The Silvae is a collection of Latin occasional poetry
Occasional poetry
Occasional poetry is poetry composed for a particular occasion. In the history of literature, it is often studied in connection with orality, performance, and patronage. As a term of literary criticism, "occasional poetry" describes the work's purpose and the poet's relation to subject matter...

 in hexameters, hendecasyllable
The hendecasyllable is a line of eleven syllables, used in Ancient Greek and Latin quantitative verse as well as in medieval and modern European poetry.-In quantitative verse:...

s, and lyric
Lyric may refer to:* Lyric poetry is a form of poetry that expresses a subjective, personal point of view* Lyric, from the Greek language, a song sung with a lyre* Lyrics, the composition in verse which is sung to a melody to constitute a song...

 meters by Publius Papinius Statius (c. 45 – c. 96 CE). There are 32 poems in the collection, divided into five books. Each book contains a prose preface which introduces and dedicates the book. The subjects of the poetry are varied and provide scholars with a wealth of information on Domitian
Domitian was Roman Emperor from 81 to 96. Domitian was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty.Domitian's youth and early career were largely spent in the shadow of his brother Titus, who gained military renown during the First Jewish-Roman War...

's Rome and Statius' life.


The Silvae were probably composed by Statius between 89-96 CE. The first three books seem to have been published together after 93 CE (a year after the publication of the Thebaid
The Thebaid or Thebais is the region of ancient Egypt containing the thirteen southernmost nomes of Upper Egypt, from Abydos to Aswan. It acquired its name from its proximity to the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes....

), and Book 4 was probably released in 95 CE. Book 5 is thought to have been released posthumously c. 96. Each book is datable by a comparison of the careers of the individual poems' addressees and references in other authors such as Martial
Marcus Valerius Martialis , was a Latin poet from Hispania best known for his twelve books of Epigrams, published in Rome between AD 86 and 103, during the reigns of the emperors Domitian, Nerva and Trajan...

. The title of the collection has caused some debate on the part of scholars, though it is assumed that it was taken from the lost Silvae of Lucan
Lucan is the common English name of the Roman poet Marcus Annaeus Lucanus.Lucan may also refer to:-People:*Arthur Lucan , English actor*Sir Lucan the Butler, Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian legend...

. In Latin, silva which in the nominative plural is Silvae, can mean both "forest" and "material." Silva was used to describe the draft of a poets work which was composed impromptu in a moment of strong inspiration and which was then revised into a polished, metrical poem. This suggests that the Silvae are revised, impromptu pieces of occasional poetry which were composed in the space of a few days' time; Statius describes his method of composition in the preface to Book 1, saying mihi subito calore et quadam festinandi voluptate fluxerant cum singulti de sino meo prodiderint ([they] streamed from my pen in the heat of the moment, a sort of pleasurable haste, emerging from my bosom one by one). He goes on to say in the preface that none of them took more than two days to compose. Almost all the poems are dedicated individually to a patron and are accompanied by titles which are considered a later addition by editors.

Poetic Models

As remarked above, the similarity in title suggests that Statius may have modeled his Silvae on a collection of Lucan's poetry, however the loss of that work makes comparisons difficult. There was a strong tradition of Latin panegyric poetry and prose which is mostly lost today, but can still be seen in works such as the Laus Pisonis
Laus Pisonis
The Laus Pisonis is a Latin verse panegyric of the 1st century AD in praise of a man of the Piso family. The exact identity of the subject is not completely certain, but current scholarly consensus identifies him with Gaius Calpurnius Piso, consul in AD 57...

and the Elegiae in Maecenatem. Catullus
Gaius Valerius Catullus was a Latin poet of the Republican period. His surviving works are still read widely, and continue to influence poetry and other forms of art.-Biography:...

 and his collection of polymetric poetry seems to be an important inspiration for Statius. Several of his poems employ Catullus' favorite meter, hendecasyllables and cover a diverse range of themes similar to the variety in Catullus' work, although Statius avoids the invective tone of Catullus except in jest at 4.9. Horace
Quintus Horatius Flaccus , known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus.-Life:...

 is also an important model, whose influence is particularly felt in Statius' lyric compositions (4.5,7) and in his epistle (4.4). The narrative style of Ovid
Publius Ovidius Naso , known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet who is best known as the author of the three major collections of erotic poetry: Heroides, Amores, and Ars Amatoria...

 can be detected in the story of Pan in 2.3. Virgilian references abound; many of Statius' exempla in the poems derive from characters in the Aeneid and most poems reference Virgil in some way. Finally, Lucan
Lucan is the common English name of the Roman poet Marcus Annaeus Lucanus.Lucan may also refer to:-People:*Arthur Lucan , English actor*Sir Lucan the Butler, Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian legend...

