This paper examines Silius' portrait of the Syracusan Daphnis in Punica 14 and argues that by alluding to Theocritus, Vergil, and Calpurnius Siculus, the Flavian poet comments on the degeneration of this maritime Daphnis, a mere shadow of his famous ancestor. The bucolic fictitious character of Daphnis serves the poet's vision of a perverted pastoral world within this epic naumachia of Syracuse. The golden age imagery traditionally associated with Daphnis' death and apotheosis in Vergil is reversed in favour of a rather bleak outlook of the future. Coupled with the closing lines of Book 14, Daphnis' presence marks the transition from the pastoral world of Greek Sicily to the imperial realities of an island destined to be ruled by the Romans after the Second Punic War.
- Second Punic War
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