ABOUT THIS BOOK
, thirty-two occasional poems, were written probably between 89 and 96 A.D.
Here the poet congratulates friends, consoles mourners, offers thanks, admires a monument or artistic object, describes a memorable scene. The verse is light in touch, with a distinct picture quality. Statius gives us in these impromptu poems clear images of Domitian's Rome.
Statius was raised in the Greek cultural milieu of the Bay of Naples, and his Greek literary education lends a sophisticated veneer to his ornamental verse. The role of the emperor and the imperial circle in determining taste is another readily apparent influence: the figure of the emperor Domitian permeates these poems. D. R. Shackleton Bailey's new edition of the Silvae, a freshly edited Latin text facing a graceful translation, replaces the earlier Loeb Classical Library edition with translation by J. H. Mozley.