's poetry serves as an inspiration for 2.7. On the Greek side, we learn from the lament for his father 5.3 that Statius was familiar with the canonical nine lyric poets
Nine lyric poets
The nine lyric poets were a canon of archaic Greek composers esteemed by the scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria as worthy of critical study.They were:*Alcman of Sparta...

, Callimachus, and the Alexandrian Pleiad
Alexandrian Pleiad
The Alexandrian Pleiad is the name given to a group of seven Alexandrian poets and tragedians in the 3rd century BC working in the court of Ptolemy II Philadelphus...

. Pindar
Pindar , was an Ancient Greek lyric poet. Of the canonical nine lyric poets of ancient Greece, his work is the best preserved. Quintilian described him as "by far the greatest of the nine lyric poets, in virtue of his inspired magnificence, the beauty of his thoughts and figures, the rich...

 is perhaps one of the most important influences for Statius; the panegyric nature of his poetry, his mythological examples, and his invocations all reference Pindaric convention (see also 4.7).

Book 1

The preface to the first book dedicates the work to L. Arruntius Stella, a fellow poet. The poet anxiously describes his impromptu style of composition, hopes his poetry is polished enough and gives a brief outline of the poems to come along with context about their composition.

1.1 Ecus Maximus Domitiani Imp. ("The Great Equestrian Statue of Domitian") Praise for and elaborate description of the colossal equestrian statue of Domitian erected in the forum in 91 CE. Discussion of the situation in the forum, comparison with mythological exempla, the imagined reactions of Roman historical personages to the statue.

1.2 Epithalamion in Stellam et Violentillam ("Wedding Song for Stella and Violentilla") One of the longer Silvae The poem begins with a monumentalizing of the day and describes a conversation between Venus and Cupid, in which the gods praise Stella and Violentilla and describe their love for each other. Venus travels to Rome and admires Domitian's palace before giving advice to Roman maidens and Violentilla to seek marriage. The poet describes the wedding at which gods and humans mix and finishes by encouraging the poet to sing elegy.

1.3 Villa Tiburtina Manili Vopisci ("The Tiburtine Villa of Manilius Vopiscus") A description of the villa, praise of the landscape at Tivoli
Tivoli, Italy
Tivoli , the classical Tibur, is an ancient Italian town in Lazio, about 30 km east-north-east of Rome, at the falls of the Aniene river where it issues from the Sabine hills...

, description of Vopiscus' art collection, and praise of otium
Otium, a Latin abstract term, has a variety of meanings, including leisure time in which a person can enjoy eating, playing, resting, contemplation and academic endeavors. It sometimes, but not always, relates to a time in a person's retirement after previous service to the public or private...


1.4 Soteria Rutili Gallici ("To Rutilius Gallicus on his Recovery") Statius describes the concern of the Senate for Gallicus when he was ill, and Apollo praises Gallicus' military career and seeks a cure. The poem ends with a sacrifice of thanksgiving for his recovery.

1.5 Balneum Claudi Etrusci ("The Baths of Claudius Etruscus") The poet invokes the muses and water nymphs as patrons of the building and describes the baths.

1.6 Kalendae Decembres ("The Kalends
The Calends , correspond to the first days of each month of the Roman calendar. The Romans assigned these calends to the first day of the month, signifying the start of the new moon cycle...

 of December") In hendecasyllables, this poem describes Statius' attendance at a Saturnalia
Saturnalia is an Ancient Roman festival/ celebration held in honour of Saturn , the youngest of the Titans, father of the major gods of the Greeks and Romans, and son of Uranus and Gaia...

 banquet given by Domitian; he describes the meal, the guests, the female entertainment, and the emperor's largesse.

