Classical Quarterly 41 (02):438- (1991)

In the preface to each book of his collected poems, the Silvae, Statius writes in the apologetic mode. Addressing his friend Arruntius Stella in the preface to Book 1, he claims that his poems are mere impromptu productions, ‘qui mini subito calore et quadam festinandi voluptate fluxerunt’, and he worries that by the time they reach publication they may have lost their only charm, that of speed, ‘celeritas’. Statius makes the same claims for impromptu production with the poem I will be discussing in this article, Silvae 3.1, which celebrates the remodelling of the temple of Hercules on the private Campanian estate that belonged to Statius' friend Pollius Felix: ‘nam primum limen eius Hercules Surrentinus aperit, quern in litore tuo consecratum, statim ut videram, his versibus adoravi’
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DOI 10.1017/s0009838800004596
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