Classical Quarterly 23 (3-4):129- (1929)

The Flavian writers of epic verse took their business seriously enough and seldom permitted themselves anything that might pass for an allusion to contemporary events: so much so that only an ingenuity that runs a risk of being perverse can wrest from them much more than what they have themselves chosen to say in their dedications or invocations. Where the man survived to complete and edit his work, such a dedication, the last thing to be written, more or less bears on its face the date of publication. The proem of the Thebaïs of Statius and the ‘Flavian Panegyric,’ which Silius Italicus inserted in the third book of his Punica thus reveal, to within a year, when the whole of the one and a portion of the other were given to the world, viz. in 91–2 and in 92–3 respectively. With an unfinished work the case is different; indeed, the very presence of that panegyric might sufficeto prove that though Silius had reached the end, in a fashion, when he finished his seventeenth book, he did not truly complete his poem or himself publish it as a whole. In order to determine at what date he got as far with his poem as he ever did, some other source of information is therefore desirable. Similarly with the Argonautica. Valerius Flaccus does not appear to have composed any more than the eight books that have come down to us, nor is he known to have published any part of them save, if at all, by recitation. It is for this reason that the proem, with its invocation of Vespasian, to all appearance as still living, has always been taken to be, not a later insertion, but an integral part of the first book, and thus a clear indication of the date at which Valerius began his task
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DOI 10.1017/s0009838800011770
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Valerius' Flavian Argonautica.P. Ruth Taylor - 1994 - Classical Quarterly 44 (1):212-235.

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Homeric Echoes in Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica.R. W. Garson - 1969 - Classical Quarterly 19 (02):362-.


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