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Dead and deader : the treatment of the corpse in latin imperial epic poetry McClellan, Andrew Michael 2015

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Dead and Deader: The Treatment of the Corpse in Latin Imperial Epic Poetry by  Andrew Michael McClellan  B.A., Davidson College, 2007 M.A., The University of British Columbia, 2010  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF  THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Classics)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  August 2015 © Andrew Michael McClellan, 2015 ii  Abstract This dissertation examines the maltreatment of dead bodies in the epic poems of Lucan (Bellum Ciuile), Statius (Thebaid), and Silius Italicus (Punica). I focus on the depiction of corpses, their varied functions in each epic, and the literary engagement these authors have with the treatment of corpses in epics past, particularly Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid. I demonstrate the ingenuity with which these poets deploy corpses in their works by emphasizing the interplay and intertextuality between these authors, how they strive to be different from their epic predecessors and each other through their skillful elaborations on a major epic motif. The two main categories of maltreatment I analyze include the physical abuse directed at an enemy corpse and, similarly, the withholding or perversion of burial rites.  In my Introduction I identify a major gap in scholarship concerning the treatment of corpses in Roman Imperial epic that my dissertation aims to fill. My project begins from a number of studies on corpse treatment in the Iliad, and my desire to provide a similar analysis of this theme for the Roman epics. Chapter 2 sets a baseline for epic corpse treatment by looking in detail at the Iliad and Aeneid, with the intention of establishing a normative framework which proves valuable for highlighting deviations from the norm in the treatment of corpses in Imperial epic. Chapter 3 analyzes decapitation in Lucan, Statius, and Silius, scenes which directly target and exploit less explicit constructions in Homer and Virgil. Chapter 4 looks at the wide array of burial perversions and abuses in Lucan, with a focus on Pompey’s fragmented burial rites. Chapters 5 and 6 analyze burial perversions in Statius and Silius, respectively, structured around Creon’s burial denial edict in the Thebaid and Hannibal’s warped funerals for Roman generals in the Punica. A brief Conclusion iii  summarizes my findings, and looks ahead to further research on this topic. My project shows that encapsulated in the corpses and their treatment, these epics reveal a deep concern with violence, horror, life, and death, that reflects the larger disturbed functioning of each poet’s epic universe.  iv  Preface This dissertation is original, independent, and unpublished work by the author, A.M. McClellan. v  Table of Contents  Abstract.......................................................................................................................................... ii	  Preface........................................................................................................................................... iv	  Table of Contents ...........................................................................................................................v	  List of Abbreviations .................................................................................................................. vii	  Acknowledgements ...................................................................................................................... ix	  Dedication ..................................................................................................................................... xi	  Chapter 1: Introduction ................................................................................................................1	  1.1	   ‘Viewing’ Epic Corpses.................................................................................................. 1	  1.2 Project Origins and Aims................................................................................................ 9	  1.3	   Chapter Summaries....................................................................................................... 17	  Chapter 2: Deadtime Stories: Corpse Maltreatment in Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid ............................................................................................................................................24	  2.1	   Deadtime Stories: The Iliad’s Baseline of Abuse......................................................... 25	  2.2	   Deadtime Stories 2: Virgil on the Treatment of the Dead in the Aeneid ...................... 45 Chapter 3: Horrors Of A Malformed Pen: Decapitation in Lucan’s Bellum Civile, Statius’ Thebaid, and Silius’ Punica ...........................................................................................81	  3.1	   Hack Job: The Death and Abuse of Pompey in Lucan’s Bellum Civile ....................... 82  3.2	   Cannibal Corpse: Tydeus’ Rise and Fall in Statius’ Thebaid ..................................... 100 3.3	   Future-Kill: Asbyte, Theron, and Hannibal in Silius’ Punica .................................... 122 3.4	   Some Conclusions....................................................................................................... 143	  vi  Chapter 4: Tales From The Crypt: Non-Burial and Burial Distortion in Lucan’s Bellum Civile ............................................................................................................................................147	  4.1	   Twice-Told Tales ........................................................................................................ 148 4.2	   Rest in Pieces .............................................................................................................. 154 4.3	   El Hombre y el Monstruo ........................................................................................... 184 4.4	   Re-Animator ............................................................................................................... 203 4.5	   Some Conclusions....................................................................................................... 216	  Chapter 5: Cadavre Exquis: Non-Burial and Burial Distortion in Statius’ Thebaid ..........227	  5.1	   House of 1000 Corpses ............................................................................................... 228 5.2	   Dead and ‘Buried’....................................................................................................... 242	  5.3	   Mater Lachrymarum ................................................................................................... 252	  5.4	   Some Exceptions?....................................................................................................... 265	  Chapter 6: Grave Encounters: Non-Burial and Burial Distortion in Silius’ Punica...........275	  6.1	   Dead and ‘Buried’ 2.................................................................................................... 276 6.2	   Bury Me Deep............................................................................................................. 293	  6.3	   Bloody Homecoming .................................................................................................. 311 Chapter 7: General Conclusions...............................................................................................333	  References...................................................................................................................................338	    vii  List of Abbreviations Abbreviations for Classical authors and their works follow Hornblower, Spawforth, and Eidinow, eds. (2012), The Oxford Classical Dictionary 4th ed. (Oxford), with occasional expansions for the sake of clarity. The exception is Lucan’s Bellum Civile which, for convenience, I have abbreviated ‘BC’.  For the main Latin authors discussed in this dissertation, I have used the following editions (exceptions/emendations cited in notes): Mynors (1969) for Virgil’s Aeneid, Housman (19272) for Lucan’s Bellum Civile, Hill (1983) for Statius’ Thebaid, and Delz (1987) for Silius Italicus’ Punica. Other Greek and Latin quotations are from the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG) and the Packard Humanities Institute (PHI).  I have used modern translations for major authors: Lattimore (1951) for Homer’s Iliad (with Latinized proper names for consistency); Ahl (2007) for Virgil’s Aeneid; Braund (1992) for Lucan; Joyce (2008) for Statius’ Thebaid; and Duff (1934) for Silius. All other translations are my own.  