• Veronica Valenti


Statius and Amphiaraus: the esoteric effects of the word

The analysis begins with a comparison between the version of the myth of Amphiaraus, as presented in the Thebaid of Statius, and the image of Amphiaraus which is to be found in the previous tradition. In sources earlier than Statius the vates is swallowed in a hiatus opened into the ground by Zeus, in order to avoid Amphiaraus being the object of violence; in Statius,
instead, Amphiaraus, immersed in the depths of the earth, is removed from the horizontality of the shared world, not to be an agent of violence.
In this paper the author juxtaposes the figure of Amphiaraus to two other characters of the Thebaid, Menoeceus and Capaneus, who, unable as the vates to metabolize the shared world, are induced to a vertical delirium. Through his ‘de-lirious’ characters, Statius lives the valenti-abstract-img_52 of the common sense, but, contrary to Amphiaraus, Menoeceus and Capaneus,
the author of the Thebaid tries not to lose contact with the world
thanks to his possession of the poetic word, which allows him to wander
vertically and, at the same time, to live the horizontality.