Silius Italicus - Books 2-4

By Dantius, in 'Reading Latin', Apr 21, 2018.

  1. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    The notes for book 2 are a lot less thorough (and, like the last couple of notes for book 1, written without internet access):

    Dramatic speech of Hannibal (26-35):
    'Nostrum, pro Iuppiter!' inquit
    'nostrum ferre caput parat illa per aequora puppis.
    heu caecae mentes tumefactaque corda secundis!
    armatum Hannibalem poenae petit impia tellus!
    ne deposce, adero; dabitur tibi copia nostri
    ante expectatum, portisque focisque timebis
    quae nunc externos defendis, Roma, penatis.
    Tarpeios iterum scopulos praeruptaque saxa
    scandatis licet et celsam migretis in arcem:
    nullo iam capti uitam pensabitis auro.'

    Comment: Silius Italicus really likes the story of Rome's capture by the Gauls. He keeps referencing it all the time - as well as the description of the Gauls on Aeneas' shield.


    Hannibal using some reverse psychology in a speech to his men (46-53):
    si taedet coepti culpandaue mouimus arma,
    Ausoniam ponto propere reuocate carinam:
    nil moror: en, uincta lacerandum tradite dextra.
    nam cur, Eoi deductus origine Beli,
    tot Libyae populis, tot circumfusus Hiberis,
    seruitium perferre negem? Rhoeteius immo
    aeternum imperitet populis saeclisque propaget
    regna ferox; nos iussa uirum nutusque tremamus.

    Autololum (63): I find this name funny-sounding.

    Hanc [virginem] hasta totiens intrantem moenia Mopsus / non tulit (89-90): Weird phrasing. She’s not literally entering the walls, just throwing spears into the city.


    aeresonis Curetum advectus ab antris (93): rare word.
  2. AoM nulli numeri

    • Civis Illustris
    Similar to Aen. 5.643-4:

    arrectae mentes stupefactaque corda / Iliadum.
    Dantius likes this.
  3. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    Nice sad passage (138-147):
    At pater in gemino natorum funere Mopsus
    correptos arcus ter maesta mouit ab ira,
    ter cecidit dextra, et notas dolor abstulit artis.
    paenitet heu sero dulcis liquisse penatis, (Mopsus had left his quiet hunting life to go to Saguntum)
    adreptoque auide, quo concidis, Icare, saxo,
    postquam aeuum senior percussaque pectora frustra
    sentit et, ut tantos compescat morte dolores,
    nil opis in dextra, uastae se culmine turris
    praecipitem iacit et delapsus pondere prono
    membra super nati moribundos explicat artus.

    Interesting repetition (164-165):
    nec contentus Idi leto letoque Cothonis
    Marmaridae nec caede Rothi nec caede Iugurthae (of course, not the Jugurtha who fought the Romans in the Jugurthine War)

    Silius really stretching to squeeze in a reference to the Odyssey by making a random Saguntine be the son of one of O.’s suitors (177-184):
    hic cecidere Lycus Thamyrisque et nobile nomen
    Eurydamas, clari deductum stirpe parentis,
    qui thalamos ausus quondam sperare superbos
    (heu demens!) Ithacique torum; sed enim arte pudica
    fallacis totiens reuoluto stamine telae
    deceptus, mersum pelago iactarat Vlixen.
    ast Ithacus uero ficta pro morte loquacem
    adfecit leto, taedaeque ad funera uersae.

    superinstrepit (186): rare word.

    Random comment: the Wikipedia article on the siege of Saguntum says something like “the events of the siege are described by Livy, and reported in more detail by Silius Italicus”. It’s kind of misleading because Silius almost certainly just made up that “more detail”.

    namque aderat toto ore ferens iramque minasque (208): hendiadys for iratas minas?

    et concussa procul membris uelocibus arma / letiferum intonuere (212-213): I like these lines, partly because of the adverb form letiferum which I’ve already mentioned that I like.

    heu blandum caeli lumen! tantone cauetur / mors reditura metu nascentique addita fata? (223-224)

    trepidi rerum fessique salutis (234): Weird phrasing. I feel like trepidi salutis fessique rerum would make more sense, because fessi salutis for “depairing of safety” is odd.


