Statius

/stay"shee euhs/, n.
Publius Papinius /pub"lee euhs peuh pin"ee euhs/, A.D. c45-c96, Roman poet.

* * *

▪ Roman poet
in full  Publius Papinius Statius 
born AD 45, Neapolis, Italy
died 96, probably Neapolis?

      one of the principal Roman epic and lyric poets of the Silver Age of Latin literature (AD 18–133). His occasional poems, collected under the title Silvae (“Forests”), apart from their literary merit, are valuable for their description of the life style of a wealthy and fashionable class—the liberti—during the reign of the emperor Domitian.

      His father was also a poet, and Statius seems to have been trained as one from childhood. Little is known of his life. He lived at Rome and was a court poet under Domitian, who awarded him a prize in 89 or 90. He was, however, unsuccessful in the Capitoline competition at Rome, probably on its third celebration in 94, and shortly afterward returned to Neapolis.

      The role of court poet seems to have suited Statius, who used without scruple the flattery that was inevitable under Domitian and exploited it in a way that suited his own nature. He was talented, and his poetic expression, despite its faults, is rich, buoyant, and felicitous.

      Statius is at his best in the five books of the Silvae. Of the 32 poems, five are devoted to flattery of the Emperor and his favourites. Another group gives picturesque descriptions of the villas and gardens of his friends, members of an acquisitive and ostentatious class who surrounded themselves with art works and antiques and patronized the poet in return for his versified praises. There is a striking description of the gifts and amusements provided by the Emperor for the Roman populace at the Saturnalia, the festival of the winter solstice, and his birthday ode honouring the poet Lucan has, along with the usual exaggerations, some good lines and shows an appreciation of earlier Latin poets. Also estimable are poems dealing with family affection and personal loss and one poem to sleep.

      Statius completed one epic, the 12-book Thebaid, but only two books of another, the Achilleid. The Thebaid, a more ambitious work, describes the struggle of the brothers Polyneices and Eteocles for the throne of the ancient Greek city of Thebes. It has many features borrowed from Virgil, but suffers from overstatement and exaggeration. The work begins and ends, however, with passages that convey an atmosphere of dramatic tension and considerable tragic power. The Achilleid gives a charming account of the early education of Achilles, but at the point at which he is taken off to Troy by Odysseus, the poem was evidently interrupted by the poet's death. There is an edition of Statius' works with an English translation by J.H. Mozley in the Loeb Classical Library, 2 vol. (1928).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • STATIUS — Poeta Comicus, qui Caecilius dictus est. Cicero in Bruto: c. 74. Mitto C. Laelium. P. Scipionem. Aetatis illius ista suit laus, tamquam innocentiae, sic Latine loquendi; non omnium tamen, nam illorum aequales Caecilium, et Pacuvium male locutos… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Statius — ist der Name folgender Personen: Caecilius Statius (um 200 v. Chr.), römischer Dichter Martin Statius (1589–1655), deutscher evangelischer Theologe Publius Papinius Statius (1. Jahrhundert n. Chr.), römischer Dichter Siehe auch Stadius …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Statĭus — Statĭus, 1) Publius Papinius, röm. Dichter, um 45–96 n. Chr., aus Neapel, dort von seinem Vater, der selbst Dichter war, gebildet, erwarb früh durch sein poetisches Talent, namentlich im Improvisieren, Beifall und mehrfach den Preis in… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Statius — Statĭus, Cäcilius, s. Cäcilius Statius …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Statĭus [1] — Statĭus, war Anfangs bei den Römern ein Sklavenname (so Cäcilius S.), später erst wurde er ein Beiname (z.B. Cölius S.). Bekannt sind bes.: 1) Cäcilius S., aus Gallia cisalpina, kam als Sklav nach Rom, wo er sich durch seine Bildung viel Freunde …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Statĭus [2] — Statĭus (Estaco), Achilles, geb. 1524 in Vidigueira; diente im portugiesischen Heere, widmete sich dann den Wissenschaften, lebte abwechselnd in Frankreich, den Niederlanden u. Italien u. st. 1581 in Rom. Er gab heraus Ciceros Schriften De fato,… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Statius [2] — Statĭus, Publius Papinius, röm. Dichter, geb. um 45 n. Chr. zu Neapel, gest. um 96; verfaßte die epischen Gedichte »Thebais« (hg. von Helm, 1892; deutsch von Imhof, 1885 89) und »Achilleis« (hg. von Klotz, 1902), sowie Gelegenheitsgedichte… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Statius [1] — Statius, Cäcilius, altröm. Komödiendichter, gebürtig aus Insubrien, st. ein Jahr nach Ennius 586 a. U; er arbeitete vorzugsweise nach Menander und soll die komische Kraft desselben mehr als Terenz erreicht haben. Dem Titel nach sind 45 Komödien… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Statius [2] — Statius, Publius Papinius, einer der besten Dichter der röm. Kaiserzeit, geb. 61 n. Chr. zu Neapel, wurde in Rom, wo er anfangs in Dürftigkeit lebte, als geistreich er Improvisator bekannt, schmeichelte dem Domitian in Gelegenheitsgedichten u.… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Statius [3] — Statius, latinisirter Name des Achill Estaco, eines ausgezeichneten Philologen im 16. Jahrh.; geb. 1524 zu Vidigunira in Portugal aus vornehmem Geschlechte, früh als Offizier in Ostindien, durch die Liebe zur Wissenschaft nach Europa… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Statius — [stā′shē əs, stā′shəs] Publius Papinius [pub′lē əs pə pin′ē əs] A.D. 45? 96?; Rom. poet …   English World dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.