Statius, Publius Papinius (pŭbˈlēəs pəpĭnˈēəs stāˈshəs) [key], c.A.D. 45–c.A.D. 96, Latin poet, b. Naples. A favorite of Emperor Domitian, he won the poetry prize at an annual festival under Domitian's auspices but later was an unsuccessful competitor at the Capitoline contest in Rome. His surviving works include two epics in the manner of Vergil—the Thebaid, on the Seven against Thebes, and the Achilleid (incomplete), on the early life of Achilles—and the Silvae, a collection of poems, some displaying careful craftsmanship, others apparently hastily composed improvisations. Statius was much esteemed in his own time and through the Middle Ages.