Book 2

The preface dedicates the book to Atedius Melior and summarizes the poems in it which focus on loss, object descriptions, and end with a genethliakon.

2.1 Glaucias Atedi Melioris Delicatus ("Glaucias, Melior's Boy Favorite") This is a long poem of consolation for the loss of Melior's lover, Glaucias. The weeping poet describes the funeral and explains the difficulty of the theme; Glaucias' birth, rearing, and death at the hands of the Parcae
thumb|#00px|Early 16th-century [[millefleur tapestry]] depicting the Three Fates under their Greek namesIn Roman mythology, the Parcae were the personifications of destiny, often called The Fates in English. Their Greek equivalent were the Moirae. They controlled the metaphorical thread of life of...

 are recounted. Melior's dead friend, Blaesus, leads the boy to Elysium
Elysium is a conception of the afterlife that evolved over time and was maintained by certain Greek religious and philosophical sects, and cults. Initially separate from Hades, admission was initially reserved for mortals related to the gods and other heroes...


2.2 Villa Surrentina Polli Feclicis ("The Surrentine Villa of Pollius Felix") A description of a villa at Surrentum, composed after a festival. Description of the landscape, terraces, and earthworks, Pollius' art collection, and praise of the villa as a retreat from city life, Pollius' political career, and his wife.

2.3 Arbor Atedi Melioris ("The Tree of Atedius Melior") An aetiology for a tree on Melior's estate written as a birthday present; the poet recounts Pan's pursuit of a nymph and dedication of the tree as a memorial of his desire.

2.4 Psittacus Eiusdem ("The Parrot of the Same (Melior)") Praise of the parrot and a description of its death and funeral.

2.5 Leo Mansuetus ("The Tame Lion") Address to a tame lion who has been killed in the arena.

2.6 Consolatio ad Flavium Ursum de Amissione Pueri Delicati ("A Consolation to Flavius Ursus on the Death of his Favorite Slave") Praise of the boy's independent spirit and appearance, and description of the lavish funeral with the assurance of his place in Elysium.

2.7 Genethliacon Lucani ad Pollam ("To Polla, an Ode in Honor of Lucan
Lucan is the common English name of the Roman poet Marcus Annaeus Lucanus.Lucan may also refer to:-People:*Arthur Lucan , English actor*Sir Lucan the Butler, Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian legend...

's Birthday") In hendecasyllables, the poet invokes the gods in his song and describes Calliope
In Greek mythology, Calliope was the muse of epic poetry, daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne, and is now best known as Homer's muse, the inspiration for the Odyssey and the Iliad....

's inspiration of Lucan's poetry and prophecy of his works. Lucan's death is recounted, Nero
Nero , was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius' death....

 is criticized, and Lucan is imagined in the afterlife.

Book 3

The third book is dedicated to Pollius Felix of 2.2. Statius stresses the confidence he now has in his Silvae and Pollius' help in their composition. The poems deal with consolation, description, and end with an exhortation to Statius' wife to move with him to Naples.

3.1 Hercules Surrentinus Polli Felicis ("The Hercules
Hercules is the Roman name for Greek demigod Heracles, son of Zeus , and the mortal Alcmene...

 of Pollius Felix at Surrentum") This long poem describes a shrine constructed by Pollius for Hercules
Hercules is the Roman name for Greek demigod Heracles, son of Zeus , and the mortal Alcmene...

. The poet describes a picnic he attended with Pollius and the downpour that forced them to shelter in a dilapidated shrine to Hercules. Hercules appears to Pollius and commissions him to build him a temple which is dutifully planned and built. The final section includes a prayer in the context of a festival at the shrine.

3.2 Propempticon Maecio Celeri ("Send off to Maecius Celer") This propempticon is designed to send off Celer to administer one of the provinces. It begins with a prayer to the sea gods to protect the ship, then describes the voyage of the ship to the province. The poet ends with a wish for Celer's return.

