As to diction and detail, we miss, in general, power rather than taste. The metre runs on with correct smooth monotony, with something always of the Virgilian sweetness, though attenuated, but nothing of the Virgilian variety and strength. The dead level of literary execution is seldom broken by a rise into the region of genuine pathos and beauty, or by a descent into the ludicrous or the repellent. There are few absurdities, but the restraining force is trained perception and not a native sense of humour, which, ever present in Homer, not entirely absent in Virgil, and sometimes finding grim expression in Lucan, fails Silius entirely. The address of Anna, Dido's sister, to Juno compels a smile. Dido was according to Greek and Roman sources the founder and first Queen of Carthage (in modern-day Tunisia) Though deified on her sister's death, and for a good many centuries already an inhabitant of heaven, Anna meets Juno for the first time on the outbreak of the Second Punic War, and deprecates the anger of the queen of heaven for having deserted the Carthaginians and attached herself to the Roman cause. Carthage (Καρχηδών Karkhēdōn, Carthago from the Phoenician קרת חדשת phn-Latn Qart-ḥadašt meaning new town) refers Hannibal's parting address to his child is also comical: he recognizes in the heavy wailing of the year-old babe the seeds of rages like his own. Hannibal (Pronounced in Phoenician: Hanniba'al means " Ba'al is my grace " or " Ba'al has given me grace " 247 BC &ndash But Silius might have been forgiven for a thousand more weaknesses than he has if in but a few things he had shown strength. The grandest scenes in the history before him fail to lift him up; his treatment, for example, of Hannibal's Alpine passage falls immensely below Lucan's vigorous delineation of Cato's far less stirring march across the African deserts.
But in the very weaknesses of Silius we may discern merit. He at least does not try to conceal defects of substance by contorted rhetorical conceits and feebly forcible exaggerations. In his ideal of what Latin expression should be he comes near to his contemporary Quintilian, and resolutely holds aloof from the tenor of his age. Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (ca 35 – ca 100 was a Roman Rhetorician from Hispania, widely referred to in medieval schools of rhetoric and Perhaps his want of success with the men of his time was not wholly due to his faults. His self-control rarely fails him; it stands the test of the horrors of war, and of Venus working her will on Hannibal at Capua. Venus was a major Roman Goddess principally associated with Love, Beauty and fertility, the equivalent of the Greek goddess Only a few passages here and there betray the true silver Latin extravagance. In the avoidance of rhetorical artifice and epigrammatic antithesis Silius stands in marked contrast to Lucan, yet at times he can write with point. Regarded merely as a poet he may not deserve high praise; but, as he is a unique specimen and probably the best of a once numerous class, the preservation of his poem among the remains of Latin Literature is a fortunate accident.
The poem was discovered in a manuscript, possibly at Constance, by Poggio, in 1416 or 1417; from this now lost manuscript all existing manuscripts, which belong entirely to the 15th century, are derived.
A valuable manuscript of the 8th or 9th century, found at Cologne by L Carrion in the latter part of the 16th century, disappeared soon after its discovery. Two editiones principes appeared at Rome in 1471; the principal editions since have been those of Heinsius (1600), Drakenborch (1717), Ernesti (Leipzig, 1791) and L Bauer (1890). Nikolaes Heinsius may refer to Nikolaes Heinsius the Elder (1620–1681 scholar and poet Nikolaes Heinsius the Younger (1655–1718 Arnold Drakenborch ( January 1, 1684 &ndash January 16, 1748) was a Dutch Classical scholar. Johann Christian Gottlieb Ernesti ( 1756 - June 5, 1802) German classical scholar was born at Arnstadt Thuringia, and studied under The Punica is included in the second edition of the Corpus poetarum Latinorum. A useful variorum edition is that of Lemaître (Paris, 1823). François Élie Jules Lemaître ( April 27, 1853 - August 4, 1914) was a French Critic and Dramatist. Recent writing on Silius is generally in the form of separate articles or small pamphlets; but see HE Butler, Post-Augustan Poetry (1909), chap. x.
This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain. The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911 is a 29-volume reference work that marked the beginning of the Encyclopædia Britannica The public domain is a range of abstract materials &ndash commonly referred to as Intellectual property &ndash which are not owned or controlled by anyone