Statius' Thebaid and the Poetics of Civil War
Cambridge University Press, Feb 8, 2007 - History
This study focuses on ways in which Statius' epic Thebaid, a poem about the civil war between Oedipus' sons Eteocles and Polynices, reflects the theme of internal discord in its narrative strategies. At the same time that Statius reworks the Homeric and Virgilian epic traditions, he engages with Hellenistic poetic ideals as exemplified by Callimachus and the Roman Callimachean poets, especially Ovid. The result is a tension between the impulse towards the generic expectations of warfare and the desire for delay and postponement of such conflict. Ultimately, Statius adheres to the mythic paradigm of the mutual fratricide, but he continues to employ competing strategies that call attention to the fictive nature of any project of closure and conciliation. In the process, the poem offers a new mode of epic closure that emphasises individual means of resolution.
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Achilles adjective Adrastus Aeneas Aeneid Aetia aetiological aetion alludes allusions Altar Amphiaraus Apollo Argia Argive Argos arma Asopus Augustan Augustus Barchiesi battle beneﬁt Callimachean Callimachus calls attention Cambridge Capaneus catalogue Catullus chthonic civil clementia closure conﬂict Coroebus created Cyclopes Delarue delay depiction discusses divine ekphrasis Ennius epic episode Eteocles Feeney ﬁght ﬁgure ﬁnal ﬁrst ﬂame Flavian Gigantomachy gods Greek Hardie Harmonia Hecale Hercules hero Hippomedon Homeric hymn Iliad inﬂuence Jupiter Jupiter’s kaŠ Linus literary Lucan Mars martial Massimilla mentions Metamorphoses Moreover Morton Braund 1996 myth mythic narrative interest necklace Nemea Olympian Opheltes Ovid Ovid’s Oxford Parthenopaeus poem poet poetic poetry Polynices proem Propertius Python recalls reﬂects river Roman Rome scene seventh book shield signiﬁcant Silv Silvae simile Smolenaars 1994 speciﬁcally Statius story suggests Telchines Theb Thebaid Theban Thebes themes Theseus tibi Tisiphone tradition Turnus Tydeus underworld Venus verses Vessey Virgil Virgilian Vulcan words