3.3 Consolatio ad Claudium Etruscum ("Consolation for Claudius Etruscus") The poem is a consolation on the death of Etruscus' father. The poet invokes Pietas
Pietas was one of the Roman virtues, along with gravitas and dignitas. It is usually translated as "duty" or "devotion."-Definition:The word pietas is originally from Latin. The first printed record of the word’s use in English is from Anselm Bayly’s The Alliance of Music, Poetry, and Oratory,...

 and describes Etruscus' grief, the father's career, his service to earlier emperors as accountant, his wife Etrusca, and his prosperity. He ends with a promise of ritual offerings to the shade of the father and encourages Etruscus.

3.4 Capilli Flavi Earini ("The Hair of Flavius Earinus") This piece describes the dedication of the hair and a mirror of Domitian's eunuch favorite Earinus to the shrine of Aesculapius at Pergamum. As a boy, Venus prophesied Earinus' service to Domitian and carried him to Rome after his operation to make him a eunuch. The poem ends with the dedication of the objects and a prayer for Domitian.

3.5 Ad Uxorem Claudiam ("To his Wife, Claudia") In this poem, Statius exhorts his wife to move with him back to his home at Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

. The poet praises her faithfulness to him so far and discusses marriage prospects for their daughter in southern Italy. The poem ends with the praise of Naples and the poet's reassurance that his wife will accompany him.

Book 4

This book is dedicated in the preface to M. Vitorius Marcellus. The addressees and the meters of the poems in Book 4 vary far more than in the other books. Statius includes a response to critics of his earlier books, saying that the fourth book includes more poems than the others so that they do not think their criticism has weakened Statius' resolve to publish.

4.1 Septimus Decimus Consolatus Imp. Aug. Germanici ("The 17th Consulship of Augustus Germanicus") The opening poem commemorates Domitian's 17th consulship in 95 CE; Domitian is hailed as the restorer of the golden age, as bringer of joy to the senate, and triumphator. It ends with a prayer for long life.

4.2 Eucharisticon ad Imp. Aug. Germ. Domitianum ("Thanksgiving to the Emperor Domitian") This poem thanks Domitian for an invitation to a banquet at his palace. Statius compares himself to Homer and Virgil, describes the palace, and prays for long life for the emperor.

4.3 Via Domitiana ("The Highway of Domitian") In hendecasyllables, Statius praises Domitian's way, constructed in 95 CE. Domitian's laws and character are praised. The poet describes the miseries of travel in the past and then the method of road construction. The River Vulturnus
Vulturnus may refer to several different things:Roman mythology*Anemoi, the windsAncient geography*Volturno, a river of southern ItalyZoology*Vespadelus vulturnus, an Australian bat...

 says that he only suffers to be bridged because it is at Domitian's command and the poet describes the bridge and arch. The Cumaean Sibyl
Cumaean Sibyl
The ageless Cumaean Sibyl was the priestess presiding over the Apollonian oracle at Cumae, a Greek colony located near Naples, Italy.The word sibyl comes from the ancient Greek word sibylla, meaning prophetess. There were many Sibyls in different locations throughout the ancient world...

 inspecting the road prophesies Domitian's divinization. The poet ends with a prayer for long life for Domitian.

4.4 Epistula ad Vitorium Marcellum ("Letter to Vitorius Marcellus") The poet commands his letter to go to Marcellus to ask him how he is doing and where he is vacationing from city business. Marcellus' military skills, administration, and achievements are praised, and the poet closes by announcing his new project, the Achilleid
The Achilleid is an unfinished epic poem by Publius Papinius Statius that was intended to present the life of Achilles from his youth through his death at Troy. Only about one and a half books were completed before the poet's death...


4.5 Ode Lyrica ad Septimium Severum ("Lyric Ode to Septimius Severus") This poem in the Alcaic meter is one of Statius' two lyric compositions. The poet praises spring and his rustic Italian life while he praises Severus' city of Lepcis Magna and his eloquence.

4.6 Hercules Epitrapezios Novi Vindicis ("The Hercules Statuette of Novius Vindex") The scene is a dinner given by Vindex, an avid art conoisseur, at which he shows the poet his antique statue of Hercules by Lysippus. The history of the statue is given, owned by Alexander
Alexander is a common male first name, and less common surname. The most famous is Alexander the Great, the King of Macedon who created one of the largest empires in ancient history.- Origin :...