    Silius rearranges events here by putting Fabius’ declaration of war against the Carthaginians at a bit more than the half-way point of the book, ending it with the destruction of Saguntum. I’m not entirely sure why, but I guess he wanted to end the book with a praise of the inhabitants’ noble end, which would have been awkward in the middle. Also the declaration of war itself was a bit underwhelming, but that may be because I’ve read the story several times (Livy, Florus, etc.) and Silius didn’t really add anything new to it.
  4. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    I haven't stopped with Silius Italicus – I'll revive this thread properly tomorrow. For the rest of books 2-3 I don't have any formal notes so I'll just put a few comments based on what I remember, then book 4 is back to more thorough notes like what I did for book 1.
  5. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    Almost a week late, but here's notes for the rest of books 2-3:

    Hannibal receives a shield:
    Obviously many phrasings are borrowed from Vergil's description of Aeneas' shield. Incidentally, Silius is very fond of the Aeneas' shield passage as he borrows from it repeatedly. I've probably pointed it out already in the notes on books 1 or 2 and I definitely point it out in the book 4 notes, but there's certain constructions, stories, Aeneid passages, images, etc. that Silius really loves and just keeps coming back to. It gets a bit tiresome.
    Notable contrasts with Aeneas' shield: While A.'s shield was made by gods, H.'s shield was made by mortals. While A.'s shield focuses on visions of the future, H.'s shield displays Carthaginian history from the death of Dido all the way to the siege of Saguntum that H. is currently engaged in. Oceanus surrounding the whole of A.'s shield is replaced by notable Spanish rivers surrounding H.'s shield. I've read that the ocean surrounding the pictures of Roman history on A.'s shield, as opposed to the pictures of general daily life on Achilles' shield, is meant to symbolize how world history has basically become Roman history due to their great power and large territory. I wonder what the significance is of Hannibal's shield being confined entirely to Spain and more specifically to the region that contains Saguntum is.

    Eventually, through lots divine intervention, Saguntum falls:
    - Hercules cries at the imminent destruction of his city (an echo of Hercules' tears at Aen. 10.464-465). He visits Fides in a rather Ovidian passage (Ovid loves his personification of abstract concepts and emotions e.g. Somnus, Invidia, Fames, etc. He's very creative with those descriptions).
    - Juno rouses one of the Furies (here, Tisiphone). Tisiphone uses her shape-shifting power to disguise herself as one of the Saguntine women and persuades the Saguntines to set themselves and all their possessions on fire, throwing themselves into the huge pyre as well. An echo, obviously, of Juno summoning Allecto in book 7, as well as maybe Juno sending Iris to persuade the women to set fire to Aeneas' ships in book 5.
    - Silius has conflicting views on the mass suicide of the Saguntines. He describes it in very Lucan-like terms with gruesome details, calling especial attention to the perversion of pietas seen when children kill their own parents to save them from the enemy. However he ends the book with a praise of their noble deed and their refusal to be captured, also saying that Hannibal will be haunted until his death by visions of what he did to the Saguntines. This marks the end of Book 2.

    Hannibal visits a temple of Hercules:
    There's an ekphrasis on Hercules' labors. Seems like Silius was just searching for a way to cram in a reference to those.

    Hannibal crosses the Alps:
    While he's doing so, Venus and Jupiter have a talk. Venus asks Jupiter whether he ever intends to let the Trojans settle down and finally find peace without being constantly attacked. Jupiter replies that he wants to test the Romans' virtue, but that if they defeat Hannibal, their glory will know no bounds. They will continue to grow and flourish all the way until the rule of our great emperor Domitian who will do all sorts of great things. Hmm... this conversation seems familiar... *cough* Aeneid book 1 *cough*
    This passage can also be used to roughly date the composition of book 3 (around 83 AD). Another passage in book 14 suggests that Nerva had recently ascended to the throne (96 AD) by the time that book was being written.
  6. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    Book 4
    Preparations for war on both sides (1-55):
    - nubiferos montes et saxa minantia caelo (2): chiasmus (adj.-noun-noun-adj.)
    - aemulaque Herculei iactantem facta laboris (4): synchysis
    - diros canit improba [sc. Fama] motus / et gliscit gressu uolucrique citatior Euro / terrificis quatit attonitas rumoribus arces. (5-7): Vergilian personification of fama.
    - Mauors strepit et ciet arma uirosque. (11): that phrase again.
    - conseritur tegimen laterum impenetrabile, multas / passurus dextras atque inrita uulnera, thorax. (16-17): Silius has had these delayed subjects a few times already. I don't like them because it causes readers/listeners to spend a large part of the sentence in confusion (here, I was confused about what passurus could be modifying) and only have that confusion resolved at the last word.
    - pars arcu inuigilant, domitat pars... (18): chiasmus. The first verb is plural, the second singular, presumably just metri gratia. Rather Sallustian.
    - 27-31: the Romans’ flight from the city reminds me a bit of Aeneas’ flight from Troy - Aeneas’ descendants retain his pietas.
    deseruere larem: portant ceruicibus aegras
    attoniti matres ducentisque ultima fila
    grandaeuos rapuere senes, tum crine soluto
    ante agitur coniunx, dextra laeuaque trahuntur
    parui non aequo comitantes ordine nati.
    - fessa gradum (40): weird use of fessus with an accusative, perhaps to parallel with torpentia nervos later in the line.
    - Ausonium inuasere latus sedesque beatas / et metui peperere manu (46-47): If I’m right in taking metui as a passive infinitive (I don’t see how it could make sense as dative of metus), this is a rather odd construction. Silius does like using infinitives in slightly weird ways though.
    - fluxam morum (50): genitive of specification.
    - magnaeque aderant primordia cladis. (55): dramatic lead-in to the battle of Ticinus River.

