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Dust, Water And Sweat: The Statian Puer Between Charm And Weakness, Play And War

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses some of the many elements composing the ambiguous and fascinating figure of the numerous ephebic heroes in Statius' epos and generally in the whole of Flavian epic: the presence and meaning of puluis on the bodies of the child-heroes and the meaning of one of the puer's preferred surroundings, that is to say water, dangerous rivers or clear fountains. Flavian poetry presents the topical contrast between oriental luxury and elegance and bellicose pride in a variety of situations. The chapter likes to dwell on two pueri, Valerius' Pollux and Statius' Alcidamas, in two passages that reveal precise intertextual, lexical and thematic connections. Pollux and Alcidamas are both child-heroes.

Keywords: Alcidamas; child-heroes; epos; Flavian epic; Pollux; puluis; Statius; Valerius; water



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