Pablius Papinius Statius

(45 - 96 / Latin)

Pablius Papinius Statius
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Statius was a Latin poet, born in Naples in 45 AD. His father, a Greek and a teacher of rhetoric, immigrated to Naples in the first half of the first century. Statius was something of a child prodigy, quicking rising to fame as a poet. Since his father taught members of the senatorial class, his skills became known to the upper classes.

From his boyhood he had won many poetic contests in Naples, three times in Alba, where he received the golden crown from the hand of the emperor Domitian. But, in 94 AD at the great Capitoline competition Statius failed to win the coveted chaplet of oak leaves. No doubt the extraordinary popularity of his Thebais had led him to regard himself as... more »

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Best Poem of Pablius Papinius Statius

Thebais - Book Two

Now Jove’s Command fulfill’d, the Son of May
Quits the black Shades and slowly mounts to Day.
For lazy Clouds in gloomy Barriers rise,
Obstruct the God, and intercept the Skies;
No Zephyrs here their airy pinions move,
To spread his progress to the Realms above.
Scarce can he steer his dark laborious Flight,
Lost and encumber’d in the Damps of Night:
There roaring Tides of Fire his Course withstood,
Here Styx in nine wide Circles roll’d his Flood.
Behind old Laius trod th’ infernal Ground,
Trembling with Age, and tardy from his Wound;
(For all ...

Read the full of Thebais - Book Two