My essay offers a close reading of poem 3 from the second book of the Silvae of Statius. A genethliacon and, in conclusion, eulogy for the writer's friend Atedius Melior, it directs us to the latter's garden and centers on an expansive aition, of the poet's invention, devoted to the god Pan's attraction for the nymph Pholoe. My primary focus rests on Statius's brilliant word usage and, more generally, on the intellectual background on which he draws. I refer regularly to the poetry of Horace, Tibullus, and especially Virgil in my search to elucidate Statius's original genius.

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