I am currently translating Silius Italicus' Punica (Book VIII), his epic retelling of the Second Carthaginian War between Rome and Carthage. Silius was consul in AD68, and governor of Asia in 69. He was born under Tiberius and died under Trajan. He bought the site of Virgil's tomb near Naples and restored it, reflecting his admiration for that poet. He also purchased an estate of Cicero's. Punica, the work of his later years, while living in retirement, is the longest Roman epic poem, and deserves a better press than it has received from sniping critics. It is a vigorous and lively account, exploiting Latin, with a pleasant interweaving of mythological, geographical and historical elements. I am enjoying translating it, and recommend it to anyone who likes epic battles, silver age Latin writing, and fluent verse, though I have only attempted an unrhymed translation.
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