Synopses & Reviews
Ovid's Art of Love
) and its sequel Remedies for Love
) are among the most notorious poems of the ancient world. In AD 8, the emperor Augustus exiled Ovid to the shores of the Black Sea for "a poem and a mistake." Whatever the mistake may have been, the poem was certainly the Ars Amatoria
, which the emperor found a bit too immoral.
In exile, Ovid composed Sad Things (Tristia), which included a defense of his life and work as brilliant and cheeky as his controversial love manuals. In a poem addressed to Augustus (Tristia 2), he argues, "Since all of life and literature is one long, steamy sex story, why single poor Ovid out?" While seemingly groveling at the emperor's feet, he creates an image of Augustus as capricious tyrant and himself as suffering artist that wins over every reader (except the one to whom it was addressed).
Bringing together translations of the Ars Amatoria, Remedia Amoris, and Tristia 2, Julia Dyson Hejduk's The Offense of Love is the first book to include both the offense and the defense of Ovid's amatory work in a single volume. Hejduk's elegant and accurate translations, helpful notes, and comprehensive introduction will guide readers through Ovid's wickedly witty poetic tour of the literature, mythology, topography, religion, politics, and (of course) sexuality of ancient Rome.
of Horace are a treasure of Western civilization, and this new English translation is a lively rendition by one of the prominent poet-translators of our own time, David R. Slavitt. Horace was one of the great poets of Romes Augustan age, benefiting (as did fellow poet Vergil) from the friendship of the powerful statesman and cultural patron Maecenas. These Odes
, which take as their formal models Greek poems of the seventh century BCEespecially the work of Sappho and Alcaeusare the observations of a wry, subtle mind on events and occasions of everyday life. At first reading, they are modest works but build toward a comprehensive attitude that might fairly be called a philosophy. Charming, shrewd, and intimate, the voice of the Odes
is that of a sociable wise man talking amusingly but candidly to admiring friends.
This edition is also notable for Slavitts extensive notes and commentary about the art of translation. He presents the problems he encountered in making the translation, discussing possible solutions and the choices he made among them. The effect of the notes is to bring the reader even closer to the original Latin and to understand better how to gauge the distance between the two languages.
The Odes of Horace are a treasure of Western civilization, and this new English translation is a lively rendition by one of the prominent poet-translators of our own time, David Slavitt. Charming, shrewd, and intimate, the voice of the Odes is that of a sociable wise man talking amusingly but candidly to admiring friends. This edition is also notable for Slavitts extensive notes and commentary about the art of translation.
David Mulroy’s brilliant verse translation of Oedipus Rex recaptures the aesthetic power of Sophocles’ masterpiece while also achieving a highly accurate translation in clear, contemporary English.
Oedipus Rex is the greatest of the Greek tragedies, a profound meditation on the human condition. The story of the mythological king, who is doomed to kill his father and marry his mother, has resonated in world culture for almost 2,500 years. But Sophocles’ drama as originally performed was much more than a great story—it was a superb poetic script and exciting theatrical experience. The actors spoke in pulsing rhythms with hypnotic forward momentum, making it hard for audiences to look away. Interspersed among the verbal rants and duels were energetic songs performed by the chorus. David Mulroy’s brilliant verse translation of Oedipus Rex recaptures the aesthetic power of Sophocles’ masterpiece while also achieving a highly accurate translation in clear, contemporary English. Speeches are rendered with the same kind of regular iambic rhythm that gave the Sophoclean originals their drive. The choral parts are translated as fluid rhymed songs. Mulroy also supplies an introduction, notes, and appendixes to provide helpful context for general readers and students.
ranks with his Oedipus Rex
as one of world literature’s most compelling dramas. The action is taut, and the characters embody universal tensions: the conflict of youth with age, male with female, the state with the family. Plot and character come wrapped in exquisite language. Antagonists trade polished speeches, sardonic jibes and epigrammatic truisms and break into song at the height of passion.
David Mulroy’s translation of Antigone faithfully reproduces the literal meaning of Sophocles’ words while also reflecting his verbal pyrotechnics. Using fluid iambic pentameters for the spoken passages and rhyming stanzas for the songs, it is true to the letter and the spirit of the great Greek original.
This sparkling new translation of Ovids love poems, notorious for the sexual content that led to his exile by the emperor Augustus, also includes Tristia
2, Ovids witty self-defense. With helpful footnotes and a comprehensive introduction, this edition gives readers a poetic tour of the literature, mythology, topography, religion, politics, and sexuality of ancient Rome.
This insightful study of the Roman poet Horace’s first book of Epistles explores his representations of slavery and freedom as a response to the new imperial era in Rome.
During the Roman transition from Republic to Empire in the first century B.C.E., the poet Horace found his own public success in the era of Emperor Augustus at odds with his desire for greater independence. In Horace between Freedom and Slavery
, Stephanie McCarter offers new insights into Horace’s complex presentation of freedom in the first book of his Epistles
and connects it to his most enduring and celebrated moral exhortation, the golden mean.
She argues that, although Horace commences the Epistles with an uncompromising insistence on freedom, he ultimately adopts a middle course. She shows how Horace explores in the poems the application of moderate freedom first to philosophy, then to friendship, poetry, and place. Rather than rejecting philosophical masters, Horace draws freely on them without swearing permanent allegiance to any—a model for compromise that allows him to enjoy poetic renown and friendships with the city’s elite while maintaining a private sphere of freedom. This moderation and adaptability, McCarter contends, become the chief ethical lessons that Horace learns for himself and teaches to others. She reads Horace’s reconfiguration of freedom as a political response to the transformations of the new imperial age.
About the Author
David R. Slavitt is the author of more than one hundred books including novels, poetry, reportage, and translations of Horace, Petrarch, Boethius, Sophocles, Lucretius, Dante, and others. He is coeditor of the Johns Hopkins Complete Roman Drama series and the Penn Complete Greek Drama series. His own most recent verse collection is Civil Wars
. Horace (658 BCE) was a Roman lyric poet of the age of Caesar Augustus. His surviving other works include the Satires,Epodes, Epistles,
and Ars Poetica
Table of Contents
Some Notes on the Notes
Why Read This Book (and This Introduction)?
Myth and Lit 101
When the Praeceptor Reads
Fifty Shades of Metaphor
The Illicit Sex Tour of Roman Topography and Religion
Ovid's Exile: Fact and Fiction
Ars Amatoria: Book 1
Ars Amatoria: Book 2
Ars Amatoria: Book 3
Tristia: Book 2