Silius Italicus (sĭ`lēo͝os` ĭtă`lĭko͝os), A.D. 25–A.D. 101, Latin poet. An orator and state functionary, Silius was made consul in A.D. 68 and proconsul in Asia Minor in A.D. 77. Retiring to his estate near Naples, he purchased the villas of Cicero and Vergil and made them into museums. His epic on the second Punic war, Punica, an imitation of Vergil's Aeneid, is the longest surviving Latin poem.