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The Poems of Catullus (Joan Palevsky Book in Classical Literature)

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The Poems of Catullus (Joan Palevsky Book in Classical Literature) Cover

ISBN13: 9780520253865
ISBN10: 0520253868
Condition:
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Catullus, who lived during some of the most interesting and tumultuous years of the late Roman Republic, spent his short but intense life (?84-54 B.C.E.) in high Roman society, rubbing shoulders with various cultural and political luminaries, including Caesar, Cicero, and Pompey. Catullus's poetry is by turns ribald, lyric, romantic, satirical; sometimes obscene and always intelligent, it offers us vivid pictures of the poet's friends, enemies, and lovers. The verses to his friends are bitchy, funny, and affectionate; those to his enemies are often wonderfully nasty. Many poems brilliantly evoke his passionate affair with Lesbia, often identified as Clodia Metelli, a femme fatale ten years his senior and the smart, adulterous wife of an arrogant aristocrat. Cicero later claimed she poisoned her husband.

This new bilingual translation of Catullus's surviving poems by Peter Green is fresh, bawdy, and utterly engaging. Unlike its predecessors, it adheres to the principle that the rhythm of a poem, whether familiar or not, is among the most crucial elements for its full appreciation. Green provides an essay on the poet's life and literary background, a historical sketch of the politically fraught late Roman Republic in which Catullus lived, copious notes on the poems, a wide-ranging bibliography for further reading, and a full glossary.

Synopsis:

A randy and innovative translation of Catullus by a well-known translator and senior scholar. Includes Latin en face, an excellent introduction to Catullus' life and work (including a valuable description of how Green attempts to replicate the feel of Latin in his translations), helpful notes, and a glossary.

Synopsis:

"Peter Green is an outstanding translator. The readers excited anticipation of pleasure and instruction on receiving a new translation of a Latin poet by Green is not disappointed. This is a labor of love which makes Catullus accessible to the Latinless reader and more familiar to those who can read Latin."—Susan Treggiari, Stanford University

"For almost half a century Peter Green has been one of the finest of all modern translators of classical verse. His Catullus is well up to his usual form—recapturing for a contemporary audience the wit, malice, erudition and erotic charm of the Latin original."—Mary Beard, author of The Parthenon

About the Author

Peter Green is Dougherty Centennial Professor Emeritus of Classics at the University of Texas at Austin and Adjunct Professor of Classics at the University of Iowa. He is the author of many books, including Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography (California, 1991) and Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age (California, 1990). His translations include Ovid's The Poems of Exile: Tristia and the Black Sea Letters (California, 2005), Juvenal's The Sixteen Satires (third edition, 1998), and Apollonios Rhodios's The Argonautika: The Story of Jason and the Quest for the Golden Fleece (California, 1997).

Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

Abbreviations

Introduction

Life and Background

Lesbia/Clodia

The Literary Context

The Text: Arrangement and Transmission

Reception and Reinterpretation

Translation and Its Problems

The Catullan Meters

The Poems (1–116)

Explanatory Notes

Glossary

Bibliography

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Wendell Bowerman, September 4, 2011 (view all comments by Wendell Bowerman)
Catullus is a great Latin poet whose verse is astonishingly contemporary in the treatment of his themes of love and betrayal. Most of his poems are brief, less than 20 lines, and about a third of these are about his love affair with Lesbia, who is probably Clodia, a married woman from one of Rome's leading families. Other poems deal with his friendships and betrayals, including some delightful insults. In addition, there are eight longer poems, including two marriage songs, a poem about Attis who castrated himself for the goddess Cybele, a complex and gorgeous poem about the marriage of Peleus and Thetis, and No. 68, perhaps his most complex and personal poem. His shorter poems are often quite obscene, and older translations generally gloss over or omit his blunt expressions, so it is important to read a contemporary translation. I have read three of them that I can recommend: by G.P. Gould, Charles Martin, and this one, by Peter Green.

When it comes to reading poets in translation, I try to read more than one translation, because no translation is perfect, and comparing them can give you a better idea of the possibilities of the original. If you know anything of the original language, it is also helpful to have a bilingual version in order to get some sense of the sound and rhythm of the original. This translation, by Peter Green, is one of two best of those I read, and it also contains a comprehensive commentary, more extensive than either of the other two translations I used. A word of caution: None of the comments attached to this translation and to the Martin translation on Powell's site are about either of those versions.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780520253865
Author:
Catullus, Gaius Valerius
Publisher:
University of California Press
Translator:
Green, Peter
Author:
Green, Peter
Subject:
Ancient, Classical & Medieval
Subject:
General Poetry
Subject:
Classics-Medieval and Renaissance General
Subject:
Ancient & Classical
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Joan Palevsky Book in Classical Literature
Publication Date:
20070831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
359
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1 in 19 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Latin » Texts
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Medieval and Renaissance
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Poems of Catullus (Joan Palevsky Book in Classical Literature) New Trade Paper
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$34.95 In Stock
Product details 359 pages University of California Press - English 9780520253865 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A randy and innovative translation of Catullus by a well-known translator and senior scholar. Includes Latin en face, an excellent introduction to Catullus' life and work (including a valuable description of how Green attempts to replicate the feel of Latin in his translations), helpful notes, and a glossary.
"Synopsis" by ,
"Peter Green is an outstanding translator. The readers excited anticipation of pleasure and instruction on receiving a new translation of a Latin poet by Green is not disappointed. This is a labor of love which makes Catullus accessible to the Latinless reader and more familiar to those who can read Latin."—Susan Treggiari, Stanford University

"For almost half a century Peter Green has been one of the finest of all modern translators of classical verse. His Catullus is well up to his usual form—recapturing for a contemporary audience the wit, malice, erudition and erotic charm of the Latin original."—Mary Beard, author of The Parthenon

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