A&R   Atene e Roma AB   Austin, C. and G. Bastiniani (2002), Posidippi Pellaei quae supersunt  omnia (Milano). AClass   Acta Classica: Proceedings of the Classical Association of South  Africa AJPh   American Journal of Philology ANRW   Vogt, J., H. Temporini, and W. Haase, eds. (1972-), Aufstieg und  Niedergang der römischen Welt (Berlin). ASNP   Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Cl. di Lettere e  Filosofia Bernabé  Bernabé, A. (1988), Poetae Epici Graeci 1 (Leipzig). BStudLat  Bollettino di studi latini CIL   (1862-), Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (Berlin). CJ   Classical Journal ClAnt   Classical Antiquity C&M   Classica et Medievalia C&S   Cultura e scuola CPh   Classical Philology CQ   Classical Quarterly  CW   The Classical World EL   Etudes de lettres EV   (1983-91), Enciclopedia Virgiliana (Roma). FGrH   Jacoby F., et al., (1923-), Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker  (Berlin). G&R   Greece and Rome GRBS   Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies GP   Gow, A.S.F. and D.L. Page (1968), The Greek Anthology: Garland of  Philip and some Contemporary Epigrams, 2 vols. (Cambridge). viii  HSCPh  Harvard Studies in Classical Philology ILS   Dessau, H. (1892-1916), Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae (Berlin). JHS   Journal of Hellenic Studies  JRS   Journal of Roman Studies LIMC   (1982-2009), Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae  (Zurich). JBL   Journal of Biblical Literature LSJ   Lidell, H.G.R., R. Scott, and H.S. Jones (1996), A Greek-English  Lexicon. 9th ed. (Oxford). Maurenbrecher Maurenbrecher, B. (1891), C. Sallusti Crispi historiarum reliquiae  (Leipzig). MD   Materiali e discussion per l’analisi dei testi classici MH   Museum Helveticum OLD   Glare, P.G.W. ed. (1968-82), The Oxford Classical Dictionary  (Oxford). ORA   Oxford Research Archive PCPhS   Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society PLF   Lobel, E. and D.L. Page, (1962), Poetarum Lesbiorum Fragmenta  (Oxford). PVS   Proceedings of the Virgil Society REA   Revue des études anciennes REL   Revue des études latines RhM   Rheinisches Museum für Philologie RIL   Rendiconti dell'Istituto Lombardo, Classe di Lettere, Scienze morali e  storiche Skutsch  Skutsch, O. (1968), Studia Enniana (London). TAPhA   Transactions and Proceedings of the Americal Philological  Association TLL   (1900-), Thesaurus Linguae Latinae (Leipzig). VL   Vita latina WJA   Würzburger Jahrbücher für die Altertumswissenschaft WS   Wiener Studien: Zeitschrift für klassische Philologie und Patristik YCIS   Yale Classical Studies  ix  Acknowledgements I wish to express my warmest gratitude to a number of people who have provided their time and support as I wrote this dissertation. First thanks go to my supervisor Susanna Braund. In my first semester at UBC in 2008 during my MA program, I read Lucan with Susanna, and this was no minor revelation. In many ways this project begins there with her. Through an MA and PhD she has never steered me wrong. Her comments and advice (academic and otherwise) have been invaluable, and I cannot begin to express or do justice my debts to her. Many thanks are also due to my committee members, Siobhán McElduff and Toph Marshall. Siobhán’s and Toph’s astute comments, challenging questions, and excellent suggestions have made me think much harder and have greatly improved this final product. Any errors or follies are mine in toto.   I have presented portions of this project at conferences and universities in Seattle, Vancouver, New Brunswick (NJ), Winnipeg, Waco, and Boulder, and I am grateful to the audiences for helpful comments on what was often very much ‘work in progress’. Thanks are due to Keyne Cheshire, who read a portion of the dissertation and provided excellent feedback, and to my faculty, peers, and friends in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies at UBC for their support and encouragement. I was fortunate to have had departmental and university financial support to complete this project—I would absolutely not have been able to otherwise. Special thanks to Les and Leslie Varley for treating me like family (more than I could have hoped for), and for being my home away from home. Extra special thanks to Zana Bass for putting up with me and for indulging my tastes for gore, even if our conversations sometimes give her nightmares.  x   Most especially I want to thank my parents Karen and Michael. They have always been encouraging, supportive, enthusiastic, funny. They have fully earned and deserve this extra page all to themselves. They have always been there for me. They are the very best of parents.  xi  Dedication      ζάνᾳ δῶρον1  CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION A book about dead bodies is a conversational curveball. —Mary Roach, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, p.14  1.1. ‘Viewing’ Epic Corpses As book 8 of Lucan’s Bellum Civile builds to a crescendo, with Pompey’s relentlessly foreshadowed death and mutilation fast approaching, the poet describes the paradoxical reaction of Pompey’s wife Cornelia to what awaits her doomed husband. She levels protests at Pompey as he leaves the relative safety of his fleet for the tiny death-boat off the coast of Egypt that will serve as the stage for his grisly murder and decapitation. Paralyzed, Cornelia fixes her gaze reluctantly upon him (BC 8.589-92):  haec ubi frustra effudit, prima pendet tamen anxia puppe, attonitoque metu nec quoquam auertere uisus nec Magnum spectare potest.       When in vain she has poured out these words, yet anxiously she hangs over the vessel’s end and in stunned fear cannot turn her gaze away;  she cannot look at Magnus.  This scene has received virtually no critical reaction from scholars despite its almost kindred connection to an earlier moment of paradoxical paralysis that has been posited as a launching pad for recent debate about the ‘competing voices’ in Lucan’s narrative. Before he describes the extreme horrors of the battle of Pharsalus between Pompey’s Republican forces and Caesar’s army, Lucan attempts to relegate his subject to darkness and to silence (7.552-6):  hanc fuge, mens, partem belli tenebrisque relinque, nullaque tantorum discat me uate malorum, quam multum bellis liceat ciuilibus, aetas. 2  a potius pereant lacrimae pereantque querellae: quidquid in hac acie gessisti, Roma, tacebo.  Mind of mine, shun this part of battle and leave it to darkness and from my words let no age learn of horrors so immense, of how much is licensed in civil war. Better that these tears and protests go unheard: whatever you did in this battle, Rome, I shall not tell.  The events of the civil war’s climax are too horrible to narrate, yet Lucan, by continuing his narrative, betrays his own obsession with its horrifying content, as this praeteritio makes way immediately for an elaborate description of the battle that should not be described (the civil war is nefas, and so ‘unspeakable’1).  But the paradox here is a larger feature of Lucan’s poetic program, as Jamie Masters has articulated: ‘In the struggle between Caesar and Pompey, then, lies the paradigm of Lucan’s narrative technique: the conflict between the will to tell the story and the horror which shies from telling it…’2 If Lucan’s narratorial dilemma describes something like a distorted metapoetics of writing about epic nefas, then in Cornelia’s frozen stare is to be found a programmatic metapoetic marker for a system of viewing, or reading it. Her vision of the scene we are about to witness, presaged from the outset (and imbued with forewarning, both intratextual and of course historical) as a post mortem mutilation, is the perspective through which we are invited to view the abuses we know will follow; the scene is ‘focalized’ through Cornelia. Yet the outcome of this perspective alignment is unsettling. For                                                 1 See Feeney (1991): 276-7 with notes.  2 Masters (1992): 9, and further 147-8: ‘if by now I can speak safely of the split in Lucan’s poetic persona, then one way in which this split manifests itself is in the opposition of a poet who is too horrified to speak, and a poet who, with apparent grisly relish and Silver Latin exuberance, is quite prepared to taint himself with the nefas of describing the ultimate nefas’ (148). See also Henderson (1998): esp. 185-6; O’Higgins (1988): 215-16; Feeney (1991): 227.  3  Cornelia, the paradox proves too much: she faints (8.661-2) before Pompey’s head is severed and thrust onto a pike. She cannot ‘read’ any further, but we must, with Lucan, go on.  This scene in Lucan 8 powerfully articulates both the difficulties involved in viewing/reading scenes of corpse maltreatment and the simultaneous allure and attraction to abuses that provoke horror and pleasure. Cornelia cannot help but watch, she is paralyzed, until the inherent paradox conquers her and she passes out. We read on (or we don’t), but like Lucan’s Cornelia, as an audience for this cruelty we may find ourselves caught in what Noël Carroll calls the ‘horror paradox’:3 we want to watch (or read) but we feel the moral implications of viewing something horrific, something almost always signaled to us by the narrator or other intratextual characters as unwatchable or unspeakable, and, in the act of viewing, we become paralyzed by these incongruous emotional reactions.  