Scenes of Departure (F. Ripoll)

Scenes of departure by sea are present in all the extant epics from the Odyssey to the Punica of Silius, even when the main narrative does not involve sea-faring, like in the Thebaid of Statius.

The aim of this paper is to examine the growth of this topos, from the brief scenes of Homer to the lengthy passages of Latin epic, the incorporation of elegiac elements from Ovid onwards (and the subsequent problem of the "elegization" of epic and / or "epicization" of elegy), the rewritings and reinterpretations of some motives (sailing maneuvers, point of view of the narrator, individual or collective weeping, disappearance of the ship or the land, presence or absence of religious elements, status of the leader etc.) and to specify the narrative, structural and symbolical functions of such scenes.