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This book explores central aspects of the period in Latin literature often depreciatingly termed 'Silver'. It is unusual in embracing both poetry and prose, and in offering close literary discussion of a large number of particular passages. It is not a history, but a selective and comparative study-throwing fresh light on the period as a whole, on individual authors, and on differences and affinities between genres. Most space is given to epic and tragedy, and to the prose of Seneca and Tacitus; but Juvenal, Martial, the Younger Pliny, and other authors are also treated. The book also considers large features of genre and relates these to fundamental elements of style and to the treatment of some vital themes. It aims to give the reader a feeling for this brilliant, and extraordinary writing, and a sense of the excitement and fascination of the literary period. All Latin in the text is translated.