Publius Papinius Statius: Silvae

(1441 words)
  • Adam Marshall (Trinity College Dublin )

The Silvae were composed and published in the final decade of the first century CE under the emperor Domitian. The collection consists of 32 occasional poems organised into five books and written predominantly in the dactylic hexameter meter, although some lyric meters are also represented, particularly in Book 4, the book of greatest metrical variety (thus 1.6, 2.7, 4.3 and 4.9 are written in hendecasyllables, 4.5 is in Alcaics and 4.7 is in Sapphics). While it was once widely accepted that Books 1-3 were published as a single unit in AD 94 (along the lines of Horace, Odes 1-3 or Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto 1-3 which were each published as a single set), convincing arguments have been made for separate publication of e…

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Marshall, Adam . "Silvae". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 November 2013
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]