    Speeches before the beginning of the battle (56-80):
    - accensae uiso poscebant hoste cohortes (58): “silver” line (according to some classifications, golden)
    - non Pyrenen Rhodanumue ferocem / iussa aspernatos (61-62): personification.
    - Contra pulchra suos uocat ad discrimina consul (67): unlike Hannibal, Scipio gets a direct speech. It’s not the first time I’ve seen the losing side get a much better/more interesting speech (Tacitus’ Agricola comes to mind as an example; Calgacus’ speech with ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem apellant is much more famous than Agricola’s speech that immediately follows). Of course, the losing side is not usually the Romans. Using both direct and indirect speech also adds variety and is common in Livy and other historians. In fact as the Wikipedia article on Silius (or maybe the one on Punica, I can't remember) points out, these double opposing speeches in general are characteristic of historiography.
    - torpentia (69): an echo from line 40 (both describing the Carthaginians)
    - qui sacros montis rupesque profundas / transiluit (70-71): Word choice of transiluit seems to show Scipio’s contempt for Hannibal’s feat of crossing the Alps.
    - collis (72): perhaps the same as the note above, since the use of collis makes the Alps seem smaller than they are.
    - scire libet, noua nunc nobis atque altera bellum / Carthago, anne eadem mittat, quae mersa sub aequor / Aegatis inter uasto iacet obruta ponto. (78-80): interesting phrasing in the relative clause, as if Carthage itself was sunk (is this the correct form to use here? It sounds wrong but I’m not sure) at the battle of Aegates islands. Unfortunately Silius reuses this phrasing later (maybe in book 4, maybe a later book, I can't remember) so it loses some of its impact.
    - Scipio’s speech is rather overconfident. No wonder he got defeated.

    Beginning of the battle; an omen (81-156):
    - quadrupedum (96): this word and sonipes (maybe also cornipes, but less so) seem more common in Silius than many other authors.
    - 'Arma, uiri, rapite arma, uiri,' dux instat uterque. (98): cf. arma, viri, ferte arma from Aen. 2.668.
    - unguibus idem, / idem nunc rostro, (107-108): chiasmus.
    - saties (110): rare alternate form.
    - gliscere (111): historical infinitive.
    - 122-130: this entire speech is three apostrophes (actually more like one direct address to someone who’s present, and two apostrophes) each referring to different people.
    'Poene, bis octonos Italis in finibus annos
    audaci similis uolucri sectabere pubem
    Ausoniam multamque feres cum sanguine praedam.
    sed compesce minas: renuit tibi Daunia regna
    armiger ecce Iouis. nosco te, summe deorum:
    adsis o firmesque tuae, pater, alitis omen.
    nam tibi seruantur, ni uano cassa uolatu
    mentitur superos praepes, postrema subactae
    fata, puer, Libyae et maius Carthagine nomen.'
    - Contra laeta Bogus Tyrio canit omina regi (131): his predictions seem a bit bogus (bad pun)
    - illa uolans patuli longe per inania campi / ictum perdiderat spatio (136-137): reminds me a bit of tum lapis ipse viri, vacuum per inane volutus, / nec spatium evasit totum neque pertulit ictum from Aen. 12.
    - fusus habenas (137): weird accusative.
    - aequor (143): used to refer to a field, rather than the sea, as often in Vergil.
    - it (146): probably the 4th or 5th time Silius has started a line with this word.
    - tenuia uix summo uestigia puluere signat. (147): synchysis. Weird scansion of tenuia as tenvia (but such a scansion appears several times in Lucretius, apparently)
    - arietat in primos (149): rare word. It appears in Aen. 11 in the phrase arietat in portus. Similarly to tenuia, this is scanned as arjetat.

