Sunday, November 28, 2021

Digital Statius: The Achilleid

Over the last forty years or so, our understanding and appreciation of the Latin literature of the Flavian age have been radically improved. Among all the writers involved in this influential, complex and ongoing process of re-evaluation, Publius Papinius Statius (40-96 CE) has enjoyed what may be fairly described as a renaissance. Today his stock is high, as attested by the publication of a regular stream of monographs, commentaries, translations and editions of his three surviving works, the Thebaid, the Silvae and the Achilleid.

It seems fair to say that of the three, it is the last that has received the least attention. Its incomplete state (only the first book and 167 verses were complete at the time of the poet's death) lies at the heart of the matter, but the radical change in style from the Thebaid has also certainly contributed to the poem's reception, at least until recently, when its status as a kind of fragment and its quirky and partially Ovidian manner, its generic ambivalence and its remarkably complex allusivity have come to be seen as distinctly positive features of a text that still requires further study. On the digital front, recent years have seen the timid beginnings of what is surely destined to become a major trend, the preparation of open access, high quality, online critical editions of Greek and Latin texts. Two excellent examples are the edition of Catullus Online prepared by Professor D. Kiss of the University of Barcelona ( and that of Callimachus' Aetia by Professor S. Stephens of Stanford University (

This site is devoted to produce a full open access critical edition of the Achilleid. When complete, in addition to a new critical text the site will contain translations, images of the largest possible number of manuscripts and links to all the manuscripts that are available online elsewhere, and further links to major online, open access research tools in the field of Classics. It is our aim to explore the ways in which new technologies can combine with the established techniques and the high standards of traditional classical philology, and in doing so to offer to the scholarly community an enriched edition of Statius' Achilleid located within the rapidly evolving network of digital tools being developed for the study and teaching of Latin literature.

Keen to share our current research and data with users, we are constructing a platform that will continue to evolve as our ongoing work develops. Concerning the apparatus criticus (cf. the website page called “The Poem”), at the moment the site only displays a sample of the lessons covering lines 1-19 of the first book, taken from many witnesses that have not been studied or taken into account in earlier editions of the poem, even by the most recent edition: Papinius Statius: Thebaid and Achilleid, ed. and transl. by Hall J.B., Ritchie A.L., Edwards M.J., 3 vols., Newcastle 2007-2008. In the apparatus, we have employed the usual abbreviations; in addition, by the sign /, we have indicated the cases where a character is illegible due to deletion and / or correction; by the sign [---], we have indicated that the character(s) are missing due to a physical accident (tearing of the page, for example); by the sign?, that we still hesitate over our reading. This is a first attempt at the visualisation of a high number of witnesses and, as such, it is very much a work in progress. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or suggestions at :

The research carried out to produce this website was made possible thanks to the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) who has financed two consecutive projects: Towards a digital edition of the Achilleid of Statius, (2016-2019) and Digital Statius: the Achilleid, (2019-2021).

The Poem

The Manuscripts

Dilke’s Interactive Apparatus

The Website

The Team

The Events




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