Known for her fine translations of octosyllabic narrative verse, Patricia Terry presents translations of four major practitioners of this dominant literary form of twelfth- and thirteenth-century France. Her introduction discusses the varying views of women and love in the texts and their place in the courtly tradition.
From Chr tien de Troyes Terry includes an early work, Philomena, here translated into verse for the first time. The other great writer of this period was Marie de France, the first woman in the European narrative tradition. Lanval is newly translated for this edition, which also features four of Marie's other poems. The collection further includes The Reflection by Jean Renart, known for his realistic settings; and the anonymous Chatelaine of Vergi, a fatalistic and perhaps more modern depiction of love.
In Honor Thy Gods Jon Mikalson uses the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides to explore popular religious beliefs and practices of Athenians in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. and examines how these playwrights portrayed, manipulated, and otherwise represented popular religion in their plays. He discusses the central role of honor in ancient Athenian piety and shows that the values of popular piety are not only reflected but also reaffirmed in tragedies.
Mikalson begins by examining what tragic characters and choruses have to say about the nature of the gods and their intervention in human affairs. Then, by tracing the fortunes of diverse characters -- among them Creon and Antigone, Ajax and Odysseus, Hippolytus, Pentheus, and even Athens and Troy -- he shows that in tragedy those who violate or challenge contemporary popular religious beliefs suffer, while those who support these beliefs are rewarded.
The beliefs considered in Mikalson's analysis include Athenians' views on matters regarding asylum, the roles of guests and hosts, oaths, the various forms of divination, health and healing, sacrifice, pollution, the religious responsibilities of parents, children, and citizens, homicide, the dead, and the afterlife. After summarizing the vairous forms of piety and impiety related to these beliefs found in the tragedies, Mikalson isolates honoring the gods as the fundamental concept of Greek piety. He concludes by describing the different relationships of the three tragedians to the religion of their time and their audience, arguing that the tragedies of Euripides most consistently support the values of popular religion.
A WISE AND WITTY REVIVIAL OF THE ROMAN POET WHO TAUGHT US HOW TO CARPE DIEM
How do we fill the void created by the excesses of a superficial society? How do we confront the inevitability of death? In Horace and Me: Life Lessons from an Ancient Poet, poet and critic Harry Eyres reexamines the Roman poet Horace's life, legacy, and verse. With a light, lyrical touch (deployed in new, fresh versions of some of Horace's most famous odes) and a keen critical eye, Eyres reveals a lively, relevant Horace, whose society--Rome at the dawn of the empire--is much more similar to our own than we might want to believe.
Eyres's study is not only intriguing--he retranslates Horace's most famous phrase,"carpe diem," as "taste the day"--but enlivening. Through Horace, Eyres meditates on how to live well, mounts a convincing case for the importance of poetry, and relates a moving tale of personal discovery. By the end of this remarkable journey, the reader too will believe in the power of Horace's "lovely words that go on shining with their modest glow, like a warm and inextinguishable candle in the darkness."
Mary Beard's by now famous blog A Don's Life has been running on the TLS website for nearly three years. In it she has made her name as a wickedly subversive commentator on the world in which we live. Her central themes are the classics, universities and teaching - and much else besides. What are academics for? Who was the first African Roman emperor? Looting - ancient and modern. Are modern exams easier? Keep lesbos for the lesbians. Did St Valentine exist? What made the Romans laugh? That is just a small taste of this selection (and some of the choicer responses) which will inform, occasionally provoke and cannot fail to entertain.
This selection of lapidary nuggets drawn from 33 of antiquity's major authors includes poetry, dialogue, philosophical writing, history, descriptive reporting, satire, and fiction--giving a glimpse at the wide range of arts and sciences, thought and styles, of Greco-Roman culture. The selections span twelve centuries, from Homer to Saint Jerome. The texts and translations are reproduced as they appear in Loeb volumes. The Loeb Classical Library(R) is the only existing series of books which, through original text and facing English translation, gives access to all that is important in Greek and Latin literature. A Loeb Classical Library Reader offers a unique sampling of this treasure trove. In these pages you will find: Odysseus tricking the Cyclops in order to escape from the giant's cave; Zeus creating the first woman, Pandora, cause of mortals' hardships ever after; the Athenian general Nicias dissuading his countrymen from invading Sicily; Socrates, condemned to die, saying farewell; a description of Herod's fortified palace at Masada; Cicero's thoughts on what we owe our fellow men; Livy's description of the rape of the Sabine women; Manilius on the signs of the zodiac; and Pliny's observation of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE. Here you can enjoy looking in on people, real and imaginary, who figure prominently in ancient history, and on notable events. Here, too, you can relish classical poetry and comedy, and get a taste of the ideas characteristic of the splendid culture to which we are heir.
