Statius, Silvae

LCL 206: 2-3

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SILVAE

PREFATORY NOTES 1

Date: probably 91 or shortly after.

2

Date: after December 89. Martial 6.21, written shortly after the marriage, belongs to the latter half of 90. The bridegroom, L. Arruntius Stella, had held curule office and was a member of the prestigious College of Fifteen (vv. 176f.); he was to become Consul Suffect in 101 or 102. He had a reputation as author of love elegies addressed to or concerning his future wife Violentilla, a rich widow born in Naples, under the pseudonym Asteris (ἀστήρ, “star,” = Stella). Both appear in a number of Martial’s epigrams, she as Ianthis (ἴον, “violet,” = viola); though her name is really diminutive of violentus.

3

Other than its presence in this Book, the poem offers no indication of date. The addressee is presented in the prefatory epistle and vv. 99–104 as a wealthy bachelor (no mention of a wife), no longer young, enjoying a life of

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BOOK I

literary leisure in his splendid villa on the Anio, a tributary of the Tiber. He was probably an Epicurean (v. 94).

4

Date: probably 89. Rutilius Gallicus was City Prefect in charge of Rome during Domitian’s absence on his second Dacian campaign. The poem itself and a number of inscriptions give details of his long and distinguished career. Literary activity is attested in vv. 27–30. It does not appear that Statius had any personal relationship with him. He seems to write as a concerned citizen—no doubt in the hope of a quid pro quo of some kind.

5

Date: latter half of 90, probably contemporaneous with Martial 6.42 and 83 (the former on these same baths). On the recipient see 3.3.

6

The month is December during the Saturnalia, the year uncertain.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.statius-silvae.2015