    - colla uiri fuluo radiabant lactea torque, / auro uirgatae uestes, manicaeque rigebant / ex auro, et simili uibrabat crista metallo. (154-156): the description of Crixus, a supposed descendant of Brennus, echoes the description of the Gauls under Brennus on Aeneas’ shield (aurea caesaries ollis atque aurea vestis / virgatis lucent sagulis, tum lactea colla / auro innectuntur). This is like the third time Silius has borrowed phrasings from Aeneas’ shield.
  7. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    Battle of Ticinus River continues (157-247):
    - undae Boiorum (159): striking phrasing.
    - quadrupedantum / pectoribus (160-161): cf. quadrupedantum pectora in Aen. 11.
    - arua natant (162): cf. Caesar, ut Hesperio uidit satis arua natare / sanguine in Luc. 7.
    - lubrica belligerae sorbet uestigia turmae. (163): golden line.
    - statque omne in corpore ferrum (191): the phrasing seems familiar, but I don’t know from where.
    - certusque necis petit omnibus ausis, / quod nequeat sentire, decus (197-198): I like these lines.
    - insurgens (208): cf. insurgens gladio from earlier.
    - Dumque ea Gallorum populi dant funera campo (216): cf. Atque ea dum campis victor dat funera Turnus from Aen. 12.383.
    - trahit undique lectum / diuitis Ausoniae iuuenem (219-220): I don’t think I’ve ever seen iuvenis used collectively before.
    - Gradivicolam (222): an otherwise unattested compound.
    - pomifera arua creant Anienicolae Catilli (225): another rare compound, found only in Silius, as well as a line ending with a double spondee.
    - qua medius pugnae uorat agmina uertex (230): striking phrasing.
    - elisa incussis amisit calcibus ora. (242): “silver” line.
    - perfurit Ausonius turbata per aequora ductor (243): perfurit is a rather rare word though it does appear in the Aeneid.
    - cunctaque canenti perfunditur aequore Cyclas. (247): “silver” line.

    Battle of Ticinus River continues (248-310):
    - 249-251: Vivid description of Crixus. I like the use of the color words rutilat and albet.
    horrida barba
    sanguinea rutilat spuma, rictusque furentis
    albet, et adfuso squalent a puluere crines.
    I’m unsure whether to take it as rictūsque furentīs, acc. of respect, with Crixus being the subject of albet, or rictusque (nom.) furentis (gen. used as a substantive).
    - circumtonat (253): nice poetic word.
    - laudabat leti iuuenem (259): odd phrasing/genitive use. cf. vitae laudandus opacae which I made a note on earlier.
    - surgit uiolentior ira (262): cf. gliscit Elissaeo violentior ira tyranno from earlier in Silius (2.239).
    - cornipedem adloquitur (265): here’s something new – a speech delivered to a horse. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in epic poetry before.
    - Vulgum Martemque minorem / mox, Gargane: uocant superi ad maiora (265-266): I’m not sure how to make sense of the first part. The reading seems uncertain.
    - magno Crixum clamore ciebat (270): cf. maesto clamore ciebat / Pyrenen (3.437). Alliteration.
    - in pugnam ac uacuo poscebat proelia campo. (271): alliteration of p.
    - 279-281: another reference from Crixus to the burning of the city by the Gauls. As I mentioned before, Silius really likes this particular story.
    - diram / uel portas quassare trabem (282-283): funny infinitive.
    - sonat illa tremendum (283): another one of those neuter-accusative-as-adverb forms. It seems like there’s some constructions/Aeneid passages/stories that Silius really likes and keeps referring to over and over again. This, non-i-stem participles, the capture of the city by the Gauls, Pyrrhus’ speech to Priam (see next note), etc.
    - 286-288: reminds me, like several speeches earlier in the poem, of Pyrrhus’ speech to Priam (referes ergo haec et nuntius ibis…). Has the word ferre like referes in Vergil, the word memento which also appears in Pyrrhus’ speech, and Scipio is telling Crixus to die and report something to someone in the underworld.
    'Ferre haec umbris proauoque memento,
    quam procul occumbas Tarpeia sede, tibique
    haud licitum sacri Capitolia cernere montis.'
    - fugit illa per oras / multiplicis lini (290-291): a slight echo of orasque recludit / loricae et clipei extremos septemplicis orbis from Aen. 12? Maybe there’s a better passage for reference than that. I just remember the last 70 or so lines of Aen. 12 well because we did them in class.
    - et percussa gemit tellus ingentibus armis. (294): this seems familiar.