From the dawn of European literature, the figure of Medea--best known as the helpmate of Jason and murderer of her own children--has inspired artists in all fields throughout all centuries. Euripides, Seneca, Corneille, Delacroix, Anouilh, Pasolini, Maria Callas, Martha Graham, Samuel Barber, and Diana Rigg are among the many who have given Medea life on stage, film, and canvas, through music and dance, from ancient Greek drama to Broadway. In seeking to understand the powerful hold Medea has had on our imaginations for nearly three millennia, a group of renowned scholars here examines the major representations of Medea in myth, art, and ancient and contemporary literature, as well as the philosophical, psychological, and cultural questions these portrayals raise. The result is a comprehensive and nuanced look at one of the most captivating mythic figures of all time.
Unlike most mythic figures, whose attributes remain constant throughout mythology, Medea is continually changing in the wide variety of stories that circulated during antiquity. She appears as enchantress, helper-maiden, infanticide, fratricide, kidnapper, founder of cities, and foreigner. Not only does Medea's checkered career illuminate the opposing concepts of self and other, it also suggests the disturbing possibility of otherness within self. In addition to the editors, the contributors include Fritz Graf, Nita Krevans, Jan Bremmer, Dolores M. O'Higgins, Deborah Boedeker, Carole E. Newlands, John M. Dillon, Martha C. Nussbaum, Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood, and Marianne McDonald.
The investigation of language, of how (and what and why) signifiers signify, is prominent in modern critical work, but the questions being asked are by no means new. In Mervelous Signals, Eugene Vance asserts that "there is scarcely a term, practice, or concept in contemporary theory that does not have some rich antecedent in medieval thought." He goes on to illustrate the complexity and depth of medieval speculations about language and literature.
Vance's study of the link between the poetics and semiotics of the Middle Ages takes both a critical and a historical view as he brings today's insights to bear on the contemporary perspectives of such works as St. Augustine's Confessions, the Chanson de Roland, Chr tien's Yvain, Aucassin and Nicolette, Spenser's The Faerie Queen, and certain aspects of the works of Dante and Chaucer and of French medieval theater.
Drawing on the themes of current feminist thought, the author explores several examples of German literature and poetry to show how fictional mother-daughter characters played out the contradictions of the social and sexual conflicts in medieval society.
One part Plato, one part Aristophanes, two parts Easy Rider, Organ Grinder is a cocktail of lewd wisdom gathered equally from the poetry of antiquity and from near-death experiences on the open road. In a series of short works inspired by Horatian satire, Alan Fishbone bounces from gonzo fever-dream to philosophical treatise, investigating the conflicts between idealism and cynicism, love and sex, body and soul. Here's a taste:After my accident, I thought I was done with motorcycles. Until a few years ago-- I was lying in bed having trouble sleeping when I heard a voice say to me, "Alan, get a Harley and ride to Death Valley." I didn't even like Harleys. And I didn't believe that God had called me and told me to get one. It seemed unlikely that the monotheistic god we're stuck with would endorse a brand of motorcycle. Maybe the pagan gods of antiquity. Zeus might have ridden a Road King, or Apollo a BMW; you can imagine Aphrodite on the back of Ares's Ninja, zooming around the planets with the tip of a golden thong sticking out of her robe. Even that twerp Hermes on a Vespa delivering messages. Those gods liked to drink and screw and run around, like bikers, but not Yahweh or the Lord or Allah--strictly black limousines and security goons for those guys. Thou shalt not ride. Thou shalt not be free. Thou shalt pay off the debt of thy sins. So writes Alan Fishbone, our motorcycle riding scholar of ancient Greek and Latin, in one of the salty, sharp-eyed pieces that fill the pages of Organ Grinder.