Philosophizing and theorizing, ancient and modern, have focused directly on the corpse as an instigator of paralyzing horror. Plato and Aristotle recognized a similar paradoxical phenomenon of the simultaneous attraction and aversion to rotting corpses. Plato describes the disturbing situation at Republic 4.439e-40a, where one Leontius is unable to pull his eyes away from corpses festering in the street despite his revulsion both at their sight and at his own inability to look away.4 His inability to avert his gaze, caught between                                                 3 See Carroll (1990). 4 Plat. Rep. 4.439e-40a: ἀλλ᾽, ἦν δ᾽ ἐγώ, ποτὲ ἀκούσας τι† πιστεύω τούτῳ· ὡς ἄρα Λεόντιος ὁ Ἀγλαΐωνος ἀνιὼν ἐκ Πειραιῶς ὑπὸ τὸ βόρειον τεῖχος ἐκτός, αἰσθόμενος νεκροὺς παρὰ τῷ δημίῳ κειμένους, ἅμα μὲν ἰδεῖν ἐπιθυμοῖ, ἅμα δὲ αὖ δυσχεραίνοι καὶ ἀποτρέποι ἑαυτόν, καὶ τέως μὲν μάχοιτό τε καὶ παρακαλύπτοιτο, κρατούμενος δ᾽ οὖν ὑπὸ τῆς ἐπιθυμίας, διελκύσας τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς, προσδραμὼν πρὸς τοὺς νεκρούς, ‘ἰδοὺ ὑμῖν’, ἔφη, ‘ὦ κακοδαίμονες, ἐμπλήσθητε τοῦ καλοῦ θεάματος’, ‘But’, I said, ‘I once heard a story which I believe, that Leontius the son of Aglaion, on his way up from the Peiraeus under the outer side of the northern wall, becoming aware of dead bodies that lay at the place of public execution at the same time felt a desire to see them and a repugnance and aversion, and that for a time he resisted and veiled his head, but overpowered in despite of all by his desire, with wide staring eyes he rushed up to the corpses and cried, “there, you wretches, take your fill of the fine spectacle”’. 4  incompatible responses of desire (ἐπιθυμοῖ…ἐπιθυμίας) and disgust (δυσχεραίνοι), is so disturbing to him that he curses his own eyes (ὦ κακοδαίμονες). Aristotle describes a similar reaction, but as it applies to the mimesis of horrific images, at Poetics 1448b 10-12: ‘we enjoy contemplating the most precise images of things whose actual sight is painful to us, such as the forms of the vilest animals and of corpses’.5 Aristotle does not elaborate beyond stating that mimetic objects, no matter how horrific, are inherently (σύμφυτος) enjoyable to everyone (τὸ χαίρειν…πάντας).    For Julia Kristeva the corpse is the ultimate form of abjection, which pulls and repels the viewer simultaneously: ‘It is death infecting life’,6 and this at the same time ‘beckons to us and ends up engulfing us’.7 Adriana Cavarero expands upon this notion of viewer paralysis when confronted with scenes of horror (the Horrorism of her book’s title), by focusing on the dead body which has itself been broken, dismembered, mutilated, mangled, exploded, dehumanized (she zeroes in on suicide bombings): ‘movement is blocked in total paralysis, and each victim is affected on its own. Gripped by revulsion in the face of a form of violence that appears more inadmissible than death, the body reacts as if nailed to the spot, hairs standing on end’.8 She identifies a true physical reaction to the viewing of horrific images that, in many ways, perfectly applies to Lucan’s aphoristic psychologizing of Cornelia’s paralyzed gaze at Pompey in BC 8.  Yet all of these analyses focus on the corpse as an endpoint, as a limit. Even Cavarero’s discussion of violence that rips the body to pieces focuses on the moment of                                                 5 Arist. Poet. 1448b 10-12: ἃ γὰρ αὐτὰ λυπηρῶς ὁρῶμεν, τούτων τὰς εἰκόνας τὰς μάλιστα ἠκριβωμένας χαίρομεν θεωροῦντες, οἷον θηρίων τε μορφὰς τῶν ἀτιμοτάτων καὶ νεκρῶν. 6 Kristeva (1982): 4.  7 Kristeva (1982): 4.  8 Cavarero (2011): 8. 5  death; the experience of horror does not extend beyond violence that is life-ending.9 But for the Roman epicists of the early imperial period, death was a limit that needed to be ruptured and explored, it needed to be viewed.  My project is to dissect the maltreatment of the human body after death in the imperial epics of Lucan, Statius, and Silius Italicus. To contextualize properly this motif of corpse maltreatment, my study works (largely) diachronically, starting with discussions of corpse treatment in Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid. The two main categories of maltreatment I analyze include the physical abuse directed at an enemy corpse and the denial, withholding, or perversion/distortion of burial rites. These two categories will be useful for framing the various discussions in my chapters, but it is important to stress that I consider them each to be appropriately identifiable as the ‘maltreatment’ of the dead. They involve actions taken consciously against the rights owed to dead bodies by (more or less) universal Greco-Roman customs and standards: corporeal ‘preservation’ or integrity, burial/funeral rites, familial and/or communal rites of mourning, the last kiss, the closing of the eyes; perhaps also commemoration, procession, ritual laudationes or panegyrics, and so on.10 In any case, the physical abuse of a corpse in these poems typically results in the denial of proper burial rites for that corpse, and so there will be considerable overlap in my analyses. The main aim of this dissertation will be to follow the motif of maltreatment through these epics and to analyze both the individual poetic innovations on the motif (an expanding ‘aestheticization’ of graphic violence), and also, more broadly, how the dead and their                                                 9 See the important critique in Miller (2014): 109-15. Miller’s book was published a bit too late for me to fully integrate it into my discussions, but it does share an important interest with my own study in the limits of violence in war and violence aimed at objects (corpses, statues, institutions, words) that cannot fight back.  10 On features of and the importance of Greco-Roman burial rites, see variously Toynbee (1971): esp. 33-61; Garland (1985); Morris (1992); Flower (1996): 91-127; Kyle (1998): 128-33.  6  treatment in these poems offer insight into each poet’s conception of war, violence and its extremes, and violence in Roman society. Following the motif of maltreatment implies the development of that motif over time, as a product of intertextual and interpretative processes.11 What Homer does with corpse treatment in the Iliad is re-examined and repurposed by Virgil, whose engagement with the motif is then repurposed by Lucan, who is also (simultaneously) reading Homer through Virgil’s reading of Homer, and also, at times, reading Homer irrespective of Virgil’s reading of Homer, and so on. Scholars have termed this system of intertextual gymnastics ‘double allusion’, or ‘window reference’ in the system of epic poetics.12 The allusive and intertextual games at play here can be very complicated, and though I do not necessarily subscribe to Jacques Derrida’s conception of analyzing complex literature (in his case, reading Joyce’s Finnegans Wake) as a ‘war’ between author and reader to reconstruct a dizzying system of overlapping intertextual references,13 sometimes it does feel this way when reading Latin epic.                                                  11 Some excellent monographs have tracked major themes, motifs, or issues through a series of epic poems. I will single out a few here that have been influential for my project: Feeney (1991) on the gods in epic; Hardie (1993) on sacrifice, Heaven and Hell, imperial/dynastic/poetic succession, and so much more; Quint (1993) on epics of victory and epics of defeat; Hershkowitz (1998) on madness in Greek and Roman epic; Ripoll (1998) on heroism in the Flavian epics; Keith (2000) and Augoustakis (2010) on women in epic (Augoustakis looks specifically at the Flavian poems); Coffee (2009) on economic exchange in Roman epic. Chaudhuri’s (2014) project on ‘theomachy’ (i.e. attempts by mortals or heroes to wage war against a god or gods) from Homer to the Renaissance epics is most similar to my project in that it examines a specific motif over generations of poetic elaboration.  12 See Thomas (1986): 188-9: ‘window reference’; McKeown (1987): 37-45: ‘double allusion’. Noted by Hardie (1989): 4, with 17 n.8, as ‘double imitation’, and developed further in readings of post-Augustan epic in Hardie (1993). Hardie’s fabulous Epic Successors of Virgil (1993) has been crucial for my own research. I similarly take Virgil’s Aeneid as a launching pad for analysis of the post-Augustan epics, but I have tried to privilege Homer’s Iliad too, to fill out a picture of elaborations on the major ‘classic’ martial epic texts in both Greek and Latin.  