    - 295-310: two similes almost directly in a row. Silius went from very few similes in the beginning to too many!
  8. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    I like it as well.
  9. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    Comment: so far, sonipes has appeared once in this book, cornipes 4 times, quadrupes/quadrupedans 4 times.

    Battle of Ticinus River continues (311-400):
    - 315-318: some nice lines + cool anaphora:
    nunc Itali in tergum uersis referuntur habenis,
    nunc rursus Tyrias retro pauor auehit alas,
    aut illi dextros lunatis flexibus orbes,
    aut illi laeuos sinuant in cornua gyros.
    - Aduolat aurato praefulgens murice ductor / Sidonius, circaque Metus Terrorque Furorque. (324-325): interesting lines. What’s the difference between Metus and Terror? Also Silius likes the word ductor, as does Vergil apparently.
    - 326-328: Hannibal striking fear into the hearts of the Romans with his shield:
    isque ubi Callaici radiantem tegminis orbem
    extulit et magno percussit lumine campos,
    spes uirtusque cadunt
    Comments: the passage seems to echo Aen. 10.260-266, where Aeneas returns with his shield and inspires his men. The word extulit appears in both, as does spes, but Aeneas gives his men hope (spes addita), whereas Hannibal is only described as taking away hope from the Romans. This is one of several instances so far of Hannibal taking on an Aeneas-like role (I’ve read that Hannibal is kind of developed as an epic hero, and it shows), but with some subtle contrasts. For instance, at Saguntum he defeats a people that are a mix of Greeks and Rutulians (as Silius repeatedly emphasizes with the epithets he uses for Saguntum) – Aeneas’ two enemies in the Aeneid. However in the same move he also destroys a city founded by Hercules, disrespecting the gods – the opposite of Aeneas’ pietas. He also receives the shield like Aeneas, and all (si recte memini) of the ekphrases so far have been of paintings/works of art observed by Hannibal or the Carthaginians, while Aeneas is the observer in the major ekphrases in the Aeneid.
    - uertere terga pudor (329): not sure if I’ve seen an infinitive dependent upon pudor before.
    - non illum Metabus, non illum celsior Vfens / euasere tamen, quamuis hic alite planta, / hic ope cornipedis totis ferretur habenis. (337-339): I would prefer if the second hic were changed with ille (it wouldn’t affect the scansion), as the second hic refers to Metabus, the first to Ufens.
    - uiridi quem Fucinus antro / nutrierat (344-345): viridi antro is an echo of Aen. 8.630 or Ecl. 1.75.
    - perstringit tacitas gemmanti gurgite ripas. (350): seems like there are some sound effects here (alliteration/assonance)
    - nutantes casside cristae (353): I’ve mentioned repeatedly in the book 1 notes that Silius overuses various combinations of these words in close proximity. Luckily for him lines 351-354 may be spurious so I can’t really blame him for this one.
    - primam ante aciem (355): appears thrice in the Aeneid and twice in Silius.
    - fratresque… / Ausonii (365-366): A fight between three Spartan triplets and three Roman triplets.
    - aetatis mentisque pares (368): funny genitives.
    - 397-400: An echo of Aen. 9.446-449.
    optabunt similes uenientia saecula fratres,
    aeternumque decus memori celebrabitur aeuo,
    si modo ferre diem serosque uidere nepotes
    carmina nostra ualent, nec famam inuidit Apollo.

