Publius Papinius Statius: Thebaid (2035 words)


The best known work of the poet Publius Papinius Statius (c. 45-96 CE), the Thebaid is an epic poem written in twelve books of Latin hexameter verse (9741 lines). The subject is the mythical war between the brothers Polynices and Eteocles for the throne of the Greek city of Thebes. In book 1, Oedipus curses his sons Eteocles and Polynices and condemns them to fight for his throne. The brothers agree to alternate yearly rule of the city. Polynices leaves Thebes for Argos, whose king Adrastus welcomes him and engages him to his daughter Argia. The couple are married in book 2, along with Polynices’ new-found friend Tydeus who marries Adrastus’ other daughter Deipyle. Tydeus then proceeds to Thebes to demand the throne from …

Citation: Bernstein, Neil. "Thebaid". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 February 2013 [, accessed 21 September 2020.]

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