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The satires explored in this volume are some of the trickiest poems of ancient Rome's trickiest poet. Horace was an ironist, sneaky smart, and prone to hiding things under the surface. His Latin is dense and difficult. The challenges posed by these satires are especially acute because their voices, messages, and stylistic habits are many, and their themes range from the poet's anxieties about the limits of satiric free speech in the first poem to the ridiculous excesses of an outrageously overdone dinner party in the last. For students working at intermediate and advanced levels of Latin, this book makes the satires of Horace's second book of Sermones readable by explaining difficult issues of grammar, syntax, word-choice, genre, period, and style. For scholars who already know these poems well, it offers fresh insights into what satire is, and how these poems communicate as uniquely 'Horatian' expressions of the genre.
Greek 'literary' epigrams constitute one of the most versatile and dynamic poetic forms in the Hellenistic period. Originally modeled on the anonymous epitaphs and dedications inscribed on monuments throughout antiquity, these short poems came to include a variety of subtypes and served as a vehicle for Hellenistic poets to experiment with themes and motifs from other genres. This edition introduces students to a wide selection of epigrams from the third and second centuries BCE. It provides substantial help in construing the Greek and will be appropriate for those approaching the genre for the first time, whilst also containing material of interest to scholars. It includes work by the most important epigrammatists of this period, with substantial attention paid to the way these poets engage with the epigraphic and literary traditions. The Introduction provides an overview of the history of the genre and of its formal features, including dialect and meter.
Livy's Ab urbe condita Book XXII narrates Hannibal's massive defeats of the Romans at Trasimene (217 BC) and Cannae (216 BC). It is Livy's best and most dramatic book, and the one most likely to appeal to students at every level. Livy drew on the Greek historian Polybius, but transformed his drier treatment into a rhetorical masterpiece, which by a series of insistent thematic contrasts brings out the tensions between the delaying tactics of Fabius and the costly rashness of Flaminius, Minucius and Varro. A substantial and accessibly written introduction by two experienced commentators covers historical, religious, literary and linguistic matters, including the place of Book XXII in the structure of Livy's long work. A new text by Briscoe is followed by a full commentary, covering literary and historical aspects and offering frequent help with translation. The volume is suitable for undergraduates, graduate students, teachers, and scholars.
This book is an anthology of Greek poetry written during the third to first centuries BC, the Hellenistic period. It is intended to make available to undergraduates and graduate students a selection of texts which are for the most part not easily accessible elsewhere. The volume contains a wide and representative range of poetry including hymns, didactic verse, pastoral poetry, epigrams and epic. An introduction provides cultural and historical background, and a full commentary elucidates problems of language and reference in the texts. In this second edition, many notes have been rewritten and the bibliography has been updated. The selection has also been augmented with three hundred more lines of Greek text (Theocritus poems 5 and 15), and is now more than 2000 lines in length.
Plato challenges his readers by depicting an elderly Socrates as an enthusiastic student of rhetoric who has learned from his teacher Aspasia to recite an inspiring funeral oration, an oration that conspicuously refers to events occurring after the deaths of Socrates and Aspasia, an oration that Aspasia, as a woman and a non-Athenian, was not eligible to deliver over the Athenians who died in war. This commentary, the first in English in over 100 years, assists the modern reader in confronting Plato's challenge. The Introduction sets the dialogue in the context of the traditional Athenian funeral oration and of Plato's ongoing critique of contemporary rhetoric. The Commentary, which is well suited to the needs and interests of intermediate students of Classical Greek, provides guidance on grammatical and historical matters, while allowing the student to appreciate Plato's mastery of Greek prose style and critique of democratic ideology.
Pseudolus of all Plautus' comedies most fully reveals its author's metapoetics. As its eponymous clever slave telegraphs his every move to spectators, Pseudolus highlights the aesthetic, social, and performative priorities of Plautine comedy: brilliant linguistic play, creative appropriation of comic tradition, interrogation of convention and social norms, the projection of an air of improvisation and a fresh comic universe, and exploration of dramatic mimesis itself. The extensive Introduction analyses Plautus' delightful comedy as a stage-performance, the comic playwright's translation and adaptation practices, his innovative deployment of language and metrical and musical virtuosity, as well as the play's transmission and reception. In addition to detailed elucidation of the Latin text, the Commentary examines Pseudolus as a lens into Roman slave society at the time of its debut at the Megalensian festival of 191 BCE. The edition engages throughout with current criticism and issues of interest to both students and scholars.
Euripides' Cyclops is the only example of Attic satyr-drama which survives intact. It is a brilliant dramatisation of the famous story from Homer's Odyssey of how Odysseus blinded the Cyclops after making him drunk. The play has much to teach us, not just about satyr-drama, but also about the reception and adaptation of Homer in classical Athens; the brutal savagery of the Homeric monster is here replaced by an ironised presentation of Athenian social custom. Problems of syntax, metre and language are fully explained, and there is a sophisticated literary discussion of the play. This edition will be of interest to advanced undergraduates and graduate students studying Greek literature, as well as to scholars.
The Greek Novels have moved from the margins to the centre-stage over recent decades, not just because of their literary qualities and thrilling narratives, but also because they offer revealing insights into the culture of the Greek world of the Roman Empire: sexual mores, the position of women and men, identity, religion. Achilles Tatius' Leucippe and Clitophon, the most influential of the novels in antiquity, remains the favourite of many. With its freewheeling plotline, its setting on the edge of the Greek world (in modern Lebanon), its ironic play with the reader's expectations and its sallies into obscenity, it represents a new, mature, sophisticated stage in the development of the novel as a genre. This is the first commentary in English on Achilles for over 50 years, a period that has seen great strides forward in the understanding of the literary, linguistic and textual interpretation of this brilliant text.
Virgil's Aeneid XI is an important, yet sometimes overlooked, book which covers the funerals following the fierce fighting in Book X and a council of the Latins before they and the Trojans resume battle after the end of the truce. This edition contains a thorough Introduction which provides context for Book XI both within and beyond the rest of the poem, explores key characters such as Aeneas and Camilla, and deals with issues of metre and textual transmission. The line-by-line Commentary will be indispensable for students and instructors wishing to enhance their understanding of the poem and especially of Virgil's language and syntax. Accessible and comprehensive, the volume will help readers to appreciate features of Virgilian style as well as deepening their engagement with the content and themes of the Aeneid as a whole.
Ion is one of Euripides' most appealing and inventive plays. With its story of an anonymous temple slave discovered to be the son of Apollo and Creusa, an Athenian princess, it is a rare example of Athenian myth dramatized for the Athenian stage. It explores the Delphic Oracle and Greek piety; the Athenian ideology of autochthony and empire; and the tragic suffering and longing of the mythical foundling and his mother, whose experiences are represented uniquely in surviving Greek literature. The plot anticipates later Greek comedy, while the recognition scene builds on a tradition founded by Homer's Odyssey and Aeschylus' Oresteia. The introduction sets out the main issues in interpretation and discusses the play's contexts in myth, religion, law, politics, and society. By attending to language, style, meter, and dramatic technique, this edition with its detailed commentary makes Ion accessible to students, scholars, and readers of Greek at all levels.
Books V-IX of the Confessions trace five crucial years in the life of Augustine, from his debut as a teacher of rhetoric in North Africa to his baptism as a Christian and the renunciation of a worldly career in Milan. This commentary will be invaluable for those wishing to read his story in the original Latin. Through careful glosses and notes, Augustine's Latin is made accessible to students of patristics and of classics. His extensive quotations from Scripture are translated and explained in light of the variant Bible texts and the interpretative assumptions through which he came to understand them. The unfolding of his career is set against the background of political, cultural, and religious change in the fourth century, and the art with which he created a form of narrative without precedent in earlier Latin literature is illustrated in close detail.
One of the most diverse books in the Iliad, Book III moves between intimate scenes in the heart of Troy and scenes serious and comic on the battlefield. It describes a major ritual in an elaborate oath-swearing, assigns a major role to divine intervention, introduces and characterises the main Trojan actors and reveals more about their Greek counterparts. The commentary discusses the styles of Homeric narrative, illustrating especially its economy and sophisticated handling of different time-scales. It situates the Iliad in its broad cultural and historical contexts, through consideration of the relationships between Greece and the Anatolian, Mesopotamian and ancient Indian cultures, particularly regarding shared story-patterns and ritual activity. An account is given of Troy's relationships with the Hittite empire and the vexed question of the historicity of the Trojan War. Also provided is a full historical account of Homeric language. The edition will be indispensable for students and instructors.
Many of the themes of Aeschylus' Suppliants - the treatment of refugees, forced marriage, ethnic and cultural clashes, decisions on war and peace, political deception - resonate strongly in the world of today. The play was, however, for many years neglected in comparison to Aeschylus' other works, probably in part because it was wrongly believed to be very early and hence 'primitive', and this edition, aimed primarily at advanced undergraduates and graduate students, is the first since 1889 to offer an accessible English commentary based on the Greek text. This provides particular help with the peculiarities of tragic, especially Aeschylean, Greek. An extensive introduction discusses the Danaid myth and its many variations, the four-play production (tetralogy) of which Suppliants formed part, the underlying social and religious issues and presuppositions, the conditions of performance, and the place of Suppliants in Aeschylus' work, among other topics.
Elegy and iambus are major forms of Greek literature which are crucial to understanding the Archaic and early Classical periods in particular. This edition gathers work by ten poets: two iambic (Semonides and Hipponax), six elegiac (Callinus, Tyrtaeus, Mimnermus, Theognis, Xenophanes, Simonides), and two writing in both forms (Archilochus and Solon). It explores a representative sample of each poet's surviving work, while also highlighting their variety, and provides an up-to-date commentary on major pieces, including recent discoveries such as Simonides' Plataea elegy and Archilochus' Telephus elegy. The wide-ranging Introduction discusses such issues as poet and persona, contexts of performance, and various cultural themes (expansion and contact with foreign cultures, social and political revolution, sexuality and gender, rationalism) as well as language, style, metre, and textual transmission. The volume will be of interest to upper-level undergraduate and graduate students, as well as to scholars of early Greek literature and cultural history.
