I'm going to do AoM-style notes, because why not. At least for book one – not sure if I'll do them for all 17 books. Preface (1-16): - ordior arma (1): I saw some article/commentary on Google Books pointing out that with these opening words, Silius indicates his two major sources of Vergil and Livy (arma = Vergil’s arma virumque, and apparently ordior has a Livian tone to it; cf. tantae ordiendae rei from Livy’s preface referring to him beginning his work). - Aeneadum (2): the same article/commentary mentioned the obvious connection here to Vergil’s Aeneid, and claimed that Silius Italicus was using this term in the plural to emphasize that while the Aeneid was about just one man as the hero, his poem is going to be about the whole Roman people. - 1-3: Rather short as opening sentences go, but at least there’s a bit more to it than Valerius Flaccus’. - viros (5): again, plural as opposed to Vergil’s virum. - sacri cum perfida pacti (5): the first of many genitives of specification with adjectives that are otherwise unattested in that construction. An allusion to the stereotype of Carthaginians as untrustworthy (Punica fides) - gens Cadmea (6): I would expect this to refer to Thebans, since that’s the gens that Cadmus originated, but it refers to Carthage, because Cadmus comes from Phoenicia and so does Carthage. It seems like Silius often stretches to find periphrastic place names. - quaesitumque (7): the construction (participle used impersonally as a direct object) reminds me of certatum in Luc. 1.5. - ter…ter (8-11): a common anaphora in Roman poets, it seems. - reseravit Dardanus arces / ductor Agenoreas (14-15): synchysis. I guess the interlocked word order represents how the Romans have made their way into the Carthaginian citadel? - Poenorum ac muris defendit Roma salutem (16): if we were doing this passage in class, a classmate of mine would almost certainly ask if this line is a word picture where the muris literally separate the Carthaginians from Rome. It's definitely a stretch, but I guarantee you someone would ask it. A few of my classmates love finding hendiadys and word pictures where there aren't any. Like "is Hecuba et natae a hendiadys for 'Hecuba's daughters'?" I guess it's better to look for literary devices that aren't there than to be completely unengaged. - Words used to refer to Rome or the Romans in these lines: Aeneadum, Oenotria, Hesperiae, Roma, Dardanus - Words used to refer to Carthage or the Carthaginians in these lines: Carthago, Cadmea, Sidonii, Agenoreas I feel like it’s a bit much, but it’s easy enough to tell from context who each word refers to.