How to Read a Latin Poem: If You Can't Read Latin Yet

ISBN : 9780198788126

William Fitzgerald
288 Pages
138 x 216 mm
Pub date
Aug 2016
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Latin is very much alive in the poetry written by the great Latin poets, and this book is about their poetry, their language, and their culture. Fitzgerald shows the reader with little or no knowledge of the Latin language how it works as a unique vehicle for poetic expression and thought. Moving between close analysis of particular Latin poems and more general discussions of Latin poets, literature, and society, Fitzgerald gives the un-Latined reader an insider's view of how Latin poetry feels and what makes it worth reading today. His book explores what can be said and done in a poetry and a language that are both very different from English and yet have profoundly influenced it. He takes the reader through the whole range of Latin poetry from the trivial, obscene, and vicious, to the sublime, the passionate, and the uplifting. Individual chapters focus on particular authors (such as Vergil and Horace) or on themes (love, hate, civil war), and together they explain why we should care about what the poets of ancient Rome had to say. If you have ever wondered what all the fuss was about, see for yourselves!


Guide to the Pronunciation of Latin
Prelude: To the Reader
1 Love, and a Genre
2 Hate, Mockery, and the Physical World
3 Horace: The Sensation of Mediocrity
4 Vergil: The Unclassical Classic
5 Lucan and Seneca: Poets of Apocalypse
6 Science Fiction: Lucretius' De Rerum Natura and Ovid's Metamorphoses
Guide to Further Reading

About the author: 

William Fitzgerald is Professor of Latin Language & Literature at King's College, London.

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