Statius Poems

Poems » statius

Publius Papinius Statius (ca. 45-96) was a Roman poet of the Silver Age of Latin literature, born in Naples, Italy. Besides his poetry, he is best known for his appearance as a major character in the Purgatory section of Dante's epic poem The Divine Comedy. He was born to a family of Graeco-Campanian origin, impoverished, but not without political distinctions. The poet's father taught with marked success at Naples and Rome, and from boyhood to adulthood he proved himself a champion in the poetic tournaments which formed an important part of the amusements of the early empire. The younger Statius declares that his father was in his time equal to any literary task, whether in prose or verse. He mentioned Mevania, and may have spent time there, or been impressed by the confrontation of Vitellius and Vespasian in 69. Probably, the poet inherited a modest competence and was not beneath begging his bread from wealthy patrons. He certainly wrote poems to order (as Silvae, i.1, 2, ii.7, and iii.4), but there is no indication that the material return for them was important to him, in spite of an allusion in Juvenal's seventh satire.

to sleep
What is the charge, young god, what have I done
Alone to be denied, in desperate straits,
... [read poem]
Continue in Donald Justice »»»

Page 1 of 1