Longus' Daphnis and Chloe is arguably our finest surviving Greek novel. Written under the Roman Empire and engaging with romantic, pastoral and rhetorical themes, the story and characterisation have captured the imaginations of artists over the centuries. Despite a growing interest in ancient novels over the past half-century, this is the first full commentary to address Longus' linguistic texture and its implications for his literary aspirations, as well as his narrative skills and intertextuality with earlier Greek writers. The commentary provides a detailed analysis of Longus' Greek and its relation to other Greek prose and poetry of the second century AD and earlier, and emphasises the construction and style of the original text, drawing out key points for clarification and discussion. A wide-ranging introduction ensures that this book will be an indispensable guide for teachers and students of all levels who are looking to engage with Longus' writing.
Demosthenes, as an emerging political leader in fourth-century Athens, delivered a series of fiery speeches to the citizens in the democratic Assembly, attacking the Macedonian king Philip II as an aggressive imperialist bent on destroying the city's independence. This volume presents the Greek text of five of these speeches with full introduction and detailed commentary. They show how the foremost politician of the day argued his case before the people who made policy decisions in the Assembly, and how he eventually persuaded them to support his doomed militaristic position in preference to the more pragmatic stance of accommodation advocated by his political opponents. These speeches are unique sources for the ideology and political history of this crucial period, and the best specimens of persuasive rhetoric in action from democratic Athens. This edition takes account of recent studies of fourth-century Athens and showcases Demosthenes as a master of Greek prose style.
The letters of Seneca are uniquely engaging among the works that have survived from antiquity. They offer an urgent guide to Stoic self-improvement but also cast light on Roman attitudes towards slavery, gladiatorial combat and suicide. This selection of letters conveys their range and variety, with a particular focus on letters from the earlier part of the collection. As well as a general introduction, it features a brief introductory essay on each letter, which draws out its themes and sets it in context. The commentary explains the more challenging aspects of Seneca's Latin. It also casts light on his engagement with Stoic (and Epicurean) ideas, on the historical context within which the letters were written and on their literary sophistication. This edition will be invaluable for undergraduate and graduate students and scholars of Seneca's moral and intellectual development.
Book VII of Lucan's De Bello Ciuili recounts the decisive victory of Julius Caesar over Pompey at the Battle of Pharsalus on 9 August 48 BCE. Uniquely within Lucan's epic, the entire book is devoted to one event, as the narrator struggles to convey the full horror and significance of Romans fighting against Romans and of the republican defeat. Book VII shows both De Bello Ciuili and its impassioned, partisan narrator at their idiosyncratic best. Lucan's account of Pharsalus well illustrates his poem's macabre aesthetic, his commitment to paradox and hyperbole, and his highly rhetorical presentation of events. This is the first English commentary on this important book for more than half a century. It provides extensive help with Lucan's Latin, and seeks to orientate students and scholars to the most important issues, themes and aspects of this brilliant poem.
Ovid is now firmly established as a central figure in the Latin poetic canon, and his Fasti is his most complex elegy. Drafted alongside the Metamorphoses before the poet's exile, it was only published after the death of Augustus, and involves a wide range of myth, Roman history, religion, astronomy and explication of the calendar. In its aetiology and conversations with gods, it is a Latin equivalent of Callimachus' Aetia. This invaluable new commentary on a central book of the poem explores Ovid's playful inversion of genre, his witty but challenging style of Latin, his use of the elegiac couplet, intertextuality and much more. With a comprehensive introduction providing key background for students and instructors, this guide to Book 3, the first in English for nearly a century, makes use of the latest scholarly research to illuminate Ovid's wide-ranging and amusing account of Roman life.
In 399 BC Socrates was prosecuted, convicted, sentenced to death and executed. These events were the culmination of a long philosophical career, a career in which, without writing a word, he established himself as the figure whom all philosophers of the next few generations wished to follow. The Apologies (or Defence Speeches) by Plato and Xenophon are rival accounts of how, at his trial, Socrates defended himself and his philosophy. This edition brings together both Apologies within a single volume. The commentary answers literary, linguistic and philosophical questions in a way that is suitable for readers of all levels, helping teachers and students engage more closely with the Greek texts. The introduction examines Socrates himself, the literature generated by his trial, Athenian legal procedures, his guilt or innocence of the crimes for which he was executed, and the rivalry between Xenophon and Plato.
This is the first comprehensive commentary on a section of Xenophon's Anabasis in English for almost a century. It provides up-to-date guidance on literary, historical and cultural aspects of the Anabasis and will help undergraduate students to read Greek better. It also incorporates recent advances in Xenophontic scholarship and Greek linguistics, showcasing in particular Xenophon's linguistic innovations and varied style. Advanced students and professional scholars will also profit from the sustained attention which this commentary devotes to Xenophon's varied narrative strategies and to the reception of episodes from Anabasis III in antiquity. The introduction and commentary show that Xenophon is just as important (if not more so) to the development of Greek historiography, and of Greek prose in general, as Herodotus and Thucydides.
Book 18 of the Iliad is an outstanding example of the range and power of Homeric epic. It describes the reaction of the hero Achilles to the death of his closest friend, and his decision to re-enter the conflict even though it means he will lose his own life. The book also includes the forging of the marvellous shield for the hero by the smith-god Hephaestus: the images on the shield are described by the poet in detail, and this description forms the archetypal ecphrasis, influential on many later writers. In an extensive introduction, R. B. Rutherford discusses the themes, style and legacy of the book. The commentary provides line-by-line guidance for readers at all levels, addressing linguistic detail and larger questions of interpretation. A substantial appendix considers the relation between Iliad 18 and the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, which has been prominent in much recent discussion.
The corpus of Greek lyric holds a twofold attraction. It provides glimpses of the song culture of early Greece in which lyric performance had a central place, and it presents us with some captivating and memorable poetry which has been admired since antiquity. This edition gathers poems by seven of the nine canonical lyricists (Alcman, Alcaeus, Sappho, Stesichorus, Ibycus, Anacreon, Simonides), as well as a number of carmina popularia and carmina convivalia and passages from Timotheus' Persians. Both longer and shorter pieces are included. The introduction discusses major issues in the study of Greek lyric including genre, performance and transmission. The commentary is literary in emphasis but also treats questions of syntax, textual reconstruction, metre and dialect. The volume will be of interest to higher-level undergraduates and graduate students as well as to scholars.
Hecuba was the most widely read play of Euripides from antiquity to the Renaissance, appealing to readers and spectators for its controversial treatment of moral themes: revenge, war and slavery, violence, human sacrifice, gender and ethnic relations. It narrates the death of Hecuba's daughter Polyxena, sacrificed by the Greeks to placate the ghost of Achilles, and that of her son Polydorus, killed out of greed by the Thracian king who was supposed to protect him. Hecuba successfully plots a cruel and shocking revenge against the killer. The play is now at the centre of the attention of scholars and performing artists. This edition offers new textual and interpretive suggestions, and provides detailed guidance on problems of language as well as employing conceptual tools from contemporary linguistics. It will be useful for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students, as well as of interest to scholars.
Tacitus' account of Nero's principate is an extraordinary piece of historical writing. His graphic narrative (including Annals XV) is one of the highlights of the greatest surviving historian of the Roman Empire. It describes how the imperial system survived Nero's flamboyant and hedonistic tenure as emperor, and includes many famous passages, from the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64 to the city-wide party organised by Nero's praetorian prefect, Tigellinus, in Rome. This edition unlocks the difficulties and complexities of this challenging yet popular text for students and instructors alike. It elucidates the historical context of the work and the literary artistry of the author, as well as explaining grammatical difficulties of the Latin for students. It also includes a comprehensive introduction discussing historical, literary and stylistic issues.
Book VI of the Histories is one of Herodotus' most varied books, beginning with the final collapse of the Ionian Revolt and moving on to the Athenian triumph at Marathon (490 BC); it also includes fascinating material on Sparta, full of court intrigue and culminating in Kleomenes' grisly death, and there is comedy too, with Alkmeon's cramming clothes, boots, and even cheeks with gold dust, then Hippokleides 'dancing away his marriage'. In Herodotus' time, Marathon was already reaching almost legendary status, commemorated in epigrams and monuments, and in this edition a substantial introduction discusses Herodotus' relation to these other memorials. It also explores the place of the book in the Histories' overall structure, and pays particular attention to Herodotus' treatment of impiety. A new text is then accompanied by a full commentary, covering literary and historical aspects and offering help with translation. The volume is suitable for undergraduates, graduate students, teachers and scholars.
Horace's Odes remain among the most widely read works of classical literature. This volume constitutes the first substantial commentary for a generation on this book, and presents Horace's poems for a new cohort of modern students and scholars. The introduction focusses on the particular features of this poetic book and its place in Horace's poetic career and in the literary environment of its particular time in the 20s BCE. The text and commentary both look back to the long and distinguished tradition of Horatian scholarship and incorporate the many advances of recent research and thinking about Latin literature. The volume proposes some new solutions to established problems of text and interpretation, and in general improves modern understanding of a widely read ancient text which has a firm place in college and university courses as well as in classical research.
Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica is one of the most significant surviving works of Flavian epic, which has recently become much more popular as a field of study and teaching in Latin literature. This is the first commentary in English directly tailored to the needs of graduate and advanced undergraduate students. It provides an introduction to the major themes of the poem and the structure and content of Book III in particular which can function as an overview of the key features of Flavian epic. The detailed commentary on Book III discusses linguistic issues, intertextual and mythical allusions and thematic strands. The book consists of two major episodes in the adventures of Jason and the Argonauts which can be read together or independently of each other.
Apollonius' epic, the Argonautica, is not just a masterpiece of Hellenistic poetry drawing on the entire tradition of previous Greek literature, but was enormously influential on Latin epic, especially Virgil's Aeneid. Book IV tells the story of the Argonauts' return to Greece with the Golden Fleece, their nightmarish trips through the uncharted rivers of central Europe and the desert wastes of North Africa, the terrible killing of Medea's brother, and the anguish of the young girl which foreshadows her bloody future. This is the first modern commentary in English. Problems of syntax and language are fully explained, and there is a sophisticated discussion of the poem as literature. It will be useful for advanced undergraduates and graduate students studying Greek poetry, as well as of interest to scholars.
The first work of any great historian has always commanded attention, and Tacitus was ancient Rome's very greatest historian. His biography of his father-in-law, governor of Britain in the years AD 77-84, is a literary masterpiece: it combines penetrating political history with gripping military narrative and throughout poses the question (still very much alive today) of how one should live one's life under a tyranny. This is the first commentary in English on the Agricola for almost half a century: in keeping with the aims of the series, particular attention is paid to the understanding of Tacitus' Latin, but a whole range of generic, historical, textual and narrative topics is covered, and it will be suitable for advanced undergraduates and graduate students as well as scholars. Tacitus' Agricola remains a key text for anyone with an interest in Roman Britain as well as ancient biography.
