Abstract

My essay is a close reading of the initial poem of the third book of Statius’s Silvae. Its primary topic is the dedication by Pollius Felix of his new temple to Hercules. As the narrative unfolds, we trace how the shrine came into being and the accompanying metamorphoses of the landscape and of the character of the god himself. Pollius and his wife, Polla, play major roles in the proceedings. Statius’s own virtuosity is on constant display not only in his skill as a wordsmith but in his suggestive bows to a series of genres and in his rich allusiveness, especially to Virgil.

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