Трагическая визуализация образовательного пространства Фив в «Фиваиде» Стация
The Thebaid by Publius Papinius Statius is the most extensive surviving account of the war started by the sons of the Theban king Oedipus – Eteocles and Polynices. This fratricidal war is a crime that Statius wants to tell the reader
about, having established himself in the role of a moralizing poet who is equally Roman and Greek. In the case of Oedipus’ children, the war is a divine instruction-punishment that mortals cannot or do not want to prevent. Eteocles
and Polynices, as described by Statius, are young men evil by nature, experiencing the innate hatred of each other and lust for power. Having mixed the genres, Statius created a new version of the mythological events, which both ancient Greek and ancient Roman playwrights turned to. In his version, Eteocles and Polynices are not the last generation to whom the curse passed. Though the curse descended on the male line among the descendants of the Theban king Laius, it inevitably affected the female line as well. As if giving Eteocles and Polynices a chance to become better, Statius keeps delaying the beginning of the war, which allows Polynices to have a baby who is destined to become the fourth generation of the “wicked family”. Statius does not report on the fate of this child, giving readers the right to decide for themselves whether he will become the next pedagogical fiasco or turn into a pedagogical victory over the curse of the House of Laius. The article also analyzes the terminology
used by Statius and Hyginus regarding the burial of Polynices – one of the key points of the plot. To refer to the funeral pyre, Hyginus uses the word «pyra» borrowed from Greek (πυρά). Statius chooses to use the Latin word «bustum» to refer to the funeral pyre of Eteocles, where Antigone and Argia place the body of Polynices. The scene of Antigone and Argia burying Polynices, described by Statius and Hyginus, is reproduced on a marble sarcophagus dating back to late II AD (Villa Doria Pamphilj). The fact that the version of Antigone and Argia buried Polynices was not invented in the Roman times but is rooted in an ancient Greek tradition going back to the archaic period is confirmed by the artifacts from material culture: for example, a sarcophagus from Corinth dating from the middle of the second century AD, which demonstrates a classical Greek influence, and an Etruscan amphora dating from approx. 550 BC (Basel: Inv. Züst 209), which depicts a combat between Polynices and Tydeus that Argia and her sister Deipyle watched.