The third book of Lucretius' great poem on the workings of the universe is devoted entirely to expounding the implications of Epicurus' dictum that death does not matter, 'is nothing to us'. The soul is not immortal: it no more exists after the dissolution of the body than it had done before its birth. Only if this fact is accepted can men rid themselves of irrational fears and achieve the state of ataraxia, freedom from mental disturbance, on which the Epicurean definition of pleasure was based. To present this case Lucretius deploys the full range of poetic and rhetorical registers, soberly prohibitive, artfully decorative or passionately emotive as best suits his argument, reinforcing it with vivid and compelling imagery. This new edition has been completely revised, with a considerably enlarged Commentary and a new supplementary introduction taking account of the great amount of new scholarship of the last forty years.
Juvenal's sixth Satire is a masterpiece of comic hyperbole, an outrageous rant against women and marriage which, in its breadth and density, represents the high point of the misogynistic literature of classical antiquity. The Introduction situates Juvenal within the wider tradition of Roman satire, interrogates afresh the poem's architecture and recurrent themes, shows how Juvenal systematically attributes to his monstrous women the inverse of the Roman wife's canonical virtues, traces the various literary currents which infuse the Satire, and lastly addresses the much-discussed issue of the poetic voice or persona from a sociohistorical as well as a theoretical perspective. Above all, the commentary strives to locate Juvenal in his historical, literary and cultural context, while simultaneously affording assistance with the nuts and bolts of the Latin, and always keeping in view two key questions: what was Juvenal's purpose in writing the Satire? How seriously was it meant to be taken?
When Ovid, already renowned for his love poetry, the Metamorphoses and other works, was exiled by Augustus to Tomis on the Black Sea in AD 8, he continued to write. After five books of Tristia, he composed a collection of verse letters, the Epistulae ex Ponto, in which he appeals to his friends and supporters in Rome, lamenting his lot and begging for their help in mitigating it. In these epistolary elegies his inventiveness flourishes no less than before and his imaginative self-fashioning is as ingenious and engaging as ever, although in a minor key. This commentary on Book I assists intermediate and advanced students in understanding Ovid's language and style, while guiding them in the appreciation of his poetic art. The introduction examines the literary background of the Epistulae ex Ponto, their relation to Ovid's earlier works, and their special interest and appeal to readers of Augustan poetry.
For eight centuries after his death Menander was the third most popular poet in the Greek-speaking world, and his plays, through Roman imitations and adaptations, engendered a tradition of European light drama that extends to our own day. But it is only since 1844 that some of the actual texts of Menander's plays have been rediscovered, mostly in Egyptian papyri. Two of these have given us four-fifths of the script of Samia (The Woman from Samos), a play of deception and misunderstanding in which a marriage that everyone desires almost fails to happen, two women and a baby are almost ruined, and a loving father almost loses his only son, because the people at home and the people abroad have both been doing things behind each other's backs - but somehow everything ends happily after all. This is the first full-scale edition with English commentary and is suitable for upper-level students.
The second part of the Odyssey takes epic in new directions, giving significant roles to people of 'lower status' and their way of life: epic notions of the primacy of the aristocrat and the achievements of the Trojan War are submitted to scrutiny. Books XIII and XIV contain some of the subtlest human exchanges in the poem, as Athena and Odysseus spar with each other and Odysseus tests the quiet patience of his swineherd Eumaeus. The principal themes and narrative structures, especially of disguise and recognition, which the second part uses with remarkable economy, are established here. The Introduction also includes a detailed historical account of the Homeric dialect, as well as sections on metre and the text itself. The Commentary on the Greek text pays particular attention to the exposition of unfamiliar linguistic forms and constructions. The literary parts of the Introduction and the Commentary are accessible to all.
One of the most important works of history in Western literature, by the freshest and liveliest of all classical Greek prose authors, Herodotus's Histories is also a key text for the study of ancient Greece and the Persian Empire. Covering a central and widely studied period of Greek history, Book V not only describes the revolt of the east Greeks against their Persian masters, which led to the great Persian Wars of 490-479 BC, but also provides fascinating material about the mainland Greek states in the sixth century BC. This is an up-to-date edition of and commentary on the Greek text of the book, providing extensive help with the Greek, basic historical information and clear maps, as well as lucid and insightful historical and literary interpretation of the text. The volume is suitable for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, teachers and scholars.
Terence's Hecyra raises social, literary and theatrical issues of great interest to modern students of Roman comedy and, indeed, of Roman culture more broadly. The play pays strikingly close attention to the domestic problems of women and experiments boldly with traditional comic forms, not only in its creation of anticipatory suspense, but through its variations on traditional situations and roles and its metatheatrical qualities. In addition, Terence's response in his prologues to the play's two putative failures is important, if tendentious, evidence for the mechanics of theatrical performance in the second century, especially the conjunction of theatrical and gladiatorial shows. This edition opens the play's many interpretive challenges to wider scrutiny while remaining attentive to the linguistic needs of students at all levels.
Pliny the Younger's nine-book Epistles is a masterpiece of Roman prose. Often mined as a historical and pedagogical sourcebook, this collection of 'private' letters is now finding recognition as a rich and rewarding work in its own right. The second book is a typically varied yet taut suite of miniatures, including among its twenty letters the trial of Marius Priscus and Pliny's famous portrait of his Laurentine villa. This edition, the first to address a complete book of Epistles in over a century, presents a Latin text together with an introduction and commentary intended for students, teachers and scholars. With clear linguistic explanations and full literary analysis, it invites readers to a fresh appreciation of Pliny's lettered art.
Sophocles' Philoctetes is one of the most widely read Greek tragedies today but is a complex and challenging play to interpret. Its representation of Philoctetes as a sufferer of physical and emotional pain gives it remarkable power and intensity. It juxtaposes Homeric and fifth-century institutions and values, explores honor, power and expediency as principles of personal and political life, and represents contrasts and conflicts between innocence and experience, ends and means, and the needs and demands of the individual and those of society. This edition with commentary makes the play accessible to students, teachers, and other readers of Greek literature at all levels. The introduction discusses the main problems of interpretation and gives an account of its reception from antiquity to the present day.
Pro Marco Caelio is perhaps Cicero's best-loved speech and has long been regarded as one of the best surviving examples of Roman oratory. Speaking in defence of the young aristocrat Marcus Caelius Rufus on charges of political violence, Cicero scores his points with wit but also with searing invective directed at a supporter of the prosecution, Clodia Metelli, whom he represents as seeking vengeance as a lover spurned by his client. This new edition and detailed commentary offers advanced undergraduates and graduate students, as well as scholars, a detailed analysis of Cicero's rhetorical strategies and stylistic refinements and presents a systematic account of the background and significance of the speech, including in-depth explanations of Roman court proceedings.
Book XII brings Virgil's Aeneid to a close, as the long-delayed single combat between Aeneas and Turnus ends with Turnus' death - a finale that many readers find more unsettling than triumphant. In this, the first detailed single-volume commentary on the book in any language, Professor Tarrant explores Virgil's complex portrayal of the opposing champions, his use and transformation of earlier poetry (Homer's in particular) and his shaping of the narrative in its final phases. In addition to the linguistic and thematic commentary, the volume contains a substantial introduction that discusses the larger literary and historical issues raised by the poem's conclusion; other sections include accounts of Virgil's metre, later treatments of the book's events in art and music, and the transmission of the text. The edition is designed for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students and will also be of interest to scholars of Latin literature.
In the first book of odes, Horace presents himself to his Roman readers in a novel guise, as the appropriator of the Greek lyric tradition. He aspired to add a new province to the empire of the national literature. The first book is designed both to establish Horace's engagement with his Greek predecessors and to create a role for lyric poetry in contemporary Rome. The collection of thirty-eight poems is therefore a dazzling feat of poetic appropriation and innovation, a blend of the public and the private voice of the poet. Classic Greek songs are evoked so as to provide a springboard for reflections on moral and political issues, for the praises of gods and men, friends and public figures, for celebration of love and drinking. This edition will enable students and their instructors to enter and enjoy Horace's lyric world.
Horace's first book of Satires is his debut work, a document of one man's self-fashioning on the cusp between republic and empire, and a pivotal text in the history of Roman satire. It wrestles with the problem of how to define and assimilate satire and justifies the poet's own position in a suspicious society. The commentary gives full weight to the dense texture of these poems while helping readers interpret their most cryptic aspects and appreciate their technical finesse. The introduction puts Horace in context as late-Republican newcomer and a vital figure in the development of satire, and discusses the structure and meaning of Satires I, literary and philosophical influences, style, metre, transmission and Horace's rich afterlife. Each poem is followed by an essay offering overall interpretation. This work is designed for upper-level students and scholars of classics but contains much of interest to specialists in later European literature.
Book XXII recounts the climax of the Iliad: the fatal encounter between the main defender of Troy and the greatest warrior of the Greeks, which results in the death of Hector and Achilles' revenge for the death of his friend Patroclus. At the same time it adumbrates Achilles' own death and the fall of Troy. This edition will help students and scholars better appreciate this key part of the epic poem. The introduction summarises central debates in Homeric scholarship, such as the circumstances of composition and the literary interpretation of an oral poem, and offers synoptic discussions of the structure of the Iliad, the role of the narrator, similes and epithets. There is a separate section on language, which provides a compact list of the most frequent Homeric characteristics. The commentary offers up-to-date linguistic guidance, and elucidates narrative techniques, typical elements and central themes.
Plutarch's essay 'How to Study Poetry' offers a set of reading practices intended to remove the potential damage that poetry can do to the moral health of young readers. It opens a window on to a world of ancient education and scholarship which can seem rather alien to those brought up in the highly sophisticated world of modern literary theory and criticism. The full Introduction and Commentary, by two of the world's leading scholars in the field, trace the origins and intellectual affiliations of Plutarch's method and fully illustrate the background to each of his examples. As such this book may serve as an introduction to the whole subject of ancient reading practices and literary criticism. The Commentary also pays particular attention to grammar, syntax and style, and sets this essay within the context of Plutarch's thought and writing more generally.