13 Derrida (1985): 145-58, esp. 147-9. So, e.g.: ‘Being in memory of [Joyce]: not necessarily to remember him, no, but to be in his memory, to inhabit his memory, which is henceforth greater than all your finite memory can, in a single instant or a single vocable, gather up of cultures, languages, mythologies, religions, philosophies, 7  A quick note then on intertextuality. When I refer to intertexts or allusions14 linking the work of a later author to an earlier author’s ‘model’ text, I am making certain assumptions about the creative and allusive process of composition and poetic engagement. Authorial intentionality in the analysis of intertextuality has been a major point of debate in classical philology. Recovering the intention of the alluding author does not necessarily affect our ability to interpret intertexts in a void, but this does not mean we should ignore intentionality altogether, even if we cannot prove it, since this process of (attempted) ‘recovery’ is useful for a deep engagement with the text(s). In this way I align myself generally with Stephen Hinds and Joe Farrell who have both sought to revive the role of the author in reader-response criticism, in many ways as a reaction to the semiological reader-oriented intertextual framework that aims to eliminate the author from the picture entirely.15 I will make claims, at times, about an author’s (irretrievable) intentions, but the importance or validity of these claims will ultimately rest on my ability to convince readers that there is something meaningful that emerges from the relationship between the specific texts I highlight, whether that relationship was ‘intended’ or not. Roman epic is so vastly self-reflexive, intra-/extra-critical, and self-conscious of generic literary history, that intertextual                                                                                                                                                   sciences, history of mind and literatures. I don’t know if you can like that without resentment and jealousy. Can one pardon this hypermnesia which a priori indebts you, and in advance inscribes you in the book you are reading? One can pardon this Babelian act of war only if one knows it happens already, from all time, with each event of writing, and if one knows it’ (147).  14 I typically prefer the former, though I deploy ‘allusion’ and ‘reference’ at times as well. Fowler (1997a) and Hinds (1998): esp. 17-51 discuss the distinctions between ‘intertext’ and ‘allusion’, and the (frequent) difficulties of those distinctions.  15 See Hinds (1998): 47-51, 144: ‘while conceding the fact that, for us as critics, the alluding poet is ultimately and necessarily a figure whom we ourselves read out from the text, let us continue to employ our enlarged version of “allusion”, along with its intention-bearing author, as a discourse which is good to think with—which enables us to conceptualize and to handle certain kinds of intertextual transaction more economically and effectively than does any alternative’ (50); Farrell (2005). For reader-oriented approaches, see the programmatic comments in Fowler (1997a); Gale (2000): 4-6; Edmunds (2001): 153-4.  8  cues are as much an orchestrated open-armed invitation to the reader as a Derridean challenge to interpretative warfare.  Something like an elaborate poetic dialogue is discernible through the texts, but text-centered philological readings are importantly inseparable from cultural-historical, ideological, readings of these poems. This should be obvious, so much so that almost twenty years ago Alessandro Barchiesi could compare dissenters on either side to Japanese snipers lost in the jungle, fighting a war lost long ago.16 That the poetic intertexts are everywhere supplemented by presupposed cultural-historical intertexts adds a deeper context to the poetic dialogue, and with it creates a cohesive system for unpacking meaning. For my purposes, the presupposed reference point for the Roman epics is most crucially Roman civil wars and the abuses that inevitably came along with them; amphitheatrical display is important too, though there we are dealing more with violence inflicted upon living bodies.17 Corpse abuse and burial denial were hallmarks of the civil wars, both Republican and Imperial,18 and the impact of witnessing these abuses cannot have been insignificant to the authors and their audiences. The Aeneid is loaded with civil war imagery teasing at the civil wars Virgil lived through leading up to the establishment of the principate, and Lucan wrote an entire epic detailing the civil war between Caesar and Pompey that Virgil references elliptically. The Flavian epicists fill their verses with civil war, and while this plays off earlier epic civil war                                                 16 Barchiesi (2001): 147, originally published in Barchiesi (1997). I quote from the English version (2001): ‘Dealing with intertextuality does not imply taking sides in a debate, more or less implicit, between formalist and historicist readings of ancient texts. The polemic between formalist and historicist readers has long been exhausted, and the last Japanese snipers isolated in the jungle should have been informed of this by now’. See more generally the programmatic discussion in Barchiesi (1984): chapters 3 and 4.  17 Leigh (1997) takes the spectacle of the amphitheater as a starting point for discussing spectacular violence in Lucan, with some excellent results. See also Most’s (1992) powerful essay.  18 See, most usefully, for the abuses dealt to the dead in Roman civil wars, Hinard (1985) on corpse abuse during the proscriptions, Voisin (1985) on ‘head-hunting’, Kyle (1998): passim, Richlin (1999), Barry (2008) on the public mutilation and display of corpses in the Scalae Gemoniae (not always in a civil war context).  9  themes, the events of 68-69 CE19 (and the later Saturninian revolt of 89, a ‘civil war’ according to Suet. Dom. 6.2), which brought about the establishment of the Flavian dynasty, provide a constant historical reference point for the horrors contained in those poems.   1.2. Project Origins and Aims To steal a line from Mary Roach’s wonderfully morbid book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers: ‘A book about dead bodies is a conversational curveball’.20 This has mostly been my experience talking to colleagues, friends, and family. But more to the point, it has also been my experience examining scholarship on issues related to corpse maltreatment in epic poetry. I leave more extended discussion of secondary sources to later analyses and my footnotes (where I have tried to be as inclusive as possible) but to speak here generally, little has been written in any length or depth about corpse abuse in Roman epic, and when scholars do broach the topic, the discussions are most often selective, with individual scenes or individual poems singled out as cases for analysis.21 There are of course exceptions,22 some excellent ones, but even when scholars do enter into the discussion of                                                 19 Morgan (2006) is the most detailed and stimulating account of the civil wars of 68-69 CE.  20 Roach (2003): 14, and the epigraph to this introduction. 21 E.g. Narducci (1973) on Pompey’s ‘trunk’ in BC; Heuzé (1985): 76-81 on a few scenes of post mortem decapitation in the Aen.; Moretti (1985) on ‘trunks’ in Lucan; Gioseffi (1995) on the unburied Pompeian soldiers post-Pharsalus in BC 7; Esposito (1996) on Pompey’s death and abuse in BC 8; Scarcia (1996) on Pompey’s non-burial in BC 8; Bartsch (1997): 10-47, occasionally touching on corpse maltreatment and post mortem corporeal function in BC; Marpicati (1999) on Silius’ borrowings from Lucan’s scene of Pompey’s death; Pollmann (2004): intro, on the theme of non-burial in the Theb.; Chiesa (2005) applying Heuzé’s analytical tools of body imagery in the Aen. to BC, with (naturally, in Lucan) more interest in dead bodies; Calonne (2010) briefly on corpses in Lucan; Galtier (2010) on Pompey’s warped burial rites in Lucan; Horsfall (2010) on Priam’s death and abuse in Aen. 2; Dinter (2012): 9-49 on bodies (living/dead), severed heads, and ‘automatism’ of cut off body parts in BC. 22 See esp. Burck (1981) on epic funeral rites from Homer to Silius, generally (though he is not enormously analytical on the imperial epics); Pagán (2000), covering some epic scenes of post-battle epic carnage, and issues related to non-burial (esp. in the Theb.); Berno (2004) on connected scenes of abuse in Virgil, Seneca, and Lucan; Erasmo (2008) esp. chap. 4 on the burial rites of Pompey in BC, Opheltes in Theb. 6, and the funeral 10  corpse maltreatment more broadly it is usually deployed as a means of describing the behavior of the abuser, while the corpse itself is something of an afterthought, ‘collateral damage’ to larger interests in human furor and rage, or exegeses on madness, bloodlust, and so on. I have tried to start from the perspective of the corpse and work back the other way around like, as Giovanni De Luna describes it in his excellent book on corpse treatment in modern warfare, ‘looking at the grass from the perspective of the roots’.23 That is, I am attempting to signal the corpse as a crucial entryway into analyses of the violence and abuses of war in these epic poems and not simply as a physical byproduct of war. I privilege the corpse as a critical ‘character’ in these poems, a character with a bizarre post mortem existence that defies the typical limitation imposed by death. These poets, by guiding reader attention to the now-lifeless body, demand that the corpse is worthy of the same attention that the living person had been, and this focus cuts against instinctive human impulses. This shift in focus is revelatory for the functioning of each poet’s epic universe. My project offers a fundamental re-evaluation of violence and warfare in Latin epic poetry through this readjustment of interpretative perspective. I say ‘Latin epic’ because there are a number of excellent works on the motif of corpse maltreatment in the Iliad that deserve special mention. Charles Segal’s The Theme of the Mutilation of the Corpse in the Iliad is the seminal study, and many of Segal’s                                                                                                                                                   rites in Theb. 12; van der Keur (2013) on corpses and burial rites in Statius (generally) and Silius’ (spurious?) catalogue of world-burial-practice in Pun. 13. 