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Virgil's Eclogues

Virgil's Eclogues

TRANSLATED BY Len Krisak
INTRODUCTION BY Gregson Davis
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 112
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt3fh6sw
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  • Book Info
    Virgil's Eclogues
    Book Description:

    Publius Vergilius Maro (70-19 B.C.), known in English as Virgil, was perhaps the single greatest poet of the Roman empire-a friend to the emperor Augustus and the beneficiary of wealthy and powerful patrons. Most famous for his epic of the founding of Rome, the Aeneid, he wrote two other collections of poems: the Georgics and the Bucolics, or Eclogues. The Eclogues were Virgil's first published poems. Ancient sources say that he spent three years composing and revising them at about the age of thirty. Though these poems begin a sequence that continues with the Georgics and culminates in the Aeneid, they are no less elegant in style or less profound in insight than the later, more extensive works. These intricate and highly polished variations on the idea of the pastoral poem, as practiced by earlier Greek poets, mix political, social, historical, artistic, and moral commentary in musical Latin that exerted a profound influence on subsequent Western poetry. Poet Len Krisak's vibrant metric translation captures the music of Virgil's richly textured verse by employing rhyme and other sonic devices. The result is English poetry rather than translated prose. Presenting the English on facing pages with the original Latin, Virgil's Eclogues also features an introduction by scholar Gregson Davis that situates the poems in the time in which they were created.

    eISBN: 978-0-8122-0536-7
    Subjects: Language & Literature
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. v-vi)
  3. INTRODUCTION (pp. vii-xviii)
    Gregson Davis

    The trio of masterpieces that Virgil composed during the prolonged sunset of the Roman Republic¹ begins with the collection of ten poems that we have come to know by the conventional title Eclogues (“Selections”). Though these exquisite short poems inaugurate the sequence that continues with the Georgics and culminates in the Aeneid, they are neither less elegant in style nor less profound in philosophical insight than the later, more extensive works.

    The book of Eclogues appeared on the scene approximately seven years before the decisive naval battle of Actium in 30 B.C.E. Octavian’s triumph over Antony and Cleopatra in that...

  4. TRANSLATOR’S PREFACE (pp. xix-xx)
  5. The Eclogues
  6. NOTES (pp. 81-91)