The Carmen Saeculare was composed and published in 17 BCE as Horace was returning to the genre of lyric which he had abandoned six years earlier; the fourth book of Odes is in part a response to this poem, the only commissioned poem we know from the period. The hardening of the political situation, with the Republic a thing of the past and the Augustan succession in the air, threw the problematic issue of praise into fresh relief, and at the same time provided an impulse towards the nostalgia represented by the poet's private world. Professor Thomas provides an introduction and commentary (the first full commentary in English since the nineteenth century) to each of the poems, exploring their status as separate lyric artefacts and their place in the larger web of the book. The edition is intended primarily for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students, but is also important for scholars.
Ostensibly a discussion about love, the debate in the Phaedrus also encompasses the art of rhetoric and how it should be practised. This new edition contains an introductory essay outlining the argument of the dialogue as a whole and Plato's arguments about rhetoric and eros in particular. The Introduction also considers Plato's style and offers an account of the reception of the dialogue from its composition to the twentieth century. A new Greek text of the dialogue is accompanied by a select textual apparatus. The greater part of the book consists of a Commentary, which elucidates the text and makes clear how Plato achieves his philosophical and literary objectives. Primarily intended for advanced undergraduates and graduate students of ancient Greek literature and philosophy, it will also benefit scholars who want an up-to-date account of how to understand the text, argument, style and background of the work.
Cicero's De Oratore is one of the masterpieces of Latin prose. A literary dialogue in the Greek tradition, it was written in 55 BCE in the midst of political turmoil at Rome, but reports a discussion 'concerning the (ideal) orator' that supposedly took place in 90 BCE, just before an earlier crisis. Cicero features eminent orators and statesmen of the past as participants in this discussion, presenting competing views on many topics. This edition of Book III is the first since 1893 to provide a Latin text and full introduction and commentary in English. It is intended to help advanced students and others interested in Roman literature to comprehend the grammar and appreciate the stylistic nuances of Cicero's Latin, to trace the historical, literary, and theoretical background of the topics addressed, and to interpret Book III in relation to the rest of De Oratore and to Cicero's other works.
With the exception of a poem on the unscripted death of a lion in the Colosseum, Book II of Statius' Silvae is largely domestic in theme. It reflects the more private side of Roman culture, its pleasures, houses, gardens, friendships, and personal losses; it concludes with a provocative tribute to the poet Lucan. Despite its variety, the book is carefully constructed as a unit, and this edition, which is suitable for use with advanced students, puts the book into its context in the history of Greek and Roman poetry. The commentary takes into account the important work done on the text of the Silvae in the past two decades as well as the new perspectives brought to bear on Flavian culture by historians and archaeologists. It explores Statius' use of the short poem as a playful engagement with literary tradition that also reflects changing ideas of Roman cultural identity.
The sixth book of the Iliad includes some of the most memorable and best-loved episodes in the whole poem: it holds meaning and interest for many different people, not just students of ancient Greek. Book 6 describes how Glaukos and Diomedes, though fighting on opposite sides, recognise an ancient bond of hospitality and exchange gifts on the battlefield. It then follows Hector as he enters the city of Troy and meets the most important people in his life: his mother, Helen and Paris, and finally his wife and baby son. It is above all through the loving and fraught encounter between Hector and Andromache that Homer exposes the horror of war. This edition is suitable for undergraduates at all levels, and students in the upper forms of schools. The Introduction requires no knowledge of Greek and is intended for all readers interested in Homer.
Books XVII and XVIII of the Odyssey feature, among other episodes, the disguised Odysseus' penetration of his home after an absence of twenty years and his first encounter with his wife. The commentary provides linguistic and syntactical guidance suitable for upper-level students along with detailed consideration of Homer's compositional and narrative techniques, his literary artistry and the poem's central themes. An extensive introduction considers questions of formulaic composition, the nature of the poem's audience and the context of its performance, and isolates the concerns most prominent in the poem's second half and in Books XVII and XVIII in particular. Here too are considered the roles of Penelope and Telemachus, questions of disguise and recognition, and the institution of hospitality flaunted by the suitors in Odysseus' halls. Brief sections also discuss Homeric metre and the transmission of the text.
Sextus Roscius was murdered in Rome some months after the official end of the Sullan proscriptions on 1 June 81 BC. The case was tried early the following year with a young Cicero acting as defense counsel in his first criminal case for the accused son. Though a novice, Cicero was able to tap into the public anger over the uncontrolled killing and looting of the proscriptions and channel it against the men behind the prosecution, T. Roscius Magnus and T. Roscius Capito. Cicero won a career-making victory, establishing his reputation as a formidable advocate. This 2010 book provides a Latin text and commentary updated to take account of advances in the study of the Latin language as well as Roman institutions, law and society. It is suitable for use with upper-level undergraduates and graduate students.
These lively narrative poems, attributed in antiquity to Homer, are works of great charm. Composed for recitation at festivals in honour of the gods, they tell of Apollo's birth on the island of Delos and his foundation of the Delphic oracle; Hermes' invention of the lyre and theft of his brother Apollo's cattle; and Aphrodite's love affair with the mortal Anchises. This edition offers a new text of these poems. The Introduction discusses among other things the nature and purpose of the poems in general, their origins, their structure and themes. The Commentary brings out the individual character of each Hymn, by analyzing in depth its language and literary qualities, and also its religious and historical aspects. The aim is to make these Hymns more accessible to students of Greek literature, and help them to appreciate the poems more fully as major works of early Greek poetry.
In Book XIV of the Metamorphoses Ovid takes his epic for the first time into Italy and continues from book XIII his close intertextual engagement with Virgil's Aeneid. His tendentious treatment of his model subordinates Virgil's epic plot to fantastic tales of metamorphosis, including the erotic Italian tales of Circe Glaucus, and Scylla, and Picus, and Canens. Other Roman myths include Pomona and Vertumnus, as well as events from Romulus' reign. The deifications of Aeneas and Romulus anticipate the poem's closing episodes of imperial apotheosis. This commentary provides guidance to advanced undergraduate and graduate students for understanding Ovid's language, style, artistry, and allusive techniques. The introduction discusses the major structures, themes, and stylistic features of book XIV, its place within the poem as a whole, and Ovid's interpretive imitation of Virgil's Aeneid.
Lucian of Samosata is one of the most brilliant and wide-ranging writers from antiquity, and yet few commentaries are available for those who wish to read Lucian in Greek. This edition presents a selection of rhetorical and satirical works in the original Greek illustrating his range, wit and literary sophistication. Texts include both more and less well-known texts such as The Dream, The Fly, Timon, A Literary Prometheus, Sigma versus Tau and Dialogues of the Sea-Gods. The Introduction discusses his place in the Second Sophistic and his relationship to Cynic philosophy, and each section of commentary is preceded by a literary appraisal. The commentary is aimed primarily at advanced undergraduates and graduate students.
The Protagoras is one of Plato's most entertaining dialogues. It represents Socrates at a gathering of the most celebrated and highest-earning intellectuals of the day, among them the sophist Protagoras. In flamboyant displays of both rhetoric and dialectic, Socrates and Protagoras try to out-argue one another. Their arguments range widely, from political theory to literary criticism, from education to the nature of cowardice; but in view throughout this literary and philosophical masterpiece are the questions of what part knowledge plays in a successful life, and how we may acquire the knowledge that makes for success. This edition contains the first commentary in English on the Greek text for almost a hundred years. The commentary provides the assistance with linguistic, literary and philosophical detail that will enable students and scholars to savour to the full the pleasures of the Protagoras.
As consul in 63 BC Cicero faced a conspiracy to overthrow the Roman state launched by the frustrated consular candidate Lucius Sergius Catilina. Cicero's handling of this crisis would shape foreverafter the way he defined himself and his statesmanship. The four speeches he delivered during the crisis show him at the height of his oratorical powers and political influence. Divided between deliberative speeches given in the senate (1 and 4) and informational speeches delivered before the general public (2 and 3), the Catilinarians illustrate Cicero's adroit handling of several distinct types of rhetoric. Beginning in antiquity, this corpus served as a basic text for generations of students but fell into neglect during the past half-century. This edition, which is aimed primarily at advanced undergraduates and graduate students, takes account of recently discovered papyrus evidence, recent studies of Cicero's language, style and rhetorical techniques, and the relevant historical background.
This up-to-date edition offers a detailed literary and cultural analysis of Euripides' Helen, a work which arguably embodies the variety and dynamism of fifth-century Athenian tragedy more than any other surviving play. The story of an exemplary wife (not an adulteress) who went to Egypt (not to Troy), Euripides' 'new Helen' skilfully transforms and supplants earlier currents of literature and myth. The Introduction elucidates Euripides' treatment of Helen and sets the play in its wider intellectual context. It also discusses questions of genre and reception, rejecting such descriptions as 'tragicomedy' or 'romantic tragedy', and showing how later artists have responded to Euripides' unorthodox heroine and her phantom double. The Commentary's notes on language and style are intended to make Helen fully accessible to readers of Greek at all levels, while the edition as a whole is designed for use by anyone with an interest in Greek tragedy.
The Battle of Salamis was the first great (and unexpected) victory of the Greeks over the Persian forces under Xerxes, whose defeat had important consequences for the subsequent history and self-image of Europe. This battle forms the centre-piece of book VIII of Herodotus' Histories. The book also illuminates Greek views of themselves and of peoples from the East, the problematic relationships between different Greek states in the face of the invasion, and the role of the divine in history. This introduction and commentary pays particular attention to the history and culture of Achaemenid Persia and the peoples of its empire. It offers much help with the language of the text (which has been prepared for ease of reading), and deals with major literary and historical questions. It will be of especial use to intermediate and advanced Greek students, but also provides up-to-date scholarly materials for graduate students and professional classicists.
The Histories is the first historical work by Rome's most accomplished and challenging historian, Tacitus. It narrates the brutal civil wars which broke out in AD 68-9 across the Roman Empire after the suicide of the last Julio-Claudian emperor, Nero. Book II covers the bloody finale of the war between two of those emperors, Otho and Vitellius, and the emerging challenge from the eventual victor, Vespasian. The progression of events, kaleidoscopic and gripping, unfolds over a broad geographical sweep and is presented by Tacitus with consummate artistry. This commentary on Histories Book II elucidates historical questions, clarifies Tacitus' historiographical techniques and explains grammatical difficulties of the Latin for students. It also includes a Latin text, relevant maps, and a comprehensive introduction discussing historical, literary and stylistic questions.