23 De Luna (2006): 42: ‘il tentativo di conoscere, storicamente la guerra (e anche i grandi fenomeni novecenteschi di violenza di massa come le Shoah), partendo dalla sua conclusion, da quei morti che rappresentano il suo unico, concreto prodotto finale. È come guardare l’erba dalla parte delle radici…’ (my emphasis). De Luna’s book details mass globalized violence in war, mostly war in the 20th century, from the perspective of the treatment of corpses in those wars. Each chapter works outwardly from a single photograph displaying corpse maltreatment in a particular warzone. The book is shocking and powerful, and has helped frame many of my discussions for this project.  11  conclusions form the basis of later large-scale examinations and elaborations by (especially) James Redfield, Emily Vermeule, Jasper Griffin, Jean-Pierre Vernant, and Michael Clarke.24 These studies have in many ways served as my own launching-pad, and my project comprises a concerted attempt to provide for the later Roman epic material on corpses something like what these Homeric scholars have done for the Iliad.  A central driving force of these analyses of corpse treatment in the Iliad concerns the ‘limits’ placed on violence in war. This has obvious implications for individual actors (victors and victims, killers and killed), but also for the larger picture in the poem of the institution of warfare and its intrinsic parameters; this last point has been less clearly articulated, but it has ramifications for my interests in the later Roman epics and so deserves a brief examination. While the aims of war and warring are circumstantial and variable—war can be about economics and supply-lines, territory, about politics, or religion—warfare itself, especially ancient warfare, provides killing and death as a brutal but reasonable way of negotiating the ‘transaction’ of the conflict,25 whatever it is about exactly. Killing and death are necessary, requisite characteristics of this transaction; they are definable and measurable. The killing becomes a real problem only if the actors fail to appreciate it as the appropriate limit of the use of force in war.  When Achilles abuses Hector’s corpse, when he refuses him the death-rights of burial, and refuses his family and city the rights of ritual mourning over his body, he proves not just his own savagery, but also instigates an attack upon these parameters of war. This act or rather the repeated attempted mutilation of Hector’s corpse provides a redefinition of the                                                 24 Segal (1971); Redfield (1975); Vermeule (1979), Griffin (1980); Vernant (1991); Clarke (1999).  25 On issues related to the commerce or transaction of war in the Roman epic context, see Coffee’s (2009) excellent study.  12  basic nature of the Trojan War, and the final books of the poem set about analyzing (and ultimately righting) the wrongs of Achilles’ transgressions of the normative and regulative features of the institution of war. We know that he has crossed some discernible threshold related to the use of violence because the gods tell us he has gone too far (not to mention the outrage of the human actors in the poem). His actions provoke especially Apollo’s complaints and disgust (24.33-54), and lead to Zeus’ own wrath and intervention and a return to the codes of humanity, which amount to the proper upholding of the rights owed to the dead in war. The issue is not that Hector has been killed (I do not mean to undermine the singular importance of his death for Troy’s fate), but rather, what happens after he is killed. It is the maltreatment of his corpse that precipitates chaos and instigates divine intervention. Given that the Iliad is the Ur-text of war, the parameters of war defined therein are crucial for the shaping of subsequent articulations of war in literature, particularly epic literature, and so the system of ‘appropriate’ (and inappropriate) expressions of violence in the transaction of war in later literature (and culture) ultimately are reflected by and reflect back upon this Iliadic model.  Among Étienne Balibar’s reflections on ‘extreme violence’ is his insistence on the uncontrollability of war in its relation to warfare’s tendency to revert to extremes of violence, which everywhere serve to destabilize the very definitions of the limits of violence in war. There is some acknowledgement of and adaptation from Carl von Clausewitz’s basic logic that war, principally defined as a duel between opposing forces, naturally passes to extremes of violence: ‘war is an act of force, and there is no logical limit to the application of that force. Each side, therefore, compels its opponent to follow suit; a reciprocal action is started 13  which must lead, in theory, to extremes’.26 Balibar is interested in these extremes and how far the use of violence can push them. The limits of extreme violence are elusive, mobile, and contested (they are ‘heterogeneous’: each war has different ways of measuring what constitutes a transgression of the limits of violence), but they always constitute a transition from the ‘appropriate’ wartime exercise of might, or ‘violence-of-power’ (Gewalt) to the implementation of cruelty.27  In considering the treatment of Hector’s corpse, what is intrinsically cruel about Achilles’ actions is their utter gratuitousness and redundancy. Apollo identifies this, though somewhat obliquely, when he complains to Zeus and the other gods in a striking28 turn of phrase that Achilles is attempting to mutilate ‘mute earth’ (Il. 24.53-4: μὴ ἀγαθῷ περ ἐόντι νεμεσσηθέωμέν οἱ ἡμεῖς· | κωφὴν γὰρ δὴ γαῖαν ἀεικίζει μενεαίνων, ‘Great as he is, let him take care not to make us angry; | for see, he does dishonour to the dumb earth in his fury’). His actions are monstrous, sub-human. He has lost control of his ‘might’, his ‘violence’ (βίη, 24.42; βία [Att.] = uis = ‘violence’), and is attacking lifeless flesh that cannot fight back or protect itself (though, of course, the corpse is being protected by the gods: see further below).29 Moreover, Achilles’ actions are situated outside of the immediate context of battle, inasmuch as they do not occur during the course of regular combat and so signify precisely the sort of action that ruptures the limit of death as the final act of violence in war. With Hector dead, nothing more can or need be gained save a demonstration of abject cruelty. Achilles has gone too far and the gods intervene.                                                 26 Clausewitz (1976): 77. 27 See Balibar (2002): esp. 136-7. Many of Balibar’s arguments on violence are now contained in Violence et civilité (2010).  28 See Clarke (1999): 157-8 n.2 on the uniqueness of this descriptive phrase in Homeric poetry.  29 See esp. Segal (1971): 57-9.  