Thebaid

Thebaid

Hardback The World's Classics

By (author) Publius Papinius Statius, Volume editor David W.T. Vessey, Translated by A.D. Melville

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  • Publisher: Clarendon Press
  • Format: Hardback | 428 pages
  • Dimensions: 143mm x 224mm x 30mm | 680g
  • Publication date: 1 October 1992
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0198147821
  • ISBN 13: 9780198147824
  • Illustrations note: 2 maps

Product description

This is a new translation of the Thebaid of Publius Papinius Statius, an epic poem in twelve books, completed in about AD 90. The Thebaid has been thought by many to stand second only to Virgil among Latin narrative poems. Its theme is the war between Eteocles and Polynices, sons of Oedipus, for the throne of Thebes. Rich in incident and always dramatic in tone, it unfolds a panorama of human ambition and violence, triumph and catastrophe. Though remaining within the Homeric and Virgilian tradition, it achieves its own power and vitality in thought, language, and description. Held in high esteem and widely imitated in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the Thebaid of Statius is not only a masterpiece of poetry but a compelling story, at times horrifying, noble, and pathetic, of humankind bound by the power of Fate.

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Review quote

'he has refined his technique to produce an elegant and readable version of the Thebaid ... the tone and style of Melville's translation mirror admirably the mood and power of the original ... Importantly, the translation reads easily ... it is without doubt the best one yet published, for he conveys better than any previous translator the tone, diction, style and imagery of the Thebaid. This handsomely produced book is a welcome addition to studies on Statius and will serve to increase the awareness among scholars and teachers of one of the finest postclassical poets' Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Table of contents

Introduction; Select Bibliography; Translator's Note; Summary of the Poem; The Principal Characters; Books I - XII; Note on the notes; Notes; Glossary.