    Battle of Ticinus River continues; Scipio rescues Scipio (401-479):
    - uoce tenet, dum uoce uiget (402): repetition of voce.
    - 408-411: Scipio using personification and the urbs capta motif to create pathos:
    ipsam turrigero portantem uertice muros
    credite summissas Romam nunc tendere palmas.
    natorum passim raptus caedemque parentum (chiasmus)
    Vestalisque focos extingui sanguine cerno.
    There’s almost certainly some echoes either to Vergil or more likely Lucan here, because there are a number of standard tropes here, but I don’t feel like looking for them right now.
    - 425-429: I can’t find a specific passage but these lines, about Scipio (the future Africanus, still young at this point, who will save his father during this battle) remind me of Ascanius, especially in Aen. 9. Later lines make the comparison more explicit.
    praeterea, cernis, tenerae qui proelia dextrae
    iam credit puer atque annos transcendere factis
    molitur longumque putat pubescere bello,
    te duce primitias pugnae, te magna magistro
    audeat et primum hoc uincat, seruasse parentem.'
    - fulminis atri (431): the phrase also appears in Statius’ Silvae.
    - quadriiugos atro stimulat Bellona flagello (439): cf. Aen. 8.703: quam cum sanguineo sequitur Bellona flagello from the shield of Aeneas. Silius really likes the Aeneas’ shield passage.
    - spolium (447): singular is uncommon.
    - fertur per tela, per hostis (459): cf. Aen. 2.358 and Aen. 2.527, both of which contain the phrase per tela, per hostis.
    - pietasque insignis (470): cf. insignem pietate virum from the opening of the Aeneid. Now Scipio the younger is Aeneas-like, carrying his father to safety.
    - …care puer. macte, o macte indole sacra, / uera Iouis proles. (475-476): again, Scipio is compared to Ascanius. cf. Apollo’s speech to Ascanius in Aen. 9, macte nova virtute, puer: sic itur ad astra, dis genite…
    - et fessas acies castris clausere tenebrae. (479): and just like that, Silius’ account of the Battle of Ticinus River ends. No big-picture description or any account of the actual battle strategy (that’s for history, not poetry). It isn’t even made explicit that the Romans lost, though the next few lines make it clear enough. Next up is the Battle of Trebia River.
  10. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Terror is stronger, more intense, I think, much in the same way as its English derivative is stronger than "fear".
  11. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    I just found it weird that metus and terror are personified as two separate gods/entities/beings.
  12. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    I guess it's a partial pleonasm.
  13. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    Beginning of the Battle of Trebia River (480-597):
    - mollis aditus (489): cf. Aen. 4.423, though the context is very different.
    - 505-509: normally, an enemy threatens his enemy with death. Here, Hannibal wants to threaten his opponent with a shameful life after being rescued from battle:
    at tu, donata tela inter Martia luce,
    infelix animae, sic, sic uiuasque tuoque
    des iterum hanc laudem nato; nec fine sub aeui
    oppetere in bello detur, cum fata uocabunt.
    pugnantem cecidisse meum est.
    - levi iaculo (510): cf. Aen. 12.354.
    - degener haud Gracchis (515): rare construction with degener, as well as inversion of haud.
    - spumea saxosis clamat conuallibus unda. (524): silver line.
    - 525-528: praeteritio, as Silius immediately proceeds to list all the deaths.
    Non, mihi Maeoniae redeat si gloria linguae
    centenasque pater det Phoebus fundere uoces,
    tot caedes proferre queam, quot dextera magni
    consulis aut contra Tyriae furor edidit irae.
    - orbus partem uisūs (535): orbus + acc.???
    - nec artatis locus est in morte cadendi (553): gruesome detail, perhaps inspired by a scene in Lucan Book 2.
    - 560-567: two similes in the same sentence. Weird and somewhat awkward.
    - incertumque fuit, letum cui cederet hastae (569): weird phrasing.
    - precibus Iunonis suscitat undas (574): divine intervention.
    - celer nandi (585): gen. specification.
    - 589-590: hic hostem orbatus telo complectitur ulnis / luctantemque uado permixta morte coercet. cf. Luc. 3.694-696: utuntur pelago: saeuus conplectitur hostem / hostis, et inplicitis gaudent subsidere membris / mergentesque mori. Both take place in the middle of a body of water.
    - mille simul leti facies (591): cf. letique cruenti / innumerae facies from earlier in this book.

