This paper considers two scenes in Books 15 and 16 of the Punica of Silius Italicus: Hasdrubal’s celebration of the founding of Carthage with the ecphrasis of the general’s cloak (Sil. 15,410–440) and Scipio’s visit to the court of King Syphax (16,170–276). For both passages there are important reference texts in scenes of Vergil’s Aeneid and Statius’ Thebaid that have until now received no, or not enough, attention: Aeneas’ visit to the future Rome ( Aen. 8,102–553) and the sacrifice of Eteocles ( Theb. 11,205–238). After a brief assessment of the historiographical basis, I set out the influence in content and language of these reference texts on the two scenes. Further, I consider the adaptation of other epic pre-texts in the ecphrasis of Hasdrubal’s cloak and propose a new interpretation: the ecphrasis links Hasdrubal to Ganymede, Polyphemus and Cacus, and Scipio with Jupiter, Odysseus and Hercules. The study highlights positive and negative aspects of the pre-texts and shows the ambivalent characterisation of Silius’ Scipio, who is associated both with positive figures (Hercules and Aeneas) and with the sinister Polynices. The shared reference of the two scenes of the Punica has a linking, framing and preparatory function.