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* AdaptationalBadass: Hannibal's army in real life was your typical period Carthaginian force, meaning it was probably composed by Punic officers and several bodies of Numidians, Libyans, Mauritanians and a handful of tribes of Spaniards and Gauls, complete with horses and elephants. Its portrayal in the ''Punica'', however, is massively diverse, amazingly well equipped and led by many national heroes, and it contains not only the aforementioned, but also troops of all kinds and almost every nationality considered minimally exotic at the time: Nubians, Ethiopians, Greeks, Lebanese and peoples from just every corner of Hispania, and it includes even warrior women and war chariots.

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* AdaptationalBadass: Hannibal's army in real life was your typical period Carthaginian force, meaning it was probably composed by Punic officers Many historical characters who were originally generals and several bodies of Numidians, Libyans, Mauritanians strategists are turned here into frontline butchers, the most ludicrous examples being Hannibal and a handful of tribes of Spaniards and Gauls, complete with horses and elephants. Its portrayal in the ''Punica'', however, is massively diverse, amazingly well equipped and led by many national heroes, and it contains not only the aforementioned, but also troops of all kinds and almost every nationality considered minimally exotic at the time: Nubians, Ethiopians, Greeks, Lebanese and peoples from just every corner of Hispania, and it includes even warrior women and war chariots.Fabius.


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* AdaptationExpansion: Hannibal's army in real life was your typical period Carthaginian force, meaning it was probably composed by Punic officers along with several bodies of Numidians, Libyans, Mauritanians and a handful of tribes of Spaniards and Gauls, complete with horses and elephants. Its portrayal in the ''Punica'', however, is massively diverse, amazingly well equipped and led by many national heroes, and it contains not only the aforementioned, but also troops of all kinds and almost every nationality considered minimally exotic at the time: Nubians, Ethiopians, Greeks, Phoenicians and peoples from just every corner of Hispania, and it includes even warrior women and war chariots.


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* ArtisticLicenseGeography:
** Silius often slaps names of rivers on characters who were supposed to inhabit its nearby lands, like Sicoris, Tagus (in which this is lampshaded), Bagradas and Rhone. However, some of his choices are strange. For example, there are two Spanish chieftains named Cydnus and Rhyndacus, which are names of Middle-Eastern rivers.
** The mentioned Rhyndacus leads a force from the Celtiberian city of Uxama, which is then described in the text as having "Sarmatian walls." While it is unclear what did he mean by this, he seems to imply Sarmatians had somehow something to do with ancient Celtiberians.


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* FrontlineGeneral: A staple of epic poems, not any less used here. Hannibal is directly at the front lines in Saguntum, cutting people down right and left (less so in other battles, but still), and Fabius has a similar LetsGetDangerous moment to rescue Minucius.


* AmazonBrigade: Asbyte, Hannibal's Libyan princess, leads a contingent of horsewomen and female war charioteers.

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* AmazonBrigade: Asbyte, Hannibal's Libyan princess, leads a contingent of horsewomen and female war charioteers. Sadly, they receive little time on page and seem to return to Libya after Asbyte is killed.



* AntiVillain: While Hannibal is described as ruthless, the text also leaves clear that his only real crime is having been born in the opposite side of the war, and his service to Carthage is constantly compared to Scipio's and Fabius' to Rome.

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* AntiVillain: While Hannibal is described as ruthless, cruel and a bit of a BloodKnight, the text also leaves clear admits at some points that his only real crime is having been born in the opposite side of the war, and his service to Carthage is constantly compared to Scipio's and Fabius' to Rome.



** The poem doesn't describe the battles clearly, focusing more on the individual duels that happen on it, but the most detailed one, that of Cannae, is completely different from real life. This fictitious version of Cannae sees Hannibal putting the Africans on the left under a fictitious character named Nealces, the Spaniards in the right under Mago, and the Gauls with a single elephant in the center and later turns the tide by bringing many elephants as reinforcements. To being with, there was no elephants in the historical battle of Cannae.

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** The poem doesn't describe the battles clearly, focusing more on the individual duels that happen on it, but the most detailed one, that of Cannae, is completely different from real life. This fictitious version of Cannae sees Hannibal putting the Africans on the left under a fictitious character named Nealces, the Spaniards in the right under Mago, and the Gauls with a single elephant in the center center, and he later turns the tide by bringing many elephants as reinforcements. To being begin with, there was no elephants in the historical battle of Cannae.



* BadassPreacher: Bogus, a Carthaginian diviner that also fights. He scores an important death on Ticinus before being felled by the Roman consul at Trebia.