14  De Luna discusses Achilles’ treatment of Hector as an entry-point for his analysis of corpse abuse in modern warfare. Some of his conclusions share commonalities with Balibar’s interest in extreme violence and its limits in war. He identifies the extremity of Achilles’ violence by psychologizing his actions, focusing on the ‘existential void’ (‘vuoto esistenziale’) the dead enemy leaves his victor. With no one alive to fight, the dead enemy removes all reason for hostilities, and this should correspond to an end of violence. But Hector’s death does not provide a limit or an end for Achilles’ cruelty, it is only the beginning: ‘Achilles does not stop, his fury is not appeased by the corpse of Hector, the war persists no longer against the enemy, but against his dead body’.30 The physical state of Hector’s corpse (as in the state of all corpses in all wars) becomes an ‘extraordinary document’ for uncovering the nature of his killer, which in turn offers a valuable glimpse and insight into the nature of the war itself.31  Yet despite his efforts, what is so crucial here, and what is so crucial for our understanding of the limits of violence in the Iliad is that Achilles is repeatedly and definitively unable to successfully carry out the mutilation of Hector’s corpse. The gods prevent Achilles’ cruelty reaching fruition (e.g. Il. 23.184-91, 24.18-20, 411-23). His actions signify an act of war against the parameters of war, but the poet does not allow the actual act to materialize fully. Achilles may not be able to be trusted to care for the body of Hector, but larger forces ensure its protection. There is still in the Iliad some limit to extreme violence in war (dictated, naturally, by poetic, aesthetic, and moral factors) despite often the best efforts of individual characters who would seek to transgress that limit.                                                  30 De Luna (2006): 53: ‘E invece Achille non si ferma, la sua furia non si placa davanti al cadaver di Ettore, la guerra continua non più contro il nemico, ma contro il suo corpo morto’. 31 De Luna (2006): 53-4.  15   I have lingered here on Achilles’ treatment of Hector in the Iliad to stress the point that my project explicitly and contrastingly targets moments in epic poetry where the extremes of violence utterly disrupt this system of limitation. Achilles’ maltreatment of Hector is the locus classicus, the ‘gold standard’ of epic corpse abuse, but in reality it does not fully qualify as abuse, since Hector’s body is protected from all of Achilles’ attacks against it. Roman epic’s greatest innovation on the theme of violence in a genre defined by violence is to shatter the limits Homeric epic placed on the extremity of violence in war. And this is expressed most emphatically in the abuses dealt to the dead. What differentiates the extremes of violence in Homer and the post-Augustan epicists is that the Latin poets are all aestheticians of overwhelming cruelty.  The imperial epics disrupt the system of limitation related to violence contained in Homer’s and (to a certain degree) Virgil’s poems for a reason. There are obvious aesthetic considerations, and these are of primary concern to me. As Hardie has demonstrated most successfully, following the observations of Harold Bloom, epic (while not alone among literary genres) is intimately concerned with generic self-referentiality and a poetics of competition, and scenes of violence are no exception to this competitive poetic engagement.32 Epicists strive to stand out among the crowd of generations of prior tradition, and the creative manipulation of earlier model scenes, especially violent ones,33 provided a powerful path to poetic notoriety. Visceral violence—the politically sponsored, endorsed, and monopolized extreme violence in Rome (civil war abuses, ‘head-hunting’, gladiatorial competition, exposure on the Scalae Gemoniae and in the Fora, corpse-dumping in the Tiber,                                                 32 See Hardie (1993): esp. 88-119.  33 On the popularity of scenes of violence among ancient readers of epic, see e.g. Harrison (1988) and (1991): xxi-xxii (on the Aeneid). 16  and so on)—was everywhere pushing against (and through) the limit of killing as an endpoint to violence. Corpse maltreatment becomes a mainstay of the fabric of imperial epic in many ways because it reflected precisely the politically motivated extreme violence that defined the establishment and continuation of the Roman principate; epic abuses resonate because they reflect the real world violences endemic in a society intimately bound to the horrors of war. Not only extreme violence, but an obsession with extremity in general defined the early imperial period, as Carlin Barton has demonstrated.34 By examining the collective psychology of Romans from the end of the Republic through the first two centuries CE, particularly concerning boundaries, transgressions, and the limits of human endurance, Barton argues that all strata of Roman society participated in an overindulgent, self-defeating ‘theatre of excess’. While she does not discuss corpse maltreatment directly, she homes in on the excess of cruelty and violence that became so rampant as to create (through the tendencies of our sources) a ‘trivialization’ of violence, and an indifference to suffering where deaths as entertainment had ceased to scandalize. While Barton probably goes too far when she claims that Rome was a ‘frolicking theatre of violence’,35 it is true that many of our sources aim to betray a playfully indifference to the abuses and displays of cruelty. In many ways, this indifference and mockery were perhaps the most reasonable way to deal with the often horrific levels of violence that were a daily occurrence in Rome. This project could have been much larger. By privileging martial epic I largely avoid Homer’s Odyssey, Apollonius’ Argonautica, Ennius’ Annales, Lucretius’ De rerum natura, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica, and Statius’ Achilleid, even though                                                 34 Barton (1993): esp. 46-81.  35 Barton (1993): 62.  17  all of these poems do address issues related to corpse (mal)treatment and/or burial rites. While most of these seven epics do find their way into discussions in this dissertation, I have not pursued a detailed examination of any of them. Martial epic is about war, and the dead are the most visceral and tangible ‘objects’ that fill the pages of this genre. I have been selective too in my discussions of scenes from the martial poems. I have tried to cast a wide net, but often this has led to the underdevelopment of scenes related to corpse maltreatment that deserve much more consideration than I have provided: the abuse of Curio’s corpse in BC 4 is one example, as is the impaling of Hasdrubal’s severed head at the end of Punica 15, which I have discussed in its function as the surrogate ‘beheading’ and abuse of Hannibal, but not enough on its own terms. So too the mass conflagration and mass pyre at Saguntum in Punica 2 receives only brief mention in its connection to the postscript on Hannibal’s future death that closes the same book. What is here is not exhaustive, but it should make it possible to follow the motif of corpse maltreatment from one epic to the next. The dissertation ends with a brief glance ahead to further research on this topic, and avenues for investigation that I was unable to develop fully here but I hope to consider in future work.  1.3. Chapter Summaries The second chapter examines the motif of corpse treatment in Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid. My main goal in this chapter is to set a baseline for epic corpse treatment by looking at two foundational and familiar works, with the intention of establishing a normative framework which will prove valuable for highlighting deviations from the norm in the treatment of corpses in Imperial epic. The chapter begins with the Iliad. In this section (2.1), I lay out the basic pattern of corpse treatment in the poem with examples that fully flesh out 18  the general observations I have stressed above. In particular, I highlight Sarpedon, Patroclus, and Hector, all of whose corpses receive some form of attempted abuse but are eventually rescued from that abuse by the gods. Much of this follows the general consensus among scholarship that corpse maltreatment is threatened, feared, and even attempted in the poem, but ultimately unfulfilled. Yet despite the overwhelming emphasis on corpse preservation in the Iliad, scholars have almost universally ignored the case of Imbrius in book 13. My discussion of Locrian Ajax’s post mortem decapitation of Imbrius (Il. 13.201-205) aims to problematize this general picture of corpse ‘preservation’ in the poem, and I offer some larger structural, aesthetic, and thematic insights into the functioning of this scene in the epic.   The next section (2.2) examines Virgil’s narrative strategies concerning the abuse of corpses in the Aeneid. While it is clear that Virgil departs from Homer in allowing a wider range of corpse abuse into his poem, in every case Virgil pulls away from describing it and blankets the abuse in narrative silence. My interest is in this silence and the meaning we can extract from it. Methodologically, my analysis takes root from a consideration of the Homeric motifs of the treatment of dead heroes and I consider Virgil’s adaptation of and departure from his great epic model. I also analyze violent action elsewhere in the Aeneid outside the sphere of post mortem abuse, and the ways in which the reader can supplement the narrative silences in the scenes of corpse abuse through comparison with the physical description of violence dealt to living fighters. I demonstrate that Virgil’s allegiance to Homeric poetics allowed him to go only so far: while the Iliad expresses a moral horror of carrying out the mutilation of corpses, there is in the Aeneid a moral horror of describing the abuses that we know have happened, even though Virgil is prepared to concede that corpse abuse actually does occur. The section ends with a consideration of the civil war violence and 19  corpse maltreatment from Marius and Sulla to Actium and the establishment of the principate, as a means of contextualizing some of the (silent) abuses contained within the Aeneid.  