Xenophon of Athens was a pupil of Socrates and a philosopher in his own right. He wrote two of the texts included in this volume, the Hiero (On Tyranny) and the Constitution of the Spartans. The third, the Constitution of the Athenians, is found under Xenophon's name alongside the other two in the manuscripts. The works represent three distinct types of government (the rule of one man in tyranny and kingship, the rule of law in the mixed constitution of the Spartans, and the rule of the masses in the Athenian democracy), but there are common features throughout. This volume presents an introduction discussing Xenophon's views on government in the context of his general political thought, drawing particularly on his Socratic work Memorabilia, and a commentary on the Greek text of each work aimed primarily at advanced undergraduates and graduate students.
Propertius' fourth book is his most challenging and innovative. It disrupts genre; dislocates time and order; and meditates on gender, perception and history. A sort of postmodernism combines with narrative and structural verve, incisively physical writing and a gallery of colourful characters. This edition makes a demanding and rewarding text more accessible and more intelligible. The text is new; help and fresh ideas are offered on the text and meaning of words. A wide range of literary, inscriptional and archaeological material is used to illuminate this many-sided poetry. Much more space is given than in previous editions to literary interpretation and historical contextualization, in the light of modern work. The book is approached as a dynamic sequence of poems rather than a collection. The edition should be valuable to both students and scholars.
'Sophocles ... created a masterpiece that in the eyes of posterity has overshadowed every other achievement in the field of ancient drama ...' With these words Dr Dawe sets out the importance of Oedipus Rex. He investigates why it has for so long fascinated the human mind, devoting his introduction to an examination of the story and to the technique employed by Sophocles to unfold the plot. In this revised edition he also argues for the spurious nature of the play's ending. As with the first edition, the commentary deals authoritatively with problems of language and expression, but is enhanced by reflections on the text developed in the twenty years since the publication of that first edition. Written for classical scholars and students, this is a welcome revised edition of a bestselling text.
Bacchylides (c. 520-450 BC) was one of the nine Greek lyric poets selected as models of this genre by the Alexandrian scholars who first collected and edited their songs in the 3rd century BC. Bacchylides' songs did not survive the end of antiquity, but substantial portions of at least three books have been recovered from papyri found in Egypt. This 2004 book was the first commentary in English since R. C. Jebb's Bacchylides (1905). It aims to introduce the reader to two important areas of Greek choral lyric poetry in which Bacchylides was pre-eminent: songs in praise of individuals (victory odes 3-6 and 11, and enkomia frr. 20A-D), and songs composed for religious festivals (dithyrambs, procession songs, and paeans). Among the most attractive features of his style are the well-balanced formal structure of his poems, and his vivid narrative which is capable of creating scenes of high drama and deep passion.
This edition is the first since J. D. Denniston's of 1926 to present the Latin text of and a commentary on the First and Second Philippics, two of the most polished orations in the Ciceronian corpus. These speeches, which were composed less than six months after the murder of Julius Caesar in March 44 BC, offer a scathing account of the early years and the rise to power of Mark Antony, Caesar's chief lieutenant. The period covered by these speeches (roughly 63-44 BC) is an important one because the Roman state was in transition from Republic to Empire. The Second Philippic not only gives us Cicero's assessment of his own political career and place in Roman history from a perspective late in life, but it also provides a vivid eyewitness account of how the dominance first of Julius Caesar and later of Mark Antony was shifting the locus of power from the Senate and Roman aristocracy to a single dynast.
Book 1 of De Natura Deorum exhibits in a nutshell Cicero's philosophical method, with the prior part stating the case for Epicurean theology, the latter (rather longer) part refuting it. Thus the reader observes Cicero at work in both constructive and skeptical modes as well as his art of characterizing speakers. Prefaced to the Book is Cicero's most elaborate justification of his philosophical writing. The Book thus makes an ideal starting point for the study of Cicero's philosophica or indeed of any philosophical writing in Latin, since it delineates the problems such a project raised in the minds of Roman readers and shows how Cicero thought they could be met. There is also a systematic and detailed doxography of ancient views about the deity, an important document in itself, presented from an Epicurean perspective. The volume's Introduction situates this text within Cicero's intellectual development and ancient reflection about the gods.
Despite his enduring popularity, Martial has recently suffered from serious critical neglect. The present work is the first edition of selections from Martial to be published for decades, and includes a fully representative selection of the oeuvre of the poet, who has often been criticised, unfairly, the authors argue, for obscenity and flattery of the Emperor Domitian. The epigrams included in the selection are organised under various heads, e.g. Martial and poetry, sexual mores, satirical pieces. A very full introduction deals with such topics as the prejudices and predilections of his audience which conditioned Martial's choice of subject matter, Martial's language, the structure and style of the epigrams, the epigrammatic tradition and Martial's creative engagement with it. The detailed commentary is suitable for use with undergraduates and is distinguished by its focus on social history as well as literary interpretation.
The 78 letters in this Anthology (41 Greek, 36 Latin and 1 bilingual, with facing English translation) are selected both for their intrinsic interest, and to illustrate the range of functions letters performed in the ancient world. Dating from between c. 500 BC and c. 400 AD, they include naive and high-style, 'real' and 'fictitious', and classical and patristic items: Cicero, Horace, Ovid, Seneca, Pliny, Julian, Basil and Augustine are juxtaposed with Phalaris, Diogenes, Chion, and the authors of letters on lead, wood, papyrus and stone. Four final items exemplify ancient epistolary theory. The Commentary, besides providing contextual and linguistic assistance, draws attention to specifically epistolary features and to different stylistic levels of Greek and Latin represented. Epistolary topics and formulae are discussed in the Introduction, which also provides biographical and bibliographical information on all texts and authors included, and a history of letter-writing and letter-reading in antiquity.
This edition, the first modern one in English, introduces undergraduates and more advanced students to the therapeutic possibilities of Seneca's Stoic philosophy. The short treatises De otio and De brevitate vitae balance each other by representing different but complementary aspects of Senecan philosophy: in De otio, one's duty to the 'active' life, in De brevitate vitae, one's duty to oneself in reclaiming life from the impositions made upon the self. The provocative Senecan message is to promote introspection in life, and to suggest the benefits of an inner existence of the personal. In addition to its literary and linguistic emphasis, this edition tries to advertize the means by which Seneca conveys the attractions of his therapeutic 'philosophy'.
The first historical work by Rome's greatest historian, Tacitus' Histories hold a crucial place in the history of Latin literature. Book I covers the beginning of the infamous 'Year of the Four Emperors' (69 CE), which brought imperial Rome to the brink of destruction after the demise of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Galba, Otho, and Vitellius ride the currents of senatorial politics and military sedition to power, while the survivor Vespasian waits just off-stage. After a distinguished public career during the principates of Vespasian and his sons, Tacitus, in middle age, embarked on a historical narrative recording the seering events of the Rome of his youth. This edition provides a Latin text of Book I, a commentary accessible to students of intermediate level and above, and an introduction discussing historical, literary, and stylistic issues. The chance survival of three parallel accounts permits detailed analysis of Tacitus' selection and stylization of material.
Book IX of Herodotus' Histories provides the conclusion and climax to his work, as the victories at Plataea and Mycale complete the improbable Greek victory over Persia. The major themes of the work are all here echoed, modified, and revisited, and Book IX is thus essential for exploring its meaning (or range of possible meanings). This commentary, the first in English devoted solely to Book IX in over a century, treats Herodotus' work as both an historical narrative and a work of literature, incorporating the results of recent scholarly work in the fields of Greek history and historiography. It contains a Greek text together with detailed philological, literary, and historical notes designed to assist the intermediate and advanced Greek student. It will also be of use to graduate students and scholars.
This up-to-date edition makes Euripides' most famous and influential play accessible to students of Greek reading their first tragedy as well as to more advanced students. The introduction analyzes Medea as a revenge-plot, evaluates the strands of motivation that lead to her tragic insistence on killing her own children, and assesses the potential sympathy of a Greek audience for a character triply marked as other (barbarian, witch, woman). A unique feature of this book is the introduction to tragic language and style. The text, revised for this edition, is accompanied by an abbreviated critical apparatus. The commentary provides morphological and syntactic help for inexperienced students and more advanced observations on vocabulary, rhetoric, dramatic techniques, stage action, and details of interpretation, from the famous debate of Medea and Jason to the 'unmotivated' entrance of Aegeus and the controversial monologue of Medea.
The Alcibiades was widely read in antiquity as the very best introduction to Plato. Alcibiades in his youth associated with Socrates, and went on to a spectacularly disgraceful career in politics. When Socrates was executed for 'corrupting the young men', Alcibiades was cited as a prime example. This dialogue represents Socrates meeting the charming but intellectually lazy Alcibiades as he is about to enter adult life, and using all his wiles in an attempt to win him for philosophy. In spite of its ancient reputation, many modern scholars have thought that the Alcibiades is not by Plato and it has therefore lacked a decent commentary. This edition remedies that lack. The notes explain difficulties of linguistic, literary and philosophical detail. The introduction includes a discussion of the dialogue's authenticity, and of the consequences that acknowledging its authenticity has for our conception of Plato's intellectual development.
Demosthenes' speech On the Crown is one of the finest artistic achievements of Greek prose. Delivered in an Athenian court in 330 BCE, and circulated in written form soon afterwards, the speech made an immediate impression on contemporary Greeks and for centuries served the writers and speakers of antiquity as the primary model of forceful argument and vigorous style. In this volume Harvey Yunis presents a new edition of the speech. The book contains an introductory essay outlining the historical situation that gave rise to the speech, the nature of Demosthenes' rhetorical art, and the history of the text. A new Greek text of the speech is accompanied by a select textual apparatus. The greater part of the book consists of a commentary, which elucidates the text and makes clear how Demosthenes achieved his objectives.
Tacitus' Dialogus de Oratoribus is his most neglected work - there has not been an English-language commentary in over a century - and yet it is arguably his most original. Although among his earliest writings it shows complete mastery of the dialogue from and of Ciceronian idiom. It makes an original contribution to the continuing first-century AD debate about the role of oratory in Rome under the Principate, and raises the question of what a man can do to secure lasting renown. This edition contains a substantial introduction discussing such matters as the place of the work in the author's oeuvre, its style and layout. The commentary is designed to explain not only the language, and its subtle reformation of the Ciceronian idiom, but also the large issues mentioned about the decline of oratory, and the best career for a man to follow.