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* BadassPreacher: Bogus, a Carthaginian diviner priest/diviner that also fights. He scores an important death on Ticinus before being felled by the Roman consul at Trebia.



* BloodKnight: Celts are portrayed this way, as in general in Roman media.
* TheBrute: The Punic side has a few almost superhuman giants who lay waste before being killed by some hero. This includes the Africans Otris and Maraxes, the Syracusan Poliphemus and the Cantabrian Larus.

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* BloodKnight: Celts are portrayed this way, as in general in Roman media.
media. Hannibal himself is often a bit too eager to kill Romans.
* TheBrute: The Punic side has a few almost superhuman near-superhuman giants who lay waste before being killed by some hero. This includes the Africans Otris and Maraxes, the Syracusan Poliphemus and the Cantabrian Larus.



** The text adheres to the probably apocryphal Roman tradition that Carthage callously executed their own general, Xanthippus, after he had successfully defended Africa for them in the First Punic War. However, Xanthippus's sons are shown fighting in the Carthaginian side without any ill feeling. This contradiction is never explained, and if they were unaware of their father's fate, as one could imagine, it is not stated.
** The poem also identifies wrongly the falarica as a large ballista, but later describes it properly as a handheld javelin.

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** The text adheres to the probably apocryphal Roman tradition that Carthage callously executed their own general, Xanthippus, after he had successfully defended Africa for them in the First Punic War. However, Xanthippus's sons are shown fighting in the Carthaginian side without any ill feeling. This contradiction is never explained, and if they were unaware of their father's fate, as one could imagine, fate or some similar HandWave, it is not stated.
** The poem also identifies wrongly the falarica as a large ballista, but later describes it properly correctly as a handheld javelin.



* EqualOpportunityEvil: A trait of the Carthaginian side, done presumably in order to make it more exotical and bizarre to the conservative Romans. Hannibal's army contains women, blacks and people of all skin tones, in marked contrast to the white male Roman army.

to:

* EqualOpportunityEvil: A trait of the Carthaginian side, done presumably in order to make it more exotical and bizarre to the conservative Romans. Hannibal's army contains women, blacks women and people of all skin tones, in marked contrast to the white male Roman army.



* HitAndRunTactics: Cleadas, a Sidonian in Hannibal army's, uses the Parthain shot.

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* HitAndRunTactics: Cleadas, a Sidonian in Hannibal army's, uses the Parthain Parthian shot.



* InformedAbility: Arauricus the Turdetanian is introduced as a great warrior, but in his only battle appearance, he flees from the Roman Viriasius in Trebia and is killed by him.
* KidHero: The battle of Syracuse presents Podetus, a prepubescent prodigy captain who was also apparently a great athlete. However, he is killed by a rogue spear, and even the text pities him.

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* InformedAbility: Arauricus the Turdetanian is introduced as a great warrior, but in his only battle appearance, appearance in Trebia, he flees from the Roman Viriasius in Trebia and is killed by him.
* KidHero: The battle of Syracuse presents introduces Podetus, a prepubescent prodigy captain who was also apparently a great athlete. However, he is killed by a rogue spear, and even the text pities him.



* NobleDemon: Hannibal is portrayed as cruel, but also honorable and loyal to his allies, as well as an adept of the stoic philosophy (a big deal for Silius, a fellow stoic), at least until Capua affects him.

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* NobleDemon: Hannibal is portrayed as cruel, callous and hateful, but also honorable and loyal to his allies, as well as an adept of the stoic philosophy (a (which was a big deal for Silius, a fellow stoic), at least until Capua affects him.



* WinsByDoingAbsolutelyNothing: Fabius does this through his famed Fabian tactics, which involve denying pitched battles while at the samme time using guerrilla. It makes Hannibal run low of supplies and his mercenaries become impatient.

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* WinsByDoingAbsolutelyNothing: Fabius does this through his famed Fabian tactics, which involve denying pitched battles while at the samme same time using guerrilla. It makes Hannibal run low of supplies and his mercenaries become impatient.


* NamesTheSame: Cydnus, as there are an Asturian mercenary of that name in Hannibal's army and a Carthaginian soldier of unidentified nationality in Syracuse. There is also a lieutenant named Nealces with Hannibal and an incestuous soldier of the same name.



* ObstructiveaBureaucrat: Hanno the Great, who refuses to send Hannibal reinforcements or supplies out of political rivalry.

