Publius Papinius Statius


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Statius, Publius Papinius

(pŭb`lēəs pəpĭn`ēəs stā`shəs), c.A.D. 45–c.A.D. 96, Latin poet, b. Naples. A favorite of Emperor DomitianDomitian
(Titus Flavius Domitianus) , A.D. 51–A.D. 96, Roman emperor (A.D. 81–A.D. 96), son of Vespasian. Although intended as the heir to his older brother, Titus, he was given no important posts.
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, he won the poetry prize at an annual festival under Domitian's auspices but later was an unsuccessful competitor at the Capitoline contest in Rome. His surviving works include two epics in the manner of Vergil—the Thebaid, on the Seven against ThebesSeven against Thebes,
in Greek legend, seven heroes—Polynices, Adrastus, Amphiaraüs, Hippomedon, Capaneus, Tydeus, and Parthenopaeus—who made war on Eteocles, king of Thebes.
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, and the Achilleid (incomplete), on the early life of Achilles—and the Silvae, a collection of poems, some displaying careful craftsmanship, others apparently hastily composed improvisations. Statius was much esteemed in his own time and through the Middle Ages.
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