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date: 27 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers an approach to one genre of Latin literature, heroic epic, as a model of an investigation into the interaction between children and Latin literature more generally. Heroic epic is the focus because it offers examples over a fairly long period, from Ennius to Silius Italicus. The chapter discusses the material under four headings: genre; sex and death; political overtones; and social change. Throughout, this chapter stresses the range and variety of depictions of children and their shaping by literary context.

Keywords: Children, childhood, heroic epic, Vergil, Lucan, Statius, Valerius Flaccus, Silius Italicus, pueri, delicate, fosterage

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