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C. Si'lius Ita'licus the most voluminous among the Roman writers of heroic verse, was born about A. D. 25. From his early years he devoted himself to oratory and poetry, taking Cicero as his model in the former, and Virgil in the latter. He acquired great reputation as a pleader at the bar, and acted for some time as a member of that body of judicial umpires who were known as the Centumvirs. His life, in so far as we can trace it, presents a course of unbroken prosperity. He was elevated to the consulship in A. D. 68, the year in which Nero perished; he was admitted to familiar intercourse with Vitellius, and subsequently discharged the duties of proconsul of Asia with high renown. After enjoying for a lengthened period the dignities of political and literary fame without incurring the envy which is for the most part the lot of distinguished statesmen and authors, he determined to retire from the busy world, and to pass his old age among his numerous villas, which were abundantly furn
s the most voluminous among the Roman writers of heroic verse, was born about A. D. 25. From his early years he devoted himself to oratory and poetry, taking Cicero as his model in the former, and Virgil in the latter. He acquired great reputation as a pleader at the bar, and acted for some time as a member of that body of judicial umpires who were known as the Centumvirs. His life, in so far as we can trace it, presents a course of unbroken prosperity. He was elevated to the consulship in A. D. 68, the year in which Nero perished; he was admitted to familiar intercourse with Vitellius, and subsequently discharged the duties of proconsul of Asia with high renown. After enjoying for a lengthened period the dignities of political and literary fame without incurring the envy which is for the most part the lot of distinguished statesmen and authors, he determined to retire from the busy world, and to pass his old age among his numerous villas, which were abundantly furnished with books an
would not be Italicus, but Italicensis. (See also Gel. 16.13.) This however in itself would not be conclusive. (Hispanus, Hispanensis.) It has been erroneously inferred from a line in Martial (8.66), Felix purpura tertiusque consul, that Silius had been thrice consul, but the words imply merely that there had been three consuls in the family - Silius himself, his son, to celebrate whose accession to office the epigram was written, and a third person, perhaps that C. Silius who was consul A. D. 13 (Sueton. Octav. 101), and who may have been the father of the poet : but this is a mere conjecture. Our authorities for this biography are sundry epigrams in Martial (especially 7.62, 8.66, 11.51), and an epistle of the younger Pliny (3.7, or 3.5, ed. Titze). See also Tac. Hist. 3.65. Works Punica The great work of Silius Italicus was an heroic poem in seventeen books, entitled Punica, which has descended to us entire. It contains a narrative of the events of the second Punic War, from