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Full description for Thebaid

  • 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.