The Thebaid of Publius Papinas Statius, an epic poem in twelve books completed in about A.D. 90, has been thought by many to stand second only to Virgil's work among Latin narrative poems. It is the account of 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. This new translation captures all power of the Latin original, demonstrating that the Thebaid 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.
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