How to Read a Latin Poem: If You Can't Read Latin Yet

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Oxford University Press, Feb 21, 2013 - History - 278 pages
3 Reviews
Latin is very much alive in the poetry written by the great Latin poets, and this book is about their poetry, their language, and their culture. Fitzgerald shows the reader with little or no knowledge of the Latin language how it works as a unique vehicle for poetic expression and thought. Moving between close analysis of particular Latin poems and more general discussions of Latin poets, literature, and society, Fitzgerald gives the un-Latined reader an insider's view of how Latin poetry feels and what makes it worth reading, even today. His book explores what can be said and done in a poetry and a language that are both very different from English and yet have profoundly influenced it. He takes the reader through the whole range of Latin poetry from the trivial, obscene, and vicious, to the sublime, the passionate, and the uplifting. Individual chapters focus on particular authors (such as Vergil and Horace) or on themes (love, hate, civil war), and together they explain why we should care about what the poets of ancient Rome had to say. If you have ever wondered what all the fuss was about, see for yourselves!

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Review: How to Read a Latin Poem: If You Can't Read Latin Yet

User Review  - Jim Coughenour - Goodreads

I discovered this book by accident while roving Amazon for books on Ovid, and I bought it on a whim. I read it for pleasure, not duty (it's not a book to read straight through). I hopped to my ... Read full review

Review: How to Read a Latin Poem: If You Can't Read Latin Yet

User Review  - Michael Cayley - Goodreads

A superb exposition of how to approach Latin poetry. It takes you fairly deep into issues of poetics, style and interpretation, without requiring the reader to be a Latin scholar: indeed, it can be ... Read full review


A Guide to the Pronunciation of Latin
1 Love and a Genre
2 Hate Mockery and the Physical World
The Sensation of Mediocrity
The Unclassical Classic
Poets of Apocalypse
Lucretius De Rerum Natura and Ovids Metamorphoses
Guide to Further Reading
Index of Poems Discussed

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About the author (2013)

William Fitzgerald is Professor of Latin at King's College, London.

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