Lugendam formae sine virginitate reliquit: Reading Pyrene and the Transformation of Landscape in Silius' Punica 3

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Abstract

In Punica 3, the poet manipulates the complexities of traditional representations of Hercules to illustrate how Hannibal imitates the demigod's conduct as it is portrayed in the aetiological tale of Pyrene's rape and death. Just as Pyrene's blood stains the homonymous mountains in Spain, Hannibal's army is afflicted with much woe and suffering when crossing the Alps. Verbal echoes from Pyrene's dismemberment throughout the book confirm that the female is not viewed as an object of pathos but rather as a sign "posted" in the narrative in order to foreshadow, but not avert, the disasters that await the male protagonist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-257
Number of pages23
JournalAmerican Journal of Philology
Volume124
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Classics
  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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