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The role of kingship in Statius' Thebaid

Hulls, J-M; (2007) The role of kingship in Statius' Thebaid. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis analyses Statius'' Thebaid and the relationship it creates with VirgiVs Aeneid and the emperor Domitian. The poem constructs itself as a competing source of authority, both poetic and ideological. The poem aims to supersede Virgil's masterpiece as a poetic authority whilst providing Domitian with imperial, and in particular, regal ideology. The thesis examines three key qualities, virtus pietas and dementia in this regard, showing the manner in which Virgilian and Augustan interpretations are undermined and new understandings of these ideas are provided for Domitian's principate. The thesis then examines the role tyranny and tyrannical behaviour plays in the poem. The Thebaid portrays tyranny in unusual ways and promotes surprising responses to tyrannical rule. Throughout the poem, Statius is working to provide his audience, especially Domitian, with an educational framework for understanding models of kingship Domitian should learn from the negative examples the Thebaid provides. Statius uses the Thebaid as a step in a poetic oeuvre whose design is nothing less than to make the poet himself powerful by becoming the poetic voice on which his emperor depends.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The role of kingship in Statius' Thebaid
Identifier: PQ ETD:593337
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest. Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis. Images identifying individuals have been redacted or partially redacted to protect their identity.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1446011
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