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* ObstructiveaBureaucrat: ObstructiveBureaucrat: Hanno the Great, who refuses to send Hannibal reinforcements or supplies out of political rivalry.rivalry.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted, as there are an Asturian mercenary named Cydnus in Hannibal's army and a Carthaginian soldier of unidentified nationality and the same name in Syracuse. There is also a lieutenant named Nealces with Hannibal and an incestuous soldier of the same name.



* PeltsOfBarbarism: An interestingly heroic example is Alius, an Italian fighter who wears a bear skin and boar fangs in his helmets. He is such a good warrior that it takes both Mago and Maharbal to gang up on him to kill him.

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* PeltsOfBarbarism: PeltsOfTheBarbarian: An interestingly heroic example is Alius, an Italian fighter who wears a bear skin and boar fangs in his helmets. He is such a good warrior that it takes both Mago and Maharbal to gang up on him to kill him.


* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Silius doesn't hide the fact that he is naturally telling a pro-Roman story, so he tends to paint things in the most heroic light possible for Rome and the most villainous one for Carthage. The work also features loads and loads of the RuleOfCool and AdaptationExpansion expected in an EpicPoem, though in this case we cannot safely attest how much Silius is embellishing, tweaking or just plain making up, given that many ancient chronicles and books about the Second Punic Wars which he might have used for research have not survived.

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* ArtisticLicenseHistory: ArtisticLicenseHistory:
**
Silius doesn't hide the fact that he is naturally telling a pro-Roman story, so he tends to paint things in the most heroic light possible for Rome and the most villainous one for Carthage. The work also features loads and loads of the RuleOfCool and AdaptationExpansion expected in an EpicPoem, though in this case we cannot safely attest how much Silius is embellishing, tweaking or just plain making up, given that many ancient chronicles and books about the Second Punic Wars which he might have used for research have not survived.survived.
** The poem doesn't describe the battles clearly, focusing more on the individual duels that happen on it, but the most detailed one, that of Cannae, is completely different from real life. This fictitious version of Cannae sees Hannibal putting the Africans on the left under a fictitious character named Nealces, the Spaniards in the right under Mago, and the Gauls with a single elephant in the center and later turns the tide by bringing many elephants as reinforcements. To being with, there was no elephants in the historical battle of Cannae.



* BadassPreacher: Bogus, a Carthaginian diviner that also fights. He scores an important death on Ticinus before being felled by the Roman consul at Trebia.



* ContinuitySnarl: The text adheres to the probably apocryphal Roman tradition that Carthage callously executed their own general, Xanthippus, after he had successfully defended Africa for them in the First Punic War. However, Xanthippus's sons are shown fighting in the Carthaginian side without any ill feeling. This contradiction is never explained, and if they were unaware of their father's fate, as one could imagine, it is not stated.

to:

* ContinuitySnarl: ContinuitySnarl:
**
The text adheres to the probably apocryphal Roman tradition that Carthage callously executed their own general, Xanthippus, after he had successfully defended Africa for them in the First Punic War. However, Xanthippus's sons are shown fighting in the Carthaginian side without any ill feeling. This contradiction is never explained, and if they were unaware of their father's fate, as one could imagine, it is not stated.stated.
** The poem also identifies wrongly the falarica as a large ballista, but later describes it properly as a handheld javelin.



* HeroicSacrifice: The Roman Tadius is impaled by a weaponized elephant tusk in Cannae, but he blinds both of its eyes with his last breath.

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* HeroicSacrifice: HeroicSacrifice:
** A Punic soldier named Gestar shields Hannibal from a spear thrown by Marcellus and dies of it.
**
The Roman Tadius is impaled by a weaponized elephant tusk in Cannae, but he blinds both of its eyes with his last breath.breath.
* HitAndRunTactics: Cleadas, a Sidonian in Hannibal army's, uses the Parthain shot.


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* LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe: The Gallaeci present Hannibal with a fancy shield, probably meant to be a decorated Celtic/Gaul style one.
* MadeOfIron: The African giant Otris is hit with an arrow in his eye of all things in Trebia, yet he remains alive and functional enough to try to run away.


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* PendulumWar: Perhaps the greatest departure from reality in the poem is the way Silius shows the war as a succession of epic duels between larger than life characters.


* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: Tiburna, widow of the Saguntine chief Murrus, does a verbal variation of this in the city.