The first-century emperor Claudius did not leave the fledgling Roman Empire as he had found it: his contribution was to turn its developing institutions into an imperial tradition. But the ancient sources represent him as an odd personality - active but manipulated by his inferiors, at once distracted and awkward and cruel. Suetonius' biography is a rich offering of both solid fact and the prejudicial anecdotes that his contemporaries and the generation that followed thought worth repeating, raw material for exploring the man and his reign. This commentary provides context for the text's abundant information, but form is not neglected, and attention is given to Suetonius' intelligent and conscious marshalling of his material, and guidance offered to students reading the biographer's often densely compressed style. This is the first English commentary on the Claudius Life to deal with both historical and stylistic issues.
Book XIII of Ovid's Metamorphoses presents a wide variety of brilliant episodes, from the rhetorically charged contest between Ulysses and Ajax over the arms of Achilles, to the tragic tale of Hecuba and her gruesome revenge, to the amusing story of Polyphemus' unrequited love for Galatea and its bloody conclusion. This edition discusses in detail Ovid's treatment of his sources and sets out the ways in which he has adapted earlier literature as material for his novel work. Guidance is offered on points of language and style, and the Introduction treats in general terms the themes of metamorphosis and the structure of the poem as a whole.
Plautus' Amphitruo is the sole specimen of mythological burlesque in ancient comedy to come down to us in nearly complete form. This sex farce delighted Roman audiences and readers for centuries and continues to inspire adaptations to this day. Dr Christenson utilizes recent work in performance criticism in conjunction with traditional philological analysis to provide new insights into the play in performance. The edition aims to recover the essence of Plautine spectacle from the most concrete details of staging to the complex performative dynamics played out among the actors themselves and the actors and the audience. Included in the Introduction is an account of the mythic and dramatic background to Plautus' play as well as of its influence in post-classical drama. Plautus' metres are explained in a manner students will find helpful and instructive. Dr Christenson presents a new text that includes stage directions in English.
Sophocles' Antigone is probably the most widely read and performed of all Greek tragedies, and its themes and conflicts resonate powerfully into the modern era. In this new edition, Mark Griffith combines sophisticated literary and cultural interpretation with close attention to language, metre, and issues of performance, and thus makes the play more fully available to readers of Greek than ever before. The introduction requires no knowledge of Greek and will interest all students of drama and literature.
This is the first full-scale commentary on poems by Theocritus since Gow's edition of 1950, and the first to exploit the recent revolution in the study of Hellenistic and Roman poetry; the poems included in this volume (Idylls 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11 and 13) are principally the bucolic poems which, through their influence on Virgil, established the Western pastoral tradition. The focus of the commentary is literary - both on how Theocritus exploited the classical heritage for a new type of poetry, and on what that poetry meant in the third century BC. The commentary, together with the introductory essays to each poem, makes a major contribution to the understanding of this extraordinary poetic form. The Introduction explores the meaning of 'bucolic', the presentation of a stylised countryside, the importance of eros in the bucolic world, and Theocritus' verbal and metrical style.
Terence's Eunuchus (The Eunuch) was his most successful play in his lifetime but has been surprisingly neglected by modern commentators. In this first ever full-scale commentary in English, Professor Barsby provides a thorough examination of the play in terms of its literary and dramatic qualities, its staging, and its relationship to the two plays of Menander's on which it is based. The commentary includes scene-by-scene discussions which bring out the development of character and plot, and the notes offer a close study of Terence's language in comparison with that of his predecessor Plautus. A full introduction puts Terence in his historical and literary context, and there are two appendices, one on metre and the other giving text and translation of the remains of Menander's Eunouchos and Kolax.
Book IV of the Fasti, Ovid's celebration of the Roman calendar and its associated legends, is the book of April and honours the festivals of Venus, Cybele, Ceres, and their cult, as well as the traditional date of the foundation of Rome and many religious and civic anniversaries. Elaine Fantham accompanies her commentary with a revised text and an extended introduction. Besides including surveys of language, style, versification, and textual transmission, the introduction looks at the shifting generic traditions of Greek and Roman elegy, and situates Ovid's composite poem in its Augustan literary and historical context. Other sections explain the recurring religious, astronomical and dynastic material of the Fasti. It has been a particular concern to relate features of Book IV to the other books of the Fasti and to Ovid's other elegiac works, and the Metamorphoses.
This volume provides a commentary on the six surviving speeches of the fifth-century BC Athenian orator Antiphon, all of which concern homicide, together with a fragment of Antiphon's final speech at his own trial for treason in 411 BC. The commentary discusses grammatical, stylistic, textual, legal, rhetorical, historical and other matters and focuses especially on Antiphon's argumentation and forensic strategy: why he presents these arguments in this particular way. The work includes a new Greek text which restores some of the special qualities of Antiphon's style that twentieth-century editors have edited out and a substantial introduction to the life and work of Antiphon, the nature of Athenian law and legal oratory and the style and textual tradition of Antiphon.
This is Ovid's wittily imagined version of the letters exchanged by three famous pairs of lovers. Heroides XVI-XXI constitute an artfully constructed triptych: Hero and Leander's tragedy of high romance and fleeting happiness framed by two ironic comedies, that of Paris and Helen distinctly black, that of Acontius and Cydippe ending the book on a note of tantalising ambiguity. This is the first edition of these poems with commentary in any language since 1898. It provides a substantially improved text, together with all the guidance needed by students for the understanding of Ovid's Latin and the appreciation of his poetic art. The Introduction offers the first adequate discussion ever published of the poet's treatment of his literary sources and models, and deals succinctly but decisively with the question of authorship.
Prior to publication of this 1996 book, much had been written on Plato as a critic of literature, but no commentaries had appeared in English on the Ion, or the opening books of the Republic in which Plato launches his famous attack on poetry, since the early years of this century. This volume brings together these texts and the relevant section of Republic 10. It aims to provide the reader with a commentary which takes account of modern scholarship on the subject, and which explores the ambivalence of Plato's pronouncements on poetry through an analysis of his own skill as a writer. A general introduction sets Plato's views in the wider context of attitudes to poetry in Greek society before his time, and indicates the main ways in which his writings on poetry have influenced the history of aesthetic thought in European culture.
Satire was a genre of poetry invented and developed by the Romans. When it came into Juvenal's hands, he stamped his mark upon it: indignation. His angry voice had an overwhelming influence upon later European satirists and persists in modern forms of satire. In this new commentary, Susanna Morton Braund situates Juvenal within the genre of satire and illuminates his appropriation of the 'grand style' of declamatory rhetoric and epic poetry for his indignant persona in Satires 1-5, including the notorious second Satire. The commentary on each of the Satires is followed by an essay which offers an interpretation of the poem, including a synthesis of recent critical thought. These essays, together with the overview in the Introduction, present the first integrated reading of Book I as an organic structure.
Ovid's Heroides, a collection of twenty-one epistles in elegiac verse, consists of two groups, the first comprising fourteen poems addressed by heroines of mythology to their absent lovers or husbands. In this edition, Professor Knox offers a commentary on seven of these epistles, addressing problems of language and style, and focusing on the relationship of the Heroides to the classic works of Greek and Roman literature on which Ovid bases his representation of these women. In addition, he has included a commentary on the Epistula Sapphus, a separate poem of doubtful authorship which was composed in the manner of Ovid and is believed by many to be by him. The Introduction provides an account of the genre, a survey of language, style and metre, and an outline of the problems concerning the authenticity of parts of the collection.
The Epodes, with the first book of the Satires, were Horace's first published work. They consist of a collection of seventeen poems in different versions of the iambus, the metre traditionally associated with lampoon. David Mankin's introduction and commentary examine all aspects of Horace's relationship with his models and of the technical accomplishment of his verse; it also gives help with linguistic problems. His edition places the Epodes firmly in their literary and historical context: Rome at the time of its greatest crisis, the Civil War which ended the Republic and led to the establishment of the Principate. Students and scholars alike will welcome this commentary, only the second in any language since the 1930s and the only one providing a full and detailed interpretation in English.
Cicero's De re publica contains the fullest ancient account of the theory of the mixed constitution and the oldest extant narrative of early Roman history; it concludes with the Dream of Scipio, one of the most influential ancient visions of the afterlife. The argument of the dialogue concerns the relationship between political theory and practice, and between social institutions and the individual citizen. This edition of most of the surviving portions of De re publica is the most detailed commentary ever to appear in English. It explains Cicero's philosophical argument and its relationship to his account of early Rome, and thoroughly elucidates the language and style of the treatise. The introduction offers a new and provocative interpretation of Cicero's dialogue as a work both of literature and of political philosophy.
The Greek lyric poet Pindar is renowned for his poems celebrating the victories of athletes in the great games of Greece at Olympia, Delphi (the Pythian Games), Corinth (the Isthmian Games) and Nemea. Pindar's victory odes have the reputation of being complex and allusive in their language and reference. In this much-needed commentary on seven of the extant odes, Professor Willcock aims to open up Pindar's poetry to a wider readership by starting with a short and straightforward poem and progressing by level of difficulty to one of the greatest. The book begins with an introduction which includes sections on Pindar's life and on his thought, language and style, but which pays particular attention to the genre of the victory ode and its conventions.
This is the first self-contained edition of Odyssey Books VI-VIII which together form a popular introduction to Homer for students of Greek, containing as they do the account of Odysseus' visit to the Phaeacians and including such famous episodes as Odysseus' meeting with Nausicaa, and the singing of the minstrel Demodocus. While not neglecting matters of language and formulaic composition, the Commentary aims especially to provide guidance on questions of literary and narrative technique and poetic artistry. The Introduction deals with the problem of Homeric composition in general, and with the place of the Phaeacian books in the poem as a whole. There are brief section on Homeric metre and the text. The edition is intended for students beginning their study of Homer as well as for more advanced scholars.
Book VI of Livy's Ab urbe condita covers the history of Rome from 390 to 367 BC, a period during which the city, while in the process of recovering from being sacked by the Gauls, faced serious civil disturbance, the resolution of which fundamentally changed the structure of Roman society. This edition considers the historical text from a literary and historiographical perspective: the Commentary contains a detailed analysis of Livy's narrative style and structure, with particular focus on his language and use of commonplaces, while the Introduction discusses the didactic nature of the Ab urbe condita and situates Livy's sophisticated and challenging work in the ancient historiographical tradition. Special attention is paid to the role of the reader, and to the relationship between the style and the kind of history being written. Issues of contemporary Augustan politics are also discussed.
