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What isn't epic? Very little it seems. This claim can be made confidently from a cursory contemplation of the range of the literature that is normally termed as epic and that is surviving from antiquity. Epic could vary in length from approximately 408 lines (Catullus's sixty-fourth poem) to approximately 9,894 lines (Virgil's Aeneid). Its themes could range from the comic or parodic (there is a whole subgenre in Greek devoted to this theme: the Batrachomyomachia or the Margites are typical) to the heroic (Homer's Iliad or Virgil's Aeneid, for example), from the 'religious' (such as the Homeric Hymns) to the philosophical (Lucretius's On the Nature of the Universe), from the annalistic historical epic (Ennius's Annales) to the didactic (Virgil's Georgics or Manilius's Astronomica), from the romantic (Virgil's Aeneid Book 4) to the militaristic (Silius Italicus's Punica). Epic, it seems, was the most capacious of genres. This simple observation is something that matches the occasional descriptions of the genre from antiquity, such as those of Quintilian (Institutio oratoria, 10.1.46-50) or Manilius (the beginning of the second book of his Astronomica). Given the thematic diversity of these poems, it is very hard to be prescriptive about the timbre of Roman (or Greek) epic, let alone to pin down a precise essence of such ancient poetry. There would be little value in saying, for example, that Roman (or ancient) epic poetry was serious, or that it was very long, or that it was just about kings and battles. It clearly was not.