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Title: Tumidumque per amnem signa tulit (BC 1.204-205)
Subtitle: Water-Symbolism and Callimachean Poetics in Lucan's Rubicon and Rivers of the Flavian Epic
Author(s): ANTONIADIS, Theodore
Journal: Latomus
Volume: 77    Issue: 4   Date: 2018   
Pages: 920-938
DOI: 10.2143/LAT.77.4.3285754

Abstract :
This paper aims to investigate the intertextual and intratextual dynamics of the Callimachean flooding river imagery in imperial epic. While a substantial number of critical works have investigated the appropriation of the water symbolism in Catullus and the Augustan poetry, the area of imperial epic remains relatively unexplored as far as concerns its dependence on the Hellenistic and Neoteric tradition. The emphasis is put here on the allusive effects of Caesar’s crossing of the swollen Rubicon in Lucan’s Bellum Ciuile, and on comparable water-imagery in the Argonautica of Valerius Flaccus and Statius’ epic. In particular, it is argued that the successors of Vergil apply and/or ‘rework’ the epic-river symbol for using it as a ‘generic tag’ which anticipates, or points toward, some piece of martial action or, by contrast, underlines its postponement (mora).

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