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* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: Tiburna, widow of the Saguntine chief Murrus, does a verbal variation of this in the city.city.
* GoodCounterpart: Both Fabius and Scipio are this to Hannibal, as stated several times in the text.
* GroinAttack: Phorcys the Turdetanian is killed by Paulus while he attempted one against him, leaving him open for a downward cut.
* HeroicBSOD: Hannibal has one when Sychaeus dies in Trebia.
* HeroicSacrifice: The Roman Tadius is impaled by a weaponized elephant tusk in Cannae, but he blinds both of its eyes with his last breath.
* HumanPincushion: Hannibal's Lusitanians throw so many javelins at Roman officer Mamercus at Trebia that he ends up butchered. Flaminius and Paulus later gets the same treatment.
* InformedAbility: Arauricus the Turdetanian is introduced as a great warrior, but in his only battle appearance, he flees from the Roman Viriasius in Trebia and is killed by him.
* KidHero: The battle of Syracuse presents Podetus, a prepubescent prodigy captain who was also apparently a great athlete. However, he is killed by a rogue spear, and even the text pities him.
* ManlyTears: Fabius sheds those after seeing Minucius going to be butchered in a LeeroyJenkins moment.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: When Fabius Jr. tells his father to just watch while their political rival Minucius is butchered by Hannibal, Fabius reminds him that he is a fellow Roman after all and orders their forces to help him.
* NamesTheSame: Cydnus, as there are an Asturian mercenary of that name in Hannibal's army and a Carthaginian soldier of unidentified nationality in Syracuse. There is also a lieutenant named Nealces with Hannibal and an incestuous soldier of the same name.
* NobleDemon: Hannibal is portrayed as cruel, but also honorable and loyal to his allies, as well as an adept of the stoic philosophy (a big deal for Silius, a fellow stoic), at least until Capua affects him.
* ObstructiveaBureaucrat: Hanno the Great, who refuses to send Hannibal reinforcements or supplies out of political rivalry.
* PapaWolf: Mago shows shades of this towards his son-in-law Isalces in his fight against Apius.
* PeltsOfBarbarism: An interestingly heroic example is Alius, an Italian fighter who wears a bear skin and boar fangs in his helmets. He is such a good warrior that it takes both Mago and Maharbal to gang up on him to kill him.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Fabius, highlighted becase he happens to be the only in the Roman Senate most of the time.
* ScaryBlackMan: Tunger the Mauritanian, who rides a black war chariot with black horses that scares everybody. (Somewhat subverted because being a Mauritanian would mean he was dark-skinned, not solid black.) Ironically, he gets scared himself of Cato's attack and is killed by him.
* ShaggyDogStory: A Roman hostage of Carthage named Satricus escapes from their camp, takes weapons of a corpse whom he doesn't know is of his son, and is killed by his other son believing he was a looting Punic. The latter takes his life and writes a message with his blood to tell Varro to avoid battle in Cannae, as his father said, but the message is illegible by then.
* WinsByDoingAbsolutelyNothing: Fabius does this through his famed Fabian tactics, which involve denying pitched battles while at the samme time using guerrilla. It makes Hannibal run low of supplies and his mercenaries become impatient.


* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Silius doesn't hide the fact that he is naturally telling a pro-Roman story, so he tends to paint things in the most heroic light possible for Rome and the most villainous one for Carthage. The work also features loads and loads of the RuleOfCool and AdaptationExpansion expected in an EpicPoem, though in this case we cannot safely attest how much Silius is embellishing, tweaking or just plain making up, given that many ancient chronicles and books about the Second Punic Wars which he might have used for research have not survived.

