Statius’s self-professed speed of production (celeritas) in the Silvae is often understood as an antagonistic response to Callimachean and neoteric poetics and a reflection of Flavian culture’s penchant for extempore production. While undoubtedly true, this article argues that Statius’s celeritas gains fuller meaning when held up against the traditional Roman valorization of military speed, the clearest representative of which was Julius Caesar. This has interesting ramifications when we consider the importance of Domitian’s complicated self-presentation as an exemplary military leader, which Flavian poets appropriated in various ways. Ultimately, Lucan’s troubling portrayal of Julius Caesar in the Bellum Civile lingers in the background of the Silvae, making any profession of poetic and military celeritas an ambiguous, and possibly dangerous, topic.

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