Latin poetry

Dr Ruth Parkes | Dr Magdalena Öhrman

Latin Poetry

A key area of interest is epic, especially Latin epic. Ovid’s Metamorphoses is an ongoing area of interest for Öhrman (in her project on textiles and literature) and Parkes (looking at the work’s reception in later hexameter texts). The research of Parkes also encompasses Flavian epic (particularly Statius’ epics), the late Antique hexameter output of Claudian, and the reception of the epic tradition in the Middle Ages and beyond.

The cluster has pursued an approach of working within the creative arts sector to advise upon the performance, use, reception and historical context of Classical literature. This approach has sought to develop the cultural capital and historical texture of artists’ work and enhance understanding and appreciation for their audiences. 

Projects are in development under the EU Horizon 2020 programme and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

The Flavian epic network.   http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/Fen/index.aspx

The Flavian Epic Network (FEN) has approximately 100 members in at least 13 countries, all of whom are engaged in research on at least one of the Flavian epic poets. We aim to do four main things:

  • run an e-mail discussion list to allow members to communicate with each other,
  • organise a series of events on Flavian epic and its reception, 
  • publish reports and edited volumes from the events, 
  • set up a collaborative web-site on which members can post work in progress.

 The main current areas of research interest in the network are:

  • the relationship between epic poetry and Flavian culture (literary, political, material, visual etc.),
  • the interactions between the three epic poets and their poems (e.g. the Argonautica in the Thebaid, the Thebaid and the Punica),
  • the reception and influence of Flavian epic and what it reveals about the workings of literary history, and the construction of canons. 

Parkes. R. Statius, Thebaid IV. Edited with a translation and commentary (2012, OUP; 357 pages)


A detailed commentary on Book 4 of Statius’ epic Thebaid, accompanied by an introduction, translation, text and apparatus criticus. 


Parkes, R. ‘Chthonic Ingredients and Thematic Concerns. The Shaping of the Necromancy in the Thebaid’ , in Ritual and Religionin Flavian Epic ed. A. Augoustakis (OUP, 2013), 165-80

This paper sets the necromancy of Thebaid 4 in its literary context and argues that Statius draws on his predecessors’ underworld scenes in a way that responds to the themes of his poem.


Parkes,R. ‘The Long Road to Thebes: The Geography of Journeys in Statius’ Thebaid’, in Geography, Topography, Landscape: Configurations of Space in Greek and Roman Epic, edd. I. Ziogas and M. Skempis, Trends in Classics. Supplementary Volumes (DeGruyter, 2013), 405-26.


This paper examines journeys in the Thebaid, focussing upon their length, the manner of their description, and the ways in which previous trips are covered.


Complete publications: 

Statius, Thebaid IV. Edited with a translation and commentary (2012, OUP: Oxford Classical Monographs series)
 
‘Men from before the moon: the relevance of Statius Thebaid 4.275-84 to Parthenopaeus and his Arcadian contingent’, Classical Philology 100.4 (2005), 358-365
 
‘Model Youths? Achilles and Parthenopaeus in Claudian’s Panegyrics on the Third and Fourth Consulships of Honorius’, Illinois Classical Studies 30(2005), 67-82
 
‘Where was Hercules? A Note on Aeneid 8.201-212’, Vergilius 53 (2007), 100-103
 
‘The Return of the Seven: Allusion to the Thebaid in Statius’ Achilleid’, American Journal of Philology 129.3 (2008), 381-402
 
‘Hercules and the Centaurs: Reading Statius with Vergil and Ovid’, Classical Philology 104.4(2009), 476-494
 
‘Who’s the father? Biological and literary inheritance in Statius’ Thebaid’,Phoenix 63(2009), 24-37
 
‘Sed tardum (Ach. 1.47): Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica as prequel to Statius’ Achilleid’, Materiali e discussioni 63 (2009), 107-113
 
‘Dealing with ghosts: literary assertion in Statius’ Thebaid’, Ramus 39.1 (2010), 14-23
 
‘Tantalus’ Crime, Argive Guilt and Desecration of the Flesh in Statius’ Thebaid’, Scholia 20 (2011), 79-91
 
‘The Deidamia Achilli: An Eleventh Century Statian-Ovidian Epistle’, International Journal of the Classical Tradition 18.1 (2011), 19-35
 
‘Chthonic ingredients and thematic concerns: the shaping of the necromancy in Statius’ Thebaid’ , in Ritual and Religion in Flavian Epic ed. A. Augoustakis (OUP, 2013), 165-80
 
‘The Long Road to Thebes: The Geography of Journeys in Statius’ Thebaid’, in Geography, Topography, Landscape: Configurations of Space in Greek and Roman Epic, edd. I. Ziogas and M. Skempis, Trends in Classics. Supplementary Volumes (DeGruyter, 2013), 405-26.
 
‘Reading Statius through a biographical lens’, in Brill’s Companion to Statius edited by C. E. Newlands,  W.  J. Domink and K. Gervais, forthcoming
 
‘The epics of Statius and Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica’, Brill's Companion to Valerius Flaccus edd. M. Heerink and G. Manuwald (Leiden: Brill, 2014), 326-339
 
‘The 'Argonautic' expedition of the Argives: models of heroism in Statius' Thebaid' CQ 64.2 (2014), 778-86