Damoetas wrote:Good question: Statius was very popular in Medieval and Renaissance times, and most Latinists then ranked him among the best of Latin poets. His fortunes have seriously declined since then.... I don't remember the reasons, but I know that G. B. Conte has an interesting discussion of Statius' reception in his Latin Literature: A History. I don't have my copy with me at the moment; but if I get time later, I'll post a summary of the salient points.
Just glanced at the section on "reception" on Google Books.
Conte notes that the Thebaid is "an epic that was probably copied more often in the Middle Ages than it has been read in modern times." Apparently, "the Thebaid was appreciated by medieval readers for its allegorical personifications and for its stark moral conflict between the forces of good on Olympus and those of evil in the Underworld."
However, he doesn't posit any reason for the decline: "Statius contnued to influence Renaissance occasional lyric and, to a far lesser extent, epic, but his forutunes began an inexorable decline that has continued to our own days."
I have not read Statius, but I allegorical personifications and stark moral conflicts aren't the kind of thing most readers are interested in nowadays.