Statius and the Thebaid

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More About This Textbook


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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521147514
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/24/2010
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,397,967
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Introduction; 1. The Silvae and Statius' art; 2. The Thebaid: basis and form; 3. Figures of ira and pietas; 4. The defeat of Adrastus; 5. The Argives at Nemea; 6. Statius and epic convention; 7. Statius and the supernatural; 8. Peacemakers and warmongers; Appendix; Bibliography; Index of passages cited; General index.

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