    - sanguineum…amnem (593): a standard image. Here these words frame the line.
  14. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    Battle of Trebia River continues and ends (598-703):
    - explorant aduersa uiros, perque aspera duro / nititur ad laudem uirtus interrita cliuo. (603-604): a nice metaphor and inspirational quote, but feels a bit out-of-place randomly thrown into the middle of the narrative here.
    - siluam ingentem concusso corpore uibrat (619): cf. densamque ferens in pectore silvam from Lucan.
    - uix cernere linquitur undas (626): odd infinitive with linquitur.
    - 643-648: Scipio addresses the Trebia. Apparently it’s an Iliad echo.
    - Talia iactantem (649): cf. Aen. 9.261
    - tum madidos crinis et glauca fronde reuinctum / attollit cum uoce caput (659-660): personification of Trebia.
    - fortine animam hanc excindere dextra (672): cf. from Aen. 1: tuaque animam hanc effundere dextra
    - immissis crepitat uictor Vulcanus habenis. (681): cf. Aen. 5.662: furit immissis Volcanus habenis
    - 693-695: that common construction with ter again.
    ter caput ambustum conantem attollere iacta
    lampade Vulcanus mersit fumantibus undis,

    ter correpta dei crines nudauit harundo.
  15. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    I have absolutely no idea why this forum puts a space before the last line (or sometimes the last bullet point) of nearly every post I make in these threads. I'm also not sure why the underlines under the headings didn't appear in post #9. This forum's formatting is very unpredictable.
  16. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    Setup for the Battle of Lake Trasimene; Hannibal loses an eye (704-end):
    - clauumque regendae / inuasit patriae (711-712): rare-ish use of clavus metaphorically as “the helm”.
    - et madidae frontis crinis circumdata fronde / populea (726-727): cf. lines 659-660 quoted in the previous passage.
    - ad magnos uenture deos (731): reminds me slightly (emphasis on slightly) of dis genite et geniture deos from Aen. 9 (I think that’s the phrasing, I’m too tired to look it up right now)
    - 725-738: Juno visits H. in a dream, in disguise as Trasimene. I’m not actually sure why she needed to disguise herself – why not just appear as Juno and say “hey Hannibal, go to Lake Trasimene”?
    - piniferum caelo miscens caput Apenninus. (742): double spondee at the end. The same word ends a line in Luc. 2.396 and Ov. Met. 2.226, which line also has a compound with -fer, like this Silius line. I just used the word "line" way to much.
    - nec superasse iugum finit mulcetue laborem (748): interesting subjective infinitive and use of mulcere.
    - inuia limosa restagnant arua palude (750): golden line.
    - 751-759: H.’s loss of an eye and further characterization of him:
    iamque ducis nudus tanta inter inhospita uertex
    saeuitia quatitur caeli, manante per ora
    perque genas oculo. facilis spreuisse medentis
    optatum bene credit emi quocumque periclo
    bellandi tempus. non frontis parcit honori,
    dum ne perdat iter, non cetera membra moratur
    in pretium belli dare, si uictoria poscat,
    satque putat lucis, Capitolia cernere uictor
    qua petat atque Italum feriat qua comminus hostem.
    - ac flagrantibus aris / (infandum dictu) paruos imponere natos. (766-767): an allusion to the Carthaginian practice of child sacrifice.
    - 770-771: I don’t remember this in the actual historical tradition – Hanno (who is a real person and an enemy of Hannibal in the Carthaginian senate) proposing that Hannibal should be sacrificed to the gods.
    - foedata genas lacerataque crinis (774): stock phrases/images.
    - i nunc, Ausonios ferro populare penates / et uetitas molire uias (787-788): cf. this, from Aen. 7: i nunc, ingratis offer te, inrise, periclis; / Tyrrhenas, i, sterne acies, tege pace Latinos. Also Ov. Amores 1.7.35 for i nunc with molire. Also cf. from Aen. 1.527-528: non nos aut ferro Libycos populare penatis / venimus
    - mite et cognatum est homini deus (795): the weird construction with neuter adjectives, like varium et mutabile semper / femina.
    - sit satis ante aras caesos uidisse iuuencos. (796): cf., ante aras terram caesi stravere iuvenci from the account of Aeneas’ shield (one of Silius’ favorite passages, if the number of echoes is anything to go by)
    - Aegates et mersa profundo / Punica regna (800-801): come on Silius, you already used a similar phrasing in 4.78-80. It was interesting the first time, now not so much.

    - 814-818: Hannibal has his son take the same oath he took as a young child. Not an actual historical event, quod sciam.

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