Statius and the Thebaid

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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-06-24
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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A critical study of Statius' Thebaid, Dr Vessey combats the common notion that the Thebaid is simply an exercise in anachronism, an episodic narrative of the Theban saga. He shows that the poem can and indeed must be read as an elaborate and sustained allegory of the emotions - a study in the extremes of human behaviour. Within this interpretation those features of the epic which have seemed bizarre or superfluous to many critics fall into place as organic and necessary to the poet's purpose. We can moreover see why Statius enjoyed such esteem and influence among writers like Dante, Chaucer and Spenser. Dr Vessey succeeds in situating Statius in both the ancient and European literary traditions; he argues that his importance in both should be recognised. His study should be valuable for classicists and for medievalists alike.

Table of Contents

The Silvae and Statius' art
The Thebaid: basis and form
Figures of ira and pietas
The defeat of Adrastus
The Argives at Nemea
Statius and epic convention
Statius and the supernatural
Peacemakers and warmongers
Index of passages cited
General index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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