Aeneid IX marks the beginning of the full-scale narrative of the war between the Trojans and Turnus' Italians which occupies the last quarter of the epic. Two days during which Turnus launches a siege-assault on the Trojan camp while Aeneas is absent are separated by the nocturnal interlude of the ill-fated expedition of the romantic young Trojans Nisus and Euryalus. In this, the first major single-volume commentary in English on the book, Dr Hardie explores Virgil's transformation of Homeric models of battle narrative in the service of contemporary Roman ideology. The volume includes a detailed linguistic and thematic commentary on the text, and an introduction consisting of a series of interpretative essays on the book.
This volume comprises an edition with introduction and commentary of the first book of Horace's Epistles. These imaginary letters in verse represent the poet's most original contribution to Latin literature. The introduction discusses fully the invention of the new poetic form and the carefully devised style in which the letters are composed. There is also discussion of the addressees and of the main topics, as well as of the lay-out of the poems and the organisation of the book as a whole. The common view that the poems mark a conversion of Horace to philosophy is reassessed. The commentary offers analyses of the tone of the language, particularly the poetic qualities of Horatian usage. There is an ample index.
Plato's Phaedo is deservedly one of the best known works of Greek literature, but also one of the most complex. Set in the prison where Socrates is awaiting execution, it portrays Plato's model philosopher in action, spending his last hours in conversation with two other seasoned members of his circle about the fate of the human soul after death. Professor Rowe attempts to help the reader find a way through the intricate structure both of individual passages and arguments and of the dialogue as a whole, stressing its intelligibility as a unified work of art and giving equal attention to its literary and philosophical aspects. The notes also aim to provide the kind of help with Plato's Greek which is needed by comparative beginners in the language, but the commentary is intended for any student, classical scholar, or philosopher with an interest in the close reading of Plato.
Menaechmi is one of Plautus' liveliest and most entertaining comedies, the main inspiration for Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors. Dr Gratwick's edition brings new light to bear on the interpretation of the play and on Plautus' place in the development of European comedy. Central to his treatment is the fact that Plautus was a dramatist who wrote to be heard rather than to be read. The various metres which he subtly and flexibly exploited for musical and dramatic effect are here explained in a way that challenges many received views but also offers the student practical assistance in grappling with the technical problems involved both on stage and in performance. The text has been newly constituted on the basis of a complete reappraisal of the manuscript tradition in the light of scholarship since the Renaissance.
In this edition Professor Fantham offers the first full-scale commentary on the neglected second book of Lucan's epic poem on the war between Caesar and Pompey: De bello civili. Book II presents all three leading figures - Cato, Caesar and Pompey - in speech and action. It expresses the moral and political dilemma of civil war and portrays Pompey's loss of authority during his withdrawal from Italy in language designed to evoke and cancel Virgil's heroic presentation of the foundation myth of Aeneas. In her introduction, Professor Fantham gives a general account of Lucan's life and work and continues with a discussion of his narrative and interpretation of Caesar's military 'invasion' of Italy covering Books I and II, a survey of language, style and metre, and a brief history of the text. The commentary, besides supplying all necessary grammatical explanation and some assistance with translation, aims to provide the political, historical and geographical background to Lucan's epic narrative.
The Odyssey, besides being one of the world's first and best adventure stories, is a poem of great subtlety, rich in irony and sophisticated characterisation. The poet's art is amply illustrated by books XIX and XX, in which Odysseus, disguised as a beggar, spends the night in his own palace and lays plans for his awesome revenge. Particularly memorable is the episode in which Penelope converses with her husband without suspecting his identity. In this edition, Richard Rutherford provides not only detailed comment on the action, characterisation and style of the books in question, but also, in an extensive introduction, a general survey of the Odyssey as a whole, laying special emphasis on the qualities of the second half of the poem. He also attempts to contribute to the literary criticism of the poem on a verbal level, by considering the poet's use of formulae, rhetorical technique and similes. This volume is intended for readers of the Odyssey at all stages. The commentary gives extensive linguistic guidance for beginners; and the introduction, in which all Greek is translated, is intended to be accessible to any readers interested in Homer as a poet.
Seneca's Phaedra occupies an important and influential position in the tradition of European drama. This new edition concentrates on the dramatic qualities of Phaedra and examines the Greek and Roman background to the play, particularly Seneca's use of Euripides and Ovid, and its philosophical elements grounded in Seneca's Stoicism. The introduction also discusses dramatic and rhetorical presentation, aspects of style including imagery and the transmission of the text. An unusual feature is the treatment of the influence of the Phaedra story in later European literature and music. The commentary examines Seneca's language in detail and looks at his use of earlier poetic models (Virgil and Ovid) as well as plot, characterisation and his use of myth. Although principally for students of Latin literature, this new edition will also be of interest to historians of drama and comparative literature.
The Greek prose writer Lysias is a fascinating source for the study of Athenian law, society and history in the late fifth century BC. Six of his professional legal speeches are selected in this new edition, both for their intrinsic interest and because the language is accessible even to the comparative beginner. In his introduction Dr Carey discusses Lysias' life and place in the evolution of Greek prose style, and the development of Greek rhetoric. He approaches the speeches in terms of their function, as attempts to secure a verdict favourable to the speaker, and assesses how effectively the selection and deployment of arguments promote this end. In the commentary he addresses problems of Lysias' style and syntax, and textual issues where necessary, but the particular focus is always literary: Lysias' use of rhetorical devices, his marshalling of fact and argument and his manipulation of contemporary values and prejudices are examined in detail. These speeches are invaluable historical documents and will be of interest to students of ancient history and civilisation, as well as classicists.
The fourth book of Tacitus' Annals has been described as 'the best that Tacitus ever wrote'. It covers the years AD 23-28, beginning at the point where Tacitus noted a significant deterioration in the principate of the emperor Tiberius, and the increasingly malign influence of his 'evil genius' Sejanus. In this new edition the editors present an improved text of Annals IV, explain in detail the difficulties and unusual features of Tacitus' Latin, and discuss the dramatic, structural and literary qualities of the narrative. In the introduction they express radical views on how the Romans wrote history and consider the political, moral and stylistic dimensions of the historiographical tradition. Although intended primarily as a textbook for sixth-forms and undergraduates, the edition contains much which will be of interest to scholars of Latin literature and to Roman historians.
This commentary fulfils the need for a student edition of Horace's literary epistles, which have recently been the subject of renewed scholarly interest. Professor Rudd provides a clear introduction to each of the three poems: the Epistles to Augustus, to Florus, and to the Pisones (the so-called 'Ars Poetica'). He sketches the historical context in which the poems were written, and comments on their structure and purpose. Attention is paid to the literary preoccupations of the individual epistles: the relations of poet and patron, and the role of poetry in the state (Augustus), the problems of a (professedly) tiring poet (Florus), and the presentation of classical poetic theory in the 'Ars Poetica'. Horace's influence on later criticism is noted, and there is a brief section on one of Alexander Pope's Imitations. In his commentary on the text Professor Rudd addresses problems of grammar and style, focusing on linguistic difficulties and on the subtle movement of the poet's thought.
Professor Sommerstein here presents a freshly constituted text, with introduction and commentary, of Eumenides, the climactic play of the only surviving complete Greek tragic trilogy, the Oresteia of Aeschylus. Eumenides is of all Athenian tragic dramas the one most consciously designed to be relevant to the situation of the Athenian state at the time of its performance (458 BC), and seems to have contained daring innovations both in technique and in ideas. The introduction and commentary to this edition seek to bring out how Aeschylus shaped to his purpose the legends he inherited, and ended the tragic story of Agamemnon's family in a celebration of Athenian civic unity and justice. The commentary also pays detailed attention to the linguistic, metrical and textual problems to be encountered by the reader.
The Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes, composed in the third century BC and the only extant Greek epic between Homer and the later Roman empire, tells of Jason's successful expedition with the Argonauts to recover the Golden Fleece from Colchis on the Black Sea. Book III relates the story of Jason and Medea, a young Colchian princess who falls in love with Jason and helps him by magic to survive the ordeals imposed by her father. The description of Medea's emotional suffering exercised a profound influence on subsequent writers and especially on Virgil in his account of Dido and Aeneas. Dr Hunter's edition provides a full introduction to the poem and its poet, an up-to-date text of Book III and a full commentary which covers problems of language and translation as well as dealing with the poetic meaning of the work and Apollonius' creative use of the Homeric heritage. It is the first full-scale treatment in English of Book III to be written in the modern period of renewed interest in Hellenistic poetry. This edition makes Argonautica III available to students of Greek at university and in the upper forms of schools, but scholars of Greek and Latin, especially those interested in Hellenistic literature and in epic, will also find it valuable.
The second book of Thucydides' history is of particular literary interest, containing as it does such important sections as the funeral oration, the account of the plague at Athens and the obituary of Pericles. Professor Rusten's commentary aims to assist the students to learn to read Thucydides. It scrutinises not only the standard historical context but also the literary and philosophical one, and devotes special attention to the exceptionally complex structures and techniques of language which make Thucydides the most difficult as well as most profound of ancient historians. The introduction surveys biographical interpretations of the text, suggests a new approach to fictive elements in the speeches, and sketches the chief features of Thucydidean style. This edition is intended primarily as a textbook for undergraduates and students in the upper forms of schools (both introduction and commentary are meant to be accessible even to less advanced students of Greek), but any Greek scholar will find it rewarding.
This volume, the second of two companion volumes which provide a detailed commentary, with text, on the whole of Virgil's Georgics, is devoted to Books III and IV of the poem. Professor Thomas describes the Georgics as 'perhaps the most difficult, certainly the most controversial, poem in Roman literature'. He presents the Georgics as the finished poem of Virgil's mature years, approaching it not merely as a part of the tradition of didactic poetry, but rather as a work which confronts, behind its generic appearance, issues not essentially different from those which inform the Eclogues and Aeneid. His introduction (in Volume 1 only) and Commentary argue that Virgil's agricultural world, with its successes, failures and ultimate limitations, represents the arena for man's struggle with the realities of existence. Professor Thomas pays particular attention to Virgil's allusion to and reshaping of prior Greek and Latin poetry. The Introduction also covers stylistic, metrical and structural questions. A subject index and indexes of important Greek and Latin words conclude each volume, the indexes in this volume covering the whole work. This edition is aimed primarily at students at university and in the upper forms of schools, but the range of its scholarship means that it will be valuable to all classical scholars. The Introduction contains material for non-classicists interested in Latin literature.
