Campania in the flavian poetic imagination

Antony Augoustakis, R. Joy Littlewood

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


The region of Campania with its fertility and volcanic landscape was greatly influential on the Roman cultural imagination. The Bay of Naples was a centre outside the city of Rome, a place of otium, leisure and quiet, repose and literary productivity. And yet this is also a place of danger: Vesuvius inspires the inhabitants with fear and awe and, in addition to the majestic presence of the mountain, the Phlegraean Fields evoke the story of the gigantomachy, whilst sulphurous lakes invite entry to the Underworld. For the Flavian writers, in particular, Campania becomes a locus for literary activity and geographical disaster. In 79 CE, the eruption of Vesuvius annihilates a great expanse of the region, burying under a mass of ash and lava the cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae. In the aftermath of such tragedy the writers examined in this volume, Martial, Silius Italicus, Statius, and Valerius Flaccus, continue to live, work, and write about Campania, an alluring region of luxury and peril.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages330
ISBN (Electronic)9780198807742
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Campania
  • Flavian period
  • Italy
  • Martial
  • Naples
  • Silius italicus
  • Statius
  • Valerius flaccus
  • Vesuvius

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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