Chapter 3 is a detailed examination of three scenes (one from each of the imperial epics) that directly target and exploit the most brutal form of epic maltreatment: decapitation and further abuses aimed at a severed head. The first section (3.1) analyzes the death and abuse of Pompey in Lucan BC 8 in a small skiff off the coast of Egypt. Section 3.2 looks, first, at the decapitation of Melanippus in Statius’ Thebaid 8, and Tydeus’ cannibalizing of Melanippus’ head, and second at the Thebans’ abuse of Tydeus’ own corpse in book 9. Section 3.3 examines the decapitation of Asbyte by Theron in Silius’ Punica 2, and Hannibal’s subsequent abuse of Theron’s corpse in retaliation for Theron’s slaying of the Carthaginian general’s ally Asbyte. These scenes are all built explicitly upon model scenes in the Iliad and Aeneid, which the later epicists have infused with elements of post mortem abuse and grotesquerie either ignored or only hinted at in the earlier poems. Through consideration of the ways Lucan, Statius, and Silius expand upon their models, this chapter offers a vivid glimpse into the dark evolution of the motif of corpse maltreatment from the ‘classic’ texts of Homer and Virgil, who had sought (in their own unique ways) to set a limit on the level of violence congruent with the world of epic poetry. Although this chapter consists of close readings of a specific moment in each poem, these particular scenes also function crucially as emblematic of major themes that permeate each work, and I elaborate upon on these points as I work through the material, as a means of foregrounding further discussion in subsequent sections. 20   Chapter 4 focuses on burial denial and perversion broadly in Lucan’s Bellum Civile. I analyze scenes involving some of the major players in the epic, in an attempt to tease out the larger thematic thrust of burial rites in the poem. I begin in section 4.1 with the elderly survivor’s recollection of the civil war between Marius and Sulla in BC 2. This flashback is crucial for Lucan’s handling of the issues of burial rites as it anticipates the horrors to come, particularly the warped burial of Pompey in book 8, which I discuss next (4.2). Lucan expands Pompey’s death, abuse, and burial rites over the final three extant books of the epic (with material anticipating his burial(s) and also looking beyond the space provided by the epic framework). All of the disparate scenes create a patchwork of repeated but slightly altered burial rites, none of which function as a legitimate ‘whole’ (doubling the repetition of depictions of Pompey’s physical mutilation in the poem). I then, in section 4.3, consider Caesar’s role in relation to burial rites by analyzing four scenes that demonstrate his rejection of or lack of interest in what happens to the human body after death (including his own body). I end (4.4) with Erichtho’s ‘zombie’ prophetic corpse-soldier, his quasi-prophecy predictive of further death, and the witch’s paradoxical, yet almost loving, funeral for the corpse-soldier in book 6. I argue that Lucan lingers on the repetitions of denied or perverted/warped burials and issues of death-in-life, and life-in-death, as a means of highlighting his perception of Neronian Rome as a slavish ‘necropolitical death-world’, to repurpose a phrase (and the theoretical/philosophical framework) from Achille Mbembe’s article ‘Necropolitics’, on violence and abuse in the post-colony.36                                                  36 Mbembe (2003).  21  Chapter 5 looks at burial denial and perversion in Statius’ Thebaid. My discussion of these motifs in Statius’ poem centers around Creon’s burial abnegation decree at Thebaid 11.661-4. This point marks the official moment when burial rites are denied, but the theme has been building steadily over the course of the epic. The chapter also considers a series of bizarre burial perversions, particularly the funerals for the fallen Argive leaders, all of whom receive a warping of traditional rites (section 5.2). Section 5.3 considers the role of women and their attempts to provide burial for their loved ones, specifically Hypsipyle, Argia and Antigone, and the Argive women. The final section (5.4) details Iris’ ‘preservation’ of the dead Argive leaders, and the strange case of Maeon’s preserved corpse in book 3.  Chapter 6 analyzes burial rites in Silius’ Punica. The chapter begins at 6.1 with an examination of what I call ‘corpse-tombs’ and ‘corpse-burial’ in the poem. I touch on this in my chapter on Statius, who also provides evidence of this bizarre funereal perversion. Both Silius and Statius warp the motif of a warrior falling in death upon a dead comrade, or comrades dying in unison (like Nisus and Euryalus in Aen. 9), into the corpses of the dead (often suicides) offering their bodies as ‘tombs’ for a fallen warrior. I argue that this reflects the level of desperation these epics project given the paucity of successful burials in the poems; anything resembling a ‘funeral’ finds acceptance even if it would otherwise be rejected as a perversity of proper custom. My interest in section 6.2 concerns the figure of Hannibal and his perversions of Roman burial practice when he conducts rites over the corpses of three slain Roman generals (L. Aemilius Paulus, T. Sempronius Gracchus, and M. Claudius Marcellus). This analysis sets the stage in section 6.3 for an examination of Hannibal’s quasi-funeral rites that close the poem in book 17, mimicking and masking the triumphal parade for Scipio Africanus that, I argue, simultaneously doubles as a funeral 22  parade. In both chapters 5 and 6 (on these Flavian epics) I contextualize and supplement arguments by considering the role of the civil wars following the death of Nero in 68 CE, which brought about the establishment of the Flavian dynasty. Most crucial are the post mortem abuses and exposures in the wars of 69 CE, the cyclical death and ‘rebirth’ of Roman autocracy, and the burning of the Capitol and the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus.   The dissertation ends with a review of my findings and major arguments in the main chapters, and offers a brief look at other issues related to corpse maltreatment in these poems, and future research projects I am developing on this topic. In particular, I lay out some initial claims for examining post mortem bodily function in the poems (this develops a theme I could only touch on here). Martin Dinter has discussed the ‘automatism of severed limbs’ in Lucan (via largely evidence from Ovid’s Metamorphoses),37 and what I propose here is an expansion upon these ideas both in BC and in the other post-Augustan epics.   By the end of my project, I hope to have demonstrated the variety of ways in which Lucan, Statius, and Silius address issues of corpse maltreatment, and their ingenuity in reworking a major epic motif. I present this poetic engagement largely as a disruption of Homeric and Virgilian interests in corpse treatment in the Iliad and Aeneid, but in my analyses of particular scenes in the post-Augustan epics I illustrate that the referential dialogue is far more complex than this. In many ways Lucan becomes a crucial ‘canonical’ text for the Flavian epicists, who everywhere draw on his morbid and self-defeating poetics to highlight the horrors of their own epic universes. And while we have difficulties determining influence one way or the other, Silius’ and Statius’ poems certainly interact with                                                 37 Dinter (2012): 37-49. 23  each other. I also show that these epics are importantly products of their times. Just as Virgil’s Aeneid is inseparable from the context of the civil wars that plagued Rome for decades before and during his writing, so too the imperial epics are bound to the principate that emerged from the horrors Virgil is grappling with in his poetry. For Lucan, the civil wars that spawned Caesarism had not ended. Neronian Rome is simply an extension and repetition of the abuses that destroyed the Republic. The civil wars that rocked Rome following the collapse of the Julio-Claudian dynasty in 68 CE must have made Lucan seem a grim uates to his successors, and Statius and Silius evoke Lucanian darkness as they feed imagery of Rome’s civil war abuses into their epics of mytho-historical retreat. 