This volume and its companion volume devoted to the second half of the poem provide a detailed commentary, with text, on the whole of Virgil's Georgics. Professor Thomas describes this work as 'perhaps the most difficult, certainly the most controversial, poem in Roman literature'. He presents the Georgics as the finished poem of Virgil's mature years, approaching it not merely as a part of the tradition of didactic poetry, but rather as a work which confronts, behind its generic appearance, issues not essentially different from those which inform the Eclogues and Aeneid. His introduction and Commentary argue that Virgil's agricultural world, with its successes, failures and ultimate limitations, represents the arena for man's struggle with the realities of existence. Professor Thomas pays particular attention to Virgil's allusion to and reshaping of prior Greek and Latin poetry. The Introduction also covers stylistic, metrical and structural questions. A subject index and indexes of important Greek and Latin words conclude each volume. This edition is aimed primarily at students at university and in the upper forms of schools, but the range of its scholarship means that it will be valuable to all classical scholars. The Introduction contains material for non-classicists interested in Latin literature.
Plutarch's Life of Antony is a work remarkable for its colourful narrative and vivid characterisation of Antony and Cleopatra. This book presents the Greek text of the Life, accompanied by an extensive introduction and a detailed commentary. Dr Pelling is concerned throughout to discuss the work as literature. The introduction sets the life in its historical and literary context and the commentary pays particular attention to discussing the value of Plutarch's narrative as a historical source for the period and to explaining points of linguistic difficulty. An especially interesting and friutful approach used by Dr Pelling is to compare the work with Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra (which was almost wholly based to Plutarch's Life), bringing out how much Shakespeare's conception of the character and destiny of his protagonists owes to Plutarch, and tracing its transposition into dramatic form. Intended primarily as a textbook for undergraduate students, this edition will nevertheless be of interest to all Greek scholars, to ancient historians, and also the students of English literature since the relevant discussions require no knowledge of Greek.
This book is an anthology of Greek poetry written during the third to first centuries B. C. - the so-called Hellenistic period. It is intended to make available to undergraduates a selection of texts which are for the most part not easily accessible elsewhere. The volume contains a wide and representative range of poetry including hymns, didactic verse, pastoral in its cultural and historical background and a full commentary elucidates problems of language and reference in the texts. This edition should be welcomed by students and scholars alike.
The four private speeches contained in this collection were functional artefacts whose object was to persuade a jury numbered in hundreds by manipulating both the facts of the case and the prejudices, beliefs and attitudes of the Athenian man-in-the-street. It is as vehicles of persuasion that Dr Carey and Dr Reid seek primarily to treat the speeches, using their commentary to shed light on how well the speeches perform their function. The speeches have also been chosen for their value as documents of Athenian law, commerce and private life. The commentary explains as far as possible any obscurities in these fields and also deals with matters of linguistic interest. While intended mainly for undergraduates and students in the upper forms of schools, the book will be of interest to all classical scholars. The introduction, which provides a brief survey of the Athenian legal system and the trade of the speechwriter, requires no knowledge of Greek and should interest students of classical culture and literature in translation.
The Gourdification of Claudius the God has instant and lasting appeal. It is a uniquely surviving specimen of prose-and-verse satire from the Roman world - and satire, a Roman speciality, is one of the few types of ancient literature to survive, and thrive, in modern society. Its author, Seneca, was not only gifted with intellectual virtuosity, but, at the time of writing, was the precarious power behind the throne of the dangerously developing Nero. Claudius, the target of his malicious wit, remains the most controversial of the first twelve imperial Caesars. The English version facing the text makes the work available to the general reader who may not have any Latin. The text, which is based on a critical examination of all the manuscripts, will be indispensable to scholars. The commentary, which is the first on this scale to have been written in English, is primarily addressed to university and other students.
The myth of fire stolen from the gods appears in many pre-industrial societies. In Greek culture Prometheus the fire-stealer figures prominently in the poems of Hesiod, but in Prometheus Bound Hesiod's morality tale has been transformed into a drama of tragic tone and proportions. In the introduction, Mark Griffith examines how the dramatist has achieved this transformation, looking at the play from all angles - plot and characters, dramatic technique, style and metre. He includes a short section on the production of the play and on the questions of authenticity and date. The commentary guides the reader through problems of language, metre and content. An important feature of this volume is the appendix, which gathers together the existing fragments of the other two plays in the supposed Prometheus trilogy, quoting them in full in the original language and in translation, with short accompanying commentary. This is suitable for undergraduates and students in the upper forms of schools. It also deserves the serious attention of scholars. The introduction requires no knowledge of Greek and will interest students of drama and literature in other cultures too.
Sophocles' Trachiniae is, in the editor's words, 'a subtle and sophisticated play about primitive emotions'. It is also a play which presents problems to a modern audience. Making full use of recent Sphoclean scholarship, Mrs Easterling attempts in her Introduction a detailed literary analysis of Trachiniae, helping the reader to understand better its intricate structure, the treatment of Deianira and Heracles, and the meaning of the final scenes. The notes in the Commentary of grammar, syntax and style include material which will be helpful to comparative beginners in the language, but the commentary as a whole is intended for anyone with a close interest in Greek tragedy. This is an edition for classical scholars, undergraduates, and students in the upper forms of schools. The Introduction is designed to be of use to readers who do not know Greek, as well as to specialists.
The twenty-fourth book of the Iliad - the account of Priam's ransoming of Hector's body from Achilles - is one of the masterpieces of world literature, a work of interest to a far wider audience than scholars of ancient Greek. In this edition Colin Macleod tries to reach both scholars and Greekless readers alike. In his commentary he gives help to readers unfamiliar with the language of Homer and discusses problems of content and expression, never treating this book in isolation but drawing attention to Homer's artistry and thought in the context of the whole of the Iliad. In his introduction Mr Macleod examines Homer's notion of poetry, his style and language and the architecture and meaning of his work. He tries to show why Book XXIV is a proper conclusion to the Iliad. This is an edition for classical scholars, undergraduates and students in the upper forms of schools. The introduction and substantial parts of the commentary require no knowledge of Greek and should find readers among all who are interested in European literature.
Professor Shackleton Bailey is renowned for his major scholarly editions of Cicero's letters already published by Cambridge University Press. This selection from the complete correspondence is designed specifically for students at universities and in the upper forms at schools, and offers them a representative introduction to one of the most varied and most important literary correspondences in any language. In choosing letters for inclusion the editor concentrates on Cicero as a man and writer and on his relationship with his contemporaries, but he has also included letters which deal with people and events of special significance in the turbulent political history of the period. The edition includes an introduction, the text of the letters with critical notes, and a commentary which gives help with linguistic problems as well as elucidating the historical and social background.
Plato's Symposium is the most literary of all his works and one which all students of classics are likely to want to read whether or not they are studying Plato's philosophy. But the reader does need help in appreciating both the artistry and the arguments, and in comprehending the social and cultural background against which the 'praise of love' is delivered. Sir Kenneth Dover provides here a sympathetic and modern edition of the kind that is long overdue. It consists of an introduction, the Greek text accompanied by a very abbreviated critical apparatus, and a commentary on the text which is intended to elucidate the Greek, to make the philosophical argument intelligible, and to relate the content of what is said to the concepts and assumptions of contemporary morality and society. An edition for students of Greek in universities and the upper forms of schools.
Pastoral poetry was probably the creation of the Hellenistic poet Theocritus, and he was certainly its most distinguished exponent in Greek. Vergil not only transposed the spirit of Greek pastoral into an Italian setting, blending details from the life of his native countryside into the subsequent history of the genre. On publication the Eclogues won immediate acclaim and Vergil's reputation as a major poet was established. In this edition Robert Coleman describes the earlier pastoral tradition, sets Vergil's poems in historical perspective and evaluates the poet's distinctive contribution to the genre. In the commentary difficulties of interpretation are elucidated. Theocritean influences are examined in detail and points of interest in the language, style and subject-matter discussed. This is the fullest edition of the Eclogues to have appeared in any language and the first in English since the end of the nineteenth century. It is intended primarily for university students and sixth-formers but will be valuable to anyone interested in Latin poetry and the development of the pastoral genre.
Book VIII is one of the most attractive and important books of Virgil's Aeneid. It includes the visit of Aaneas to the site of the future Rome, the story of Hercules and Cacus, the episode between Venus and Vulcan and the description of the great symbolic shield of Aeneas. Mr Gransden's introduction relates this book to the Aeneid as a whole considers the text in various aspects: the topography, Virgil's sense of history, his typology and symbolism, his literary style and his influence on subsequent vernacular poetry. The commentary discusses points of special interest and difficulty in interpretation, style and prosody and gives detailed explanation of the many allusions in Book VIII to customs, legends, traditions and historical events. This is primarily a textbook for university students and sixth-formers, but it also contains material which may be of interest to students of English and comparative literature.
Plautus' Casina is a lively and well composed farce. The plot, which concerns the competition of a father and his son for the same girl and the various scurrilous tricks employed in the process, gives full scope to Plautus' inventiveness and richly comic language. The editors' aim is to establish the play as one of the liveliest of ancient comedies, and in their introduction and notes to make the reader continually aware of the conditions of an actual stage performance. They discuss the background and conventions of Roman comedy and by offering a complete metrical analysis they help the reader to appreciate the original musical structure of the play. The edition is intended primarily for use by students at school and university but will be of value to anyone interested in reading the play in the original.
The Adelphoe (The Brothers) of Terence is a Latin adaptation of a comedy of the same name by the Greek comic playwright Menander. The theme of the play is the perennially interesting question of the relationship between the generations and the proper way to bring up a son. In the introduction Mr Martin considers Terence in the context of Roman comedy generally and discusses the background of the Adelphoe. There is also a section on metre and scansion and a short analysis of the textual tradition. The full and detailed commentary, besides elucidating the text, seeks at all times to help the reader to understand the work as a play to be enjoyed. The edition is intended for use by students at school and university and for anyone wishing to read and appreciate the play in the original.
In this edition of Sophocles' Electra, one of the greatest tragedies in Greek or any literature, Mr Kells presents the play as a study in revenge, but in a subtle way whose meaning depends upon the continuous use of dramatic irony. He relates the confrontations of principle and character depicted to the social and political controversies of the period in which Sophocles was writing. The introduction describes the background to the play, explains some of the main features of Sophocles' style, and outlines an interpretation which is fully worked out in the detailed commentary. There are appendices on metre and the text. The edition is intended for use by senior school and undergraduate students, and all those concerned to read and appreciate the play in the original.