This thesis consists of a translation of and commentary on the twelfth century Latin poem Mathematicus (otherwise known as De Patricida) (Vol. I) and a study of its literary contexts (Vol. II). This poem links the declamatory tradition handed down from the rhetorical schools of antiquity with the nascent secular drama of the twelfth century. At another level, it shows the continuation of the allegoresis of Virgil and the special place of Aenied VI in this tradition, making a connexion between Virgil and Dante. It opens up questions as to the survival of Stoic ideas, not only those incorporated in Christian dogma, and exposes the prominent place of the mythical figure of Hercules in the consciousness of the time. A study of the re-working of this and associated declamatory material by twelfth century poets gives insight into poetic craft at the time and outside of time, and a preliminary study of the manuscript tradition gives information on the literary culture in which the poem was copied.