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.
The Eclogues, ten short pastoral poems, were composed between approximately 42 and 39 BC, during the time of the 'Second' Triumvirate of Lepidus, Anthony, and Octavian. In them Virgil subtly blended an idealized Arcadia with contemporary history. To his Greek model - the Idylls ofTheocritus - he added a strong element of Italian realism: places and people, real or disguised, and contemporary events are introduced. The Eclogues display all Virgil's art and charm and are among his most delightful achievements.Between approximately 39 and 29 BC, years of civil strife between Antony, and Octavian, Virgil was engaged upon the Georgics. Part agricultural manual, full of observations of animals and nature, they deal with the farmer's life and give it powerful allegorical meaning. These four books containsome of Virgil's finest descriptive writing and are generally held to be his greatest and most entertaining work, and C. Day Lewis's lyrical translations are classics in their own right.
The Eclogues, also called the Bucolics, is the first of the three major works of the Latin poet Virgil, containing ten pieces, each called not an idyll, populated by and large with herdsmen imagined conversing and performing amoebaean singing in largely rural settings, whether suffering or embracing revolutionary change or happy or unhappy love. The Georgics is the second major work by the Latin poet Virgil, with the subject of agriculture; but far from being an example of peaceful rural poetry, it is a work characterized by tensions in both theme and purpose. Publius Vergilius Maro, Virgil, was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, The Eclogues, The Georgics, and The Aeneid.
Surprising though it may seem, this is the first full-scale scholarly commentary in English on Virgil's Eclogues. Written between about 42 and 35 BC, these ten short pastorals are among the best known poems in Latin literature. They have inspired numerous poets - Sidney, Ronsard, and others - and at the same time have held enduring fascination among scholars for their sophistaicated and allusive blend of Theocritean idyll and contemporary Roman history. Professor Clausen's commentary will provide a comprehensive guide to the poems and the considerable scholarship surrounding them, and should be indispensable to all serious students of Virgil's poetry. Special attention is paid throughout the commentary to the important question of Virgil's use of Theocritus and other Hellenistic poets, with translations provided of all Greek passages. There are many new and illuminating observations on Virgil's poetic style and vocabulary, often with reference to his Latin predecessors: Lucretius, Catullus and (virtually unnoticed by previous scholars) Plautus. A third feature of the commentary is a new examination of the plants and trees in the poems - both their exact identification and their significance. There are helpful introductions to each poem, as well as a comprehensive general introduction to the Eclogues as a whole, in which Professor Clausen discusses the nature of ancient pastoral poetry, the structure of the Eclogues, and the composition of a pastoral landscape by Virgil and Theocritus.
Many scholars have seen ancient bucolic poetry as a venue for thinking about texts and textuality. This book reassesses Virgil's Eclogues and their genre, arguing that they are better read as fiction - that is, as a work that refers not merely to itself or to other texts but to a world of its own making. This makes for a rich work of art and an object of legitimate aesthetic and imaginative engagement. Increased attention to the fictionality of Virgilian poetry also complicates and enriches the Eclogues' social and political dimensions. The book offers new interpretations of poems like Eclogues 5 and 9, which, according to traditional allegorical readings, concern Julius Caesar and the confiscation of lands under Octavian, respectively. It shows how the Eclogue world stands in a less stable relation to reality; these poems challenge readers at every turn to reimagine the relationship between fiction and the real.
Virgil's great lyrics, rendered by the acclaimed translator of The Odes of Horace and Gilgamesh The Eclogues of Virgil gave definitive form to the pastoral mode, and these magically beautiful poems, which were influential in so much subsequent literature, perhaps best exemplify what pastoral can do. "Song replying to song replying to song," touchingly comic, poignantly sad, sublimely joyful, the various music that these shepherds make echoes in scenes of repose and harmony, and of hardship and trouble in work and love. A bilingual edition, The Eclogues of Virgil includes concise, informative notes and an Introduction that describes the fundamental role of this deeply original book in the pastoral tradition.
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.
With notes based on those in Conington's ed., A Life of Virgil, and an article on ancient musical instruments. With illustr. from Rich's "Antiquities". Transl. into heroic verse by R[obert] M[illington] Millington