American Journal of Philology 131 (4):663-697 (2010)

This article examines Statius' Silvae 2.1 as a "frame tale," a way of seeing the social expectations for how grief and love between a man and a boy should be expressed. Melior grieves for the loss of his beloved Glaucias, who died at the age of twelve, but their rapport is doubly problematic from the standpoint of contemporary Roman morality, first because it extends from the paternal to the erotic, and second because Glaucias' servile status is ambiguous. In authorizing Melior to mourn his puer delicatus, the poem offers insight into the Roman understandings of sexuality, personal comportment, and public morality.
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DOI 10.1353/ajp.2010.0015
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