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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10333
Silius Italicus, Punica, 10.503-10.557
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nanYou are a consul: tell the whole story of Cannae to the Senate and the people and to Fabius, the man of inaction. Once again, Varro, if you love life so much, I shall give you leave to fly. But this hero, worthy of my enmity, whose heart beat high with valour, shall receive burial, and his grave shall be honoured. How great is Paulus in death! The fall of so many thousands gives me less joy than his alone. When fate summons me, I pray to die like him, and may Carthage survive my death!" Thus he spoke, and ordered the bodies of his soldiers to be buried when rosy Dawn should issue from her chamber on the following day, and piles of arms to be raised, as a burnt-offering to Mars. The men, though weary, made haste to do his bidding. They dispersed to the neighbouring copses and felled the trees; and the high woods on the leafy hills resounded with the axe. Here ash-trees and tall poplars with white foliage were smitten and cleft by sturdy arms, and there holm-oaks, planted by a former generation. Down came oaks and pine-trees that love the shore, and cypresses that deck the funeral train and mourn beside the pyre. And lastly they hastily built funeral pyres — a mournful duty and a tribute that means nothing to the dead — until Phoebus plunged his panting steeds in the waters of Tartessus," and the moon's disk departing from the sky brought on the blind darkness of black night. Then, when the chariot of the sun shone forth with dawning fire and the earth resumed its familiar colours, they kindled the pyres and burnt the corrupting bodies of their dead on a foreign soil. They felt a dreadful apprehension of the uncertain future, and an unspoken fear invaded their inmost hearts, that, if the fortune of war turned against them later, they themselves must lie in this unfriendly earth.
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nanThen, as an offering to the War-god, a huge pile of armour was raised up to the sky. Hannibal with his own hand held up a tall pine-torch with fire for foliage and called on the god to hear his prayer: "Hannibal, victorious over the Italian nation, burns these first-fruits of battle and offerings of conquest; and to thee. Father Mars, whose ears were open to my prayers, this host of surviving men dedicates the choicest armour." Then he threw the torch upon the pyre, and blazing fire made havoc of the burning mass, till the crest of flame burst through the smoke and rose to the sky, flooding the fields with bright light. From here Hannibal went quickly to witness the funeral rites granted to Paulus, proud of showing honour to a dead enemy. A tall pyre was reared, and a soft bier was made of green turf, and offerings were laid upon it, to honour the dead — the shield, the sword dreaded by those who had felt it, the rods and axes taken in the battle, broken now but once a badge of power that all men feared. No wife was there, no sons, no gathering of near kinsmen; no customary masks of ancestors were borne on high litters before the corpse to grace the funeral procession." Bare was it of all trappings; but the praise of Hannibal was glory enough in itself: sighing he threw on the body a covering bright with rich purple dye and a mantle embroidered with gold, and uttered this last tribute to the dead: "Go, pride of Italy! Go whither spirits may go that exult in brave deeds! To you fame is secured already by a glorious death, but I must struggle on as Fate drives me, and she hides future events from my knowledge.
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Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

3 results
1. Lucan, Pharsalia, 7.789-7.794 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2. Silius Italicus, Punica, 10.450-10.453, 10.504-10.577, 15.383-15.392 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

3. Valerius Maximus, Memorable Deeds And Sayings, None (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
caesar (julius) Roumpou, Ritual and the Poetics of Closure in Flavian Literature (2023) 120
cannae Roumpou, Ritual and the Poetics of Closure in Flavian Literature (2023) 120
destruction Roumpou, Ritual and the Poetics of Closure in Flavian Literature (2023) 120
funeral Roumpou, Ritual and the Poetics of Closure in Flavian Literature (2023) 120
hannibal, as religious actor Roumpou, Ritual and the Poetics of Closure in Flavian Literature (2023) 120
laudatio funebris Mcclellan, Paulinus Noster: Self and Symbols in the Letters of Paulinus of Nola (2019) 247; Roumpou, Ritual and the Poetics of Closure in Flavian Literature (2023) 120
marcellus, marcus claudius Mcclellan, Paulinus Noster: Self and Symbols in the Letters of Paulinus of Nola (2019) 247
paulus, funeral of Roumpou, Ritual and the Poetics of Closure in Flavian Literature (2023) 120
paulus, lucius aemilius Mcclellan, Paulinus Noster: Self and Symbols in the Letters of Paulinus of Nola (2019) 247
paulus Roumpou, Ritual and the Poetics of Closure in Flavian Literature (2023) 120
pharsalus Roumpou, Ritual and the Poetics of Closure in Flavian Literature (2023) 120
purification Roumpou, Ritual and the Poetics of Closure in Flavian Literature (2023) 120
religious communication, actor Roumpou, Ritual and the Poetics of Closure in Flavian Literature (2023) 120
ritual Roumpou, Ritual and the Poetics of Closure in Flavian Literature (2023) 120
scipio (africanus) Roumpou, Ritual and the Poetics of Closure in Flavian Literature (2023) 120
spectacle Roumpou, Ritual and the Poetics of Closure in Flavian Literature (2023) 120
tree-felling' Mcclellan, Paulinus Noster: Self and Symbols in the Letters of Paulinus of Nola (2019) 247