, Hannibal, and Sulla, and the poem closes with the praise of Vindex' peaceful lifestyle.

4.7 Ode Lyrica ad Vibium Maximum ("Lyric Ode to Vibius Maximus") The second lyric composition in Sapphics begins with a comparison of the poet to Pindar
Pindar , was an Ancient Greek lyric poet. Of the canonical nine lyric poets of ancient Greece, his work is the best preserved. Quintilian described him as "by far the greatest of the nine lyric poets, in virtue of his inspired magnificence, the beauty of his thoughts and figures, the rich...

. He requests Vibius' return from Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

 because his son is ill and expresses the hope that the son will live to learn from his father to write histories like Livy
Titus Livius — known as Livy in English — was a Roman historian who wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people. Ab Urbe Condita Libri, "Chapters from the Foundation of the City," covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome well before the traditional foundation in 753 BC...

 and Sallust
Gaius Sallustius Crispus, generally known simply as Sallust , a Roman historian, belonged to a well-known plebeian family, and was born at Amiternum in the country of the Sabines...


4.8 Gratulatio ad Iulium Menecraten ("Poem of Congratulation to Julius Menecrates") This poem congratulates Menecrates on the birth of his third son, earning him the ius trium liberorum
Ius trium liberorum
The ius trium liberorum was part of the social legislation of Augustus aimed at motivating larger families by granting privileges to parents of three or more freeborn children. It was formally introduced as part of the Lex Papia Poppaea of AD 9, though there were instances of it being granted...

, but the poet criticizes Menecrates for not writing to him sooner of the news and ends with a prayer for good fortune.

4.9 Hendecasyllabi Iocosi ad Plotium Grypum ("Jesting Hendecasyllables to Plotius Grypus") Taking on a joking Catullan attitude, the poet expresses disdain for the poor quality of the book of speeches sent by Grypus to him for the Saturnalia and asks him if he could not find a more suitable gift.

Book 5

This final book of Statius' Silvae is dedicated to Flavius Abascantus who is praised for his love of his wife Priscilla.

5.1 Epicedion in Priscillam Abascanti Uxorem ("Consolation on the Death of Priscilla") This long poem consoles Abascantius on the death of his wife. The poem begins by praising Abascantius for his devotion to her and stressing the inevitability of death and goes on to praise Priscilla for her birth, devotion to her husband, and her reaction to her husband's promotion. Statius goes on to criticize Fortuna
Fortuna can mean:*Fortuna, the Roman goddess of luck -Geographical:*19 Fortuna, asteroid*Fortuna, California, town located on the north coast of California*Fortuna, United States Virgin Islands...

 and Invidia
In Latin, invidia is the sense of envy or jealousy, a "looking upon" associated with the evil eye, from invidere, "to look against, to look at in a hostile manner." Invidia is one of the Seven Deadly Sins in Christian belief....

 for leading to her death. Her final words are related in which she asks her husband to stay loyal to Domitian and not grieve for her. The poem ends with a description of the tomb, funeral feast, and Priscilla's entrance into Elysium.

5.2 Laudes Crispini Vetti Bolani Fili ("Praises of Crispinus, Son of Vettius Bolanus") This poem praises the virtues of Crispinus and his summons to foreign service, beginning with praise for his senatorial career and upbringing. The poet asks him to forgive his mother who was accused of trying to poison him and praises his devotion to his friend in political trouble. Statius wonders what province Domitian will pick for Crispinus and thanks him for attending his Achilleid recitations. At the end of the poem, Crispinus is finally summoned to service.

5.3 Epicedion in Patrem Suum ("Lament for his father") This long personal poem is a lament by Statius of his father written three months after his death. Statius' father is imagined as looking at the world from heaven and rejoicing in Elysium while Statius' grief intensifies. The poet decides not to sacrifice birds but hopes that Pietas will tend his father's memory and compares his father to Homer. Statius gives an account of his father's poetic learning and describes his religious poetry. He thanks his father for teaching him, helping his career along, finding him a wife, and inspiring him to write. Statius prays that the chthonic gods will receive his father kindly and that his shade will continue to inspire him.

