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From Sallust To Silius Italicus: Metus Hostilis And The Fall Of Rome In The Punica

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Chapter Summary

This chapter traces the development of Silius Italicus' presentation of the metus hostilis across a series of three passages. In the first passage (3.557-629), Jupiter connects the era of the Second Punic War with that of the Flavians in his conversation with Venus on Mt. Olympus. Then, in the second (7.409-493), Proteus connects the fall of Troy with that of Carthage in his conversation with the Nereids in his grotto near Capri. Finally, in the third (9.340-353), Silius explicitly identifies Cannae as the 'turning point' for both Carthage and Rome. The end the chapter discusses how Silius, like Sallust, links the removal of the metus hostilis with the transition from bellum externum to bellum civile and, ultimately, the fall of Rome.

Keywords: bellum civile ; bellum externum ; Carthage; fall of Rome; fall of Troy; Flavians; metus hostilis; Sallust; Second Punic War; Silius Italicus



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