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* AdaptationalIntelligence: Lucius Aemilius Paulus is portrayed as unambiguously on the side of Fabius about the right strategy against Hannibal, while in real life he was only berudgingly with him and ultimately supported the approach that became the massacre of Cannae.
* AgonyOfTheFeet: The African soldier Sicca suffers it when he steps on a sword while barefoot.
* AmazonBrigade: Asbyte, Hannibal's Libyan princess, leads a contingent of horsewomen and female war charioteers.
* AngryBlackMan: The Ethiopians and Nubians with poisoned javelins who fight for Hannibal.
* AntiVillain: While Hannibal is described as ruthless, the text also leaves clear that his only real crime is having been born in the opposite side of the war, and his service to Carthage is constantly compared to Scipio's and Fabius' to Rome.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Silius doesn't hide the fact that he is naturally telling a pro-Roman story, so he tends to paint things in the most heroic light possible for Rome and the most villainous one for Carthage. The work also features loads and loads of the RuleOfCool and AdaptationExpansion expected in an EpicPoem, though in this case we cannot safely attest how much Silius is embellishing, tweaking or just plain making up, given that many ancient chronicles and books about the Second Punic Wars which he might have used for research have not survived.survived.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Every general has at least a moment in which he intervenes personally and kicks much ass in a battle. Killing named warriors of the opposite side is an usual way to establish he is a man among men.
* AwesomeButImpractical: Isalces, Mago's son-in-law or something like it, wields a giant double axe due to his juvenile vanity. His weapon is so cumbersome that the Roman Apius kills with him just a big stone, a classical BoringButPractical weapon.
* BadassGrandpa: Mainly Fabius, who butchers many people in the frontlines despite being in his sixties, but also Labicus, who fought in the First Punic War and dueled Hamilcar before dying by Hannibal's hand in the poem. The Punic side has a couple in Carthalo, who dies in Saguntum.
* BigGood: Fabius is the wisest and most competent Roman general, only surpassed by TheHero Scipio.
* BloodKnight: Celts are portrayed this way, as in general in Roman media.
* TheBrute: The Punic side has a few almost superhuman giants who lay waste before being killed by some hero. This includes the Africans Otris and Maraxes, the Syracusan Poliphemus and the Cantabrian Larus.
* BullyingADragon: A Roman mercenary named Christa tries to take down Hannibal with the help of his six sons, but Hannibal proves why he is in charge of the Carthaginian army and promptly decimates them.
* CombatPragmatist: At the end of the Battle of Trebia, a Libyan named Tires kills a Roman soldier, Levinus, by biting his face off while dying himself.
* ContinuitySnarl: The text adheres to the probably apocryphal Roman tradition that Carthage callously executed their own general, Xanthippus, after he had successfully defended Africa for them in the First Punic War. However, Xanthippus's sons are shown fighting in the Carthaginian side without any ill feeling. This contradiction is never explained, and if they were unaware of their father's fate, as one could imagine, it is not stated.
* CoolMask: Celtiberian horsemen from Uxama are describes as wearing beast's jawbones in their helmets in order to scare away enemies.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Xanthippus, the Spartan general who saved Carthage in the First Punic War, is described as short and ugly.
* DoesNotLikeShoes: The Carthage citizens led by Mago are described as marching barefoot.
* TheDragon: Sychaeus, Hannibal's son in law and Hasdrubal the Fair's son, though only for a short time given that he is killed.
* TheDreaded: The sole name of Hannibal is enough to make the entire Rome panic.
* EqualOpportunityEvil: A trait of the Carthaginian side, done presumably in order to make it more exotical and bizarre to the conservative Romans. Hannibal's army contains women, blacks and people of all skin tones, in marked contrast to the white male Roman army.
* EscapeArtist: Hasdrubal Barca performs a couple great escapes with all his army, first against Nero (whom he deceived with negotiations while he secretly evacuated his forces) and Scipio (by retreating in the right moment in Baecula). He was still trying to perform one in the Metaurus when his luck finally abandoned him.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Capua is portrayed a a city of pathetic hedonists, and even Hannibal himself is disgusted by it when he allies himself to them. However, he ends up adopting some of their lifestyle, which is said to be part of his downfall.
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: Tiburna, widow of the Saguntine chief Murrus, does a verbal variation of this in the city.

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The ''Punica'' is Silius Italicus's only surviving work, possibly the first great HistoricalFiction about the UsefulNotes/PunicWars. It is a Latin EpicPoem in seventeen books, the longest ever found in that language, and serves as a sequel of sorts to Literature/TheAeneid.

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!!The trilogy provides the examples of:
* AdaptationalBadass: Hannibal's army in real life was your typical period Carthaginian force, meaning it was probably composed by Punic officers and several bodies of Numidians, Libyans, Mauritanians and a handful of tribes of Spaniards and Gauls, complete with horses and elephants. Its portrayal in the ''Punica'', however, is massively diverse, amazingly well equipped and led by many national heroes, and it contains not only the aforementioned, but also troops of all kinds and almost every nationality considered minimally exotic at the time: Nubians, Ethiopians, Greeks, Lebanese and peoples from just every corner of Hispania, and it includes even warrior women and war chariots.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Silius doesn't hide the fact that he is naturally telling a pro-Roman story, so he tends to paint things in the most heroic light possible for Rome and the most villainous one for Carthage. The work also features loads and loads of the RuleOfCool and AdaptationExpansion expected in an EpicPoem, though in this case we cannot safely attest how much Silius is embellishing, tweaking or just plain making up, given that many ancient chronicles and books about the Second Punic Wars which he might have used for research have not survived.

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