Statius' Silvae are argued in this book to be important social and literary productions. Traditionally derided as occasional and therefore inconsequential verse, they offer fascinating insight into the history, politics, art and literature of the Flavian period. They celebrate and explore in all its variety and ambiguity a flourishing literary and artistic culture which the condemnation of Domitian's memory after his assassination had largely suppressed. They deserve consideration for what they reveal about the role of poetry and patronage in imperial society as well as about imperial art and architecture.
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