5.4 Somnus ("Sleep") This brief prayer hymns Sleep and asks for relief from insomnia.

5.5 Epicedion in Puerum Suum ("Lament for his Boy") This final poem is a lament for Statius' slave boy whom he nurtured. The poet says that he cannot keep writing his Achilleid and he angrily blames the gods for the death.


Panegyrical and occasional poetry after Statius was strongly influenced by his work. Statian influence can be particularly seen in the works of Claudian
Claudian was a Roman poet, who worked for Emperor Honorius and the latter's general Stilicho.A Greek-speaking citizen of Alexandria and probably not a Christian convert, Claudian arrived in Rome before 395. He made his mark with a eulogy of his two young patrons, Probinus and Olybrius, thereby...

 and Nemesianus. In the Renaissance, the Silvae received modern commentaries, first by Domizio Calderini (1469) and more importantly by Angelo Poliziano (1480) who is credited with popularizing the collection to western literature and writing an extensive commentary. Poliziano first connected silvae with Quintilian's remarks and appreciated Statius' learned style; many of his poems even used the Silvae as models, and he published his own collection of Sylvae. Poliziano's poetry inspired others and founded the convention of naming any collection of occasional poetry Sylvae. To this genre, Julius Caesar Scaliger
Julius Caesar Scaliger
Julius Caesar Scaliger was an Italian scholar and physician who spent a major part of his career in France. He employed the techniques and discoveries of Renaissance humanism to defend Aristotelianism against the new learning...

 added the ancient convention of formalizing sub-genres, such as epithalamia and propemptica. In the Netherlands in 1600, the Silvae became a major influence at the University of Leiden. The literary scholar Hugo Grotius
Hugo Grotius
Hugo Grotius , also known as Huig de Groot, Hugo Grocio or Hugo de Groot, was a jurist in the Dutch Republic. With Francisco de Vitoria and Alberico Gentili he laid the foundations for international law, based on natural law...

 in the early 17th century composed laudatory sylvae which engage strongly with Statius' poetry and produced his own edition with commentary. In 1685, John Dryden
John Dryden
John Dryden was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who dominated the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden.Walter Scott called him "Glorious John." He was made Poet...

 composed a collection of poetical miscellanies called the Sylvae.

Critical Responses to the Silvae

Like scholarship on the Thebaid, critical attitudes to the Silvae were decidedly negative in the late 19th and early 20th century when Statius' relationship to Domitian and his court caused him to fall out of favor with critics and readers, but in recent times, Statius has been reevaluated and his Silvae have been involved in his rehabilitation.

The Silvae and their Context

Domitian and patronage are critical to an understandng of the Silvae and have caused the most difficulty for his critics and readers. Domitian's presence fills the collection, and Statius commemorates his construction projects, administration, and circle of courtiers. The content of the Silvae is primarily dictated by the needs of Statius' patrons, and many of the addressees come from the wealthy, proveleged class of landowners and politicians. Statius' flattery of these elites has been interpreted in two ways by scholars; some, such as Carole Newlands, maintain that the collection is highly subversive and subtley expresses Statius' concerns about the autocratic tendencies of the Roman upper class. Others have argued that we cannot judge the standards of Roman panegyric by modern taste and urge a reading of the Silvae as individual pieces that respond to specific circumstances with their own unique viewpoints.


Statius' style has been described as extremely elaborate ("mannerist") and has been connected with a specific bi-lingual, Greek cultural circle in Naples. Mythological examples, standard features (topoi), and elaborate description all enhance his praise of his patrons' lives and possessions. He also uses some standard types of rhetorical composition as noted by Menander Rhetor such as epithalamium, propempticon, and genethliacon. His use of mythological speakers at times has been interpreted subversively, as a device to both flatter clients and absolve the author of responsibility for the extreme praise the characters give. Many scholars have noted the tension between Statius' hasty mode of composition and the polished style of the pieces and have remarked on the poet's use of book arrangement and metrical choice to convey subtle meanings.
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