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Who is easiest, Cattulus, Horace, Ovid or Virgil?

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Who is easiest, Cattulus, Horace, Ovid or Virgil?

Postby solitario » Sat Aug 07, 2004 4:36 am

SALVETE