Statius published his "Thebaid" in the last decade of the first century. This epic recounting the struggle between the two sons of Oedipus for the kingship of Thebes is his masterpiece, a stirring exploration of the passions of civil war. The extant portion of his unfinished "Achilleid" is strikingly different in tone: this second epic begins as a charming account of Achilles' life. Statius was raised in the Greek cultural milieu of the Bay of Naples, and his Greek literary education is reflected in his poetry. The political realities of Rome in the first century are also evident in the "Thebaid", in representations of authoritarian power and the drive for domination. This is the first part of a two-volume edition of the epics, with a freshly edited Latin text facing an English translation.