Silver Latin is an epoch of Latin literature which is directly connected with the Golden Latin. The Silver Latin is dated approximately 17 AD to AD 117, with the end point being linked to the death of the first Roman Emperor Trajan. If the previous epoch was described as golden, it means that Latin literature had its linguistic climax, which was expressed in prose, epic, lyric, and numerous elegies. The following epoch, now oriented to the products of the Golden Latin – no longer to the classical Greek models – which is why their content is sometimes described as coarser and the linguistic and stylistic level as lower.
The term reveals a frequent evaluation system, as is shown, for example, by medals in sport. The golden one is regarded as the highest and the silver as the successor and thus second place. Thus, the productions and abilities of the Latin poets between 81st and (Latin Latin) was raised to the ideal, whereby the image is conveyed that later works do not reach this state. Such a presentation is decadent (see Fin de Siècle).
This period is characterized by an increasing rhetoric of literary products. The prose is characterized above all by historical and philosophical works, and also the rhetoric and the sciences are honored with numerous works. The poetry is traversed by an epigonal epic and numerous satires, and the epigram and the fable are also important contributions. In addition, the tragedies of the playwright and philosopher Seneca (1 – 65 AD) play a major role in the Silver Latin.
Seneca, Velleius, Paterculus and Tacitus, who are mainly influenced by philosophical and historical works, are regarded as very distinctive poets and thinkers. Quintilian, who is considered a master of rhetoric, emphasized the importance of Cicero for the entire Latin prose in his principal institution, Instituto Oratoria, which was regarded as the essential model of the epoch. In the epic, Lukan and Silius are to be mentioned, and many of Phaedrus’s fables and Martial’s epigrams are handed down.Silver and Golden Latinity as a time-beam.