24  CHAPTER 2 DEADTIME STORIES: CORPSE MALTREATMENT IN HOMER’S ILIAD AND VIRGIL’S AENEID  In a square surrounded by trees, with a statue in the middle, a pack of dogs is devouring a man’s corpse. He must have died a short while ago, his limbs are not rigid, as can be seen when the dogs shake them to tear from the bone the flesh caught between their teeth. A crow hops around in search of an opening to get close to the feast. —José Saramago, Blindness (trans. G. Pontiero) p.263  My focus in this chapter is on corpse maltreatment generally in Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid. These are the ‘classic’ martial epic texts in Greek and Latin, and the ways in which they address issues of corpse mutilation and burial abnegation provide critical poetic context for the post-Augustan epicists’ handling of these themes in their own poems. In the Iliad we find numerous examples of threatened, feared, and attempted corpse maltreatment, and the theme of abuse builds steadily until Achilles slays Hector and refuses to return his body to his family for proper obsequies. Ultimately the gods intervene, and all threats and acts of abuse are unfulfilled, except in the case of Imbrius in book 13. In my discussion I look in detail at the scene of Imbrius’ abuse, and offer some explanations for this anomalous case. Virgil follows Homer in placing significant emphasis on corpse treatment, and even goes beyond Homer by allowing a greater range of abuse to seep into his poem. But he too places a certain limit on the abuse by refusing to narrate the scenes of mutilation that we know occur. In Homer there exists a moral horror of carrying out the abuse of a corpse; in Virgil there exists a moral horror of describing the abuses that the poet does allow entry into his poem.  25  2.1. Deadtime Stories: The Iliad’s Baseline of Abuse Live fast, die young, and be a good-looking corpse —Willard Motley, Knock on Any Door  Live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse —Lil’ Wayne, ‘Krazy’  The Iliad is a poem obsessively concerned with the composition, or probably better, the decomposition of the human body.1 Warriors are hacked to pieces with alarming and breathtaking variety and ingenuity in the heat of battle. Yet there exists a special focus in the poem on what might be inflicted on the body once the warrior has been killed. Attempts at corpse mutilation abound, as do threats and fears of abuse, voiced by characters within the poem. Concomitant with this is the poem’s emphasis on proper burial practice. Attempts to deny this most basic rite are poignantly highlighted as deviating from the norm, which finds its model in the elaborate funeral of Patroclus, occupying the bulk of book 23. I will begin this discussion by laying out some of the normative features related to the theme of corpse treatment in the Iliad, which will largely comprise a review of some earlier scholarship on this topic, before shifting focus to a scene that I think problematizes this picture. I will offer some ideas I have in an attempt to tease out deeper meaning from a relatively minor scene in the Iliad: Locrian Ajax’s rarely discussed decapitation of Imbrius in book 13.  In the Iliad the main focus on corpses concerns the treatment and preservation of dead heroes. Minor or unnamed characters occupy little narrative space with regard to their treatment or burial, though Homer does provide a description of the collective burial rites of mostly insignificant fighters on either side, after a momentary truce (7.421-32, 433-41. cf.                                                 1 Vermeule (1979): 95-9 is particularly instructive.  26  323-43, 375-7, 394-7),2 as well as the rites granted to those lost to Apollo’s plague at 1.52. The corpses are heaped in a single burial mound, and Homer’s unwillingness to belabor the funeral rites of minor characters is doubled by the aside that the corpses themselves were difficult to identify (7.424). The funeral rites here are collective and cursory.3 Far more narrative space is granted to the treatment of Hector’s corpse by Achilles and of Sarpedon’s during the bloody Leichenkampf, both of which represent the fullest examples of the physical affront to corpses in the Iliad.  After the death of Sarpedon follows a lengthy skirmish between the Achaeans and Trojans to recover his corpse (16.562-665)—the first instance in the poem of the fate of a dead warrior’s body becoming a point of consideration.4 That the two sides would risk further bloodshed to claim the body of a fallen warrior is indicative of the importance of proper burial from his comrades’ perspective (here, the Trojans) and of the withholding of that rite, which amounts to corpse mutilation, by his enemies (the Greeks). Patroclus says as much during his pre-battle speech at Il. 16.559-61:  ἀλλ᾽ εἴ μιν ἀεικισσαίμεθ᾽ ἑλόντες,  τεύχεά τ᾽ ὤμοιιν ἀφελοίμεθα, καί τιν᾽ ἑταίρων  αὐτοῦ ἀμυνομένων δαμασαίμεθα νηλέϊ χαλκῷ.        If only we could win and dishonour his body and strip the armour from his shoulders, and kill with the pitiless bronze some one of his companions who fight to defend him.5                                                   2 On these lines, see Garland (1985): 92-3; Kirk (1990): ad locc. 3 Murnaghan (1997): 31.  4 See Segal (1971): 18-19, 21; Janko (1992): ad 16.419-683. Krischer (1971) discusses the pattern of major aristeiai in the poem, all of which end with the Leichenkampf and the corpse’s eventual return to family and friends through divine intervention. 5 The death of Patroclus and the subsequent Leichenkampf in the following book (inverting the scenario of Sarpedon’s death) offer further articulations of the motivations of rival armies battling over the fate of one warrior. Homer offers opposing motivational cries from both armies, vying for the body (Il. 17.314-22). 27  The fate of Sarpedon’s corpse is presaged earlier by Sarpedon himself, who begs Hector to save his body from the Achaeans should he die from a wound he has received from Tlepolemus (5.684-8). That Hector flees without reply foreshadows Sarpedon’s corpse’s fate here and anticipates the uncertain outcome of the skirmish in book 16. Glaucus voices further concern over the fate of the corpse, when he chides Hector for neglecting to protect Sarpedon and the Lycian allies from the Myrmidons, whom he fears will despoil Sarpedon and ‘disfigure his corpse’ (16.545: ἀεικίσσωσι δὲ νεκρὸν). Here for the first time the verb aeikizein appears in the Iliad. The theme of corpse abuse and the fate of dead heroes begins here and intensifies throughout the remainder of the poem.6  The two armies battle around Sarpedon’s corpse in a destructive fog stirred up by Zeus (16.567-8), as each in turn attempts to claim the body. By the end of the fighting Sarpedon’s corpse is made unrecognizable, covered head to toe with weapons, blood, and dust (637-40). A simile comparing the armies to flies buzzing about full milk pails hints at the decay awaiting the corpse,7 and brings back sharply the image of corpse abuse and the warrior’s fate. After Zeus drives off the Trojans, the Achaeans strip the armor from Sarpedon’s corpse and parade it around the Achaean camp (663-5).  Though here the abuse of Sarpedon’s corpse is largely accidental (a product of the battle waged around and on top of it), this scene anticipates the abuse Achilles attempts to level against Hector’s corpse in book 22.8 After Achilles kills the Trojan prince and strips                                                 6 Segal (1971): 18. 7 Janko (1992): ad 16.633-44; Neal (2006b): 21-2.  8 Note that Sarpedon’s plea in book 5 concerning his corpse is directed to Hector, and his mention of his wife and baby son (5.388) mirrors Hector’s own situation in book 22. The poet sets up Sarpedon even this early as a model for Hector and his corpse treatment. Perhaps this is why Hector flees without response to Sarpedon’s plea: with Kirk (1990): ad 5.384-8.  28  him of his armor, the Achaeans circle around Hector and take turns stabbing his corpse, sharing—at least ritually—in his slaughter (22.369-75).9 Hector’s ‘imposing beauty’ stands out to the Achaeans who compare his once impenetrable frame to its present lifelessness. He was beautiful in life as Achilles approached to kill him (321: χρόα καλόν), and now beautiful in death (370-1: οἳ καὶ θηήσαντο φυὴν καὶ εἶδος ἀγητὸν | Ἕκτορος, ‘[They] gazed upon the stature and on the imposing beauty | of Hector’). They stab him to test the softness of his flesh, but also to corrupt that beauty, to make him ugly. Achilles further disfigures the corpse by dragging Hector on the ground behind his chariot, leaving the head, in particular, to be ground face-first into the dust (397-98). This treatment of Hector’s corpse mars the hero’s face (402-3: κάρη δ᾽ ἅπαν ἐν κονίῃσι | κεῖτο πάρος χαρίεν, ‘and all that head that was once so handsome was tumbled | in the dust’), mirroring the fate of Sarpedon, whom not even a man who knew him well could recognize (16.638-9: οὐδ᾽ ἂν ἔτι φράδμων περ ἀνὴρ Σαρπηδόνα δῖον | ἔγνω, ‘No longer | could a man, even a knowing one, have made out the godlike | Sarpedon’), covered head to toe in weapons and dust (639-40: κονίῃσιν).10  The initial disfiguring of Hector’s corpse is granted by Zeus (40