Beginning of Doom: Statius Thebaid 5.499-753. Introduction, Text, Commentary

Jorn Soerink

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    Jörn Soerink’s dissertation, titled Beginning of Doom. Statius Thebaid 5.499-753. Introduction, Text, Commentary, investigates the background and significance of the story of Opheltes alias Archemorus in the Thebaid (‘Song of Thebes’): a monumental epic poem on the fraternal strife between Eteocles and Polynices, the sons of Oedipus, composed by the Roman poet Publius Papinius Statius, who flourished during the reign of emperor Domitian (81-96 AD) and who, in the Middle Ages and beyond, was considered one of the greatest poets of ancient Rome.
    In the 19th and 20th centuries, Statius’ Thebaid has often been criticised for its supposed lack of unity. The story of Opheltes has been accused of not being well integrated in the epic as a whole. My dissertation shows that the story of Opheltes has deep roots in the literary tradition and was also part of earlier Greek treatments of the myth. It also argues that the episode is an organic part of the Thebaid, as it mirrors its central themes and motifs, while Opheltes’ death – with which the tragic story reaches its climax – has symbolic significance for the entire poem.
    In addition to an extensive Introduction, my dissertation offers a scholarly commentary on the second half of the fifth book (5.499-753), which discusses not only philological issues, but also Statius’ sophisticated intertextual engagement with his literary predecessors, including Euripides and Vergil.
    Translated title of the contributionBegin van de ondergang: Statius Thebais 5.499-753. Inleiding, Tekst, Commentaar
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Nauta, Ruurd, Supervisor
    • Lovatt, H.V. (Helen), Co-supervisor, External person
    Award date27-Nov-2014
    Place of Publication[S.l.]
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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