The Roman Hannibal

Remembering the Enemy in Silius Italicus’ Punica

Claire Stocks

- +

ISBN: 9781781380284

Publication: April 15, 2014

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
Silius Italicus’ Punica, the longest surviving epic in Latin literature, has seen a resurgence of interest among scholars in recent years. A celebration of Rome’s triumph over Hannibal and Carthage during the second Punic war, Silius’ poem presents a plethora of familiar names to its readers: Fabius Maximus, Claudius Marcellus, Scipio Africanus and, of course, Rome’s ‘ultimate enemy’ – Hannibal. Where most recent scholarship on the Punica has focused its attention of the problematic portrayal of Scipio Africanus as a hero for Rome, this book shifts the focus to Carthage and offers a new reading of Hannibal’s place in Silius’ epic, and in Rome’s literary culture at large. Celebrated and demonised in equal measure, Hannibal became something of an anti-hero for Rome; a man who acquired mythic status, and was condemned by Rome’s authors for his supposed greed and cruelty, yet admired for his military acumen. For the first time this book provides a comprehensive overview of this multi-faceted Hannibal as he appears in the Punica and suggests that Silius’ portrayal of him can be read as the culmination to Rome’s centuries-long engagement with the Carthaginian in its literature. Through detailed consideration of internal focalisation, Silius’ Hannibal is revealed to be a man striving to create an eternal legacy, becoming the Hannibal whom a Roman, and a modern reader, would recognise. The works of Polybius, Livy, Virgil, and the post Virgilian epicists all have a bit-part in this book, which aims to show that Silius Italicus’ Punica is as much an example of how Rome remembered its past, as it is a text striving to join Rome’s epic canon.

Dr Claire Stocks is currently Assistant Professor of Greek and Latin Language and Culture at Radboud University, Nijmegen. She was previously Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History, University of Manchester and Supervisor of Studies and Bye-fellow for Classics, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.

Introduction: The Roman Hannibal 1. The Roman Hannibal Defined 2. Before Silius: The Creation of the Roman Hannibal 3. Silius’ Influences 4. Epic Models 5. Silius’ Roman Hannibal 6. Out of the Darkness and into the Light 7. Hannibal’s ‘Decline’ after Cannae; Separating Man from Myth 8. Imitators and Innovators 9. Band-of-Brothers 10. The ‘Lightning Bolts’ (fulmina) of War 11. The Man and his Myth; The Self-defined Roman Hannibal Conclusion: The Crossing of the Worlds: The Move from Internal to External Narrative Bibliography Index

'This book offers many stimulating discussions of the multi-faceted Punica and paves the way for monographs on some of the other figures of Silius' epic world (Fabius, Paulus, Marcellus).' -- Classical Journal

Anthony Augoustakis   Classical Journal

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 x 163 mm

256 Pages

ISBN: 9781781380284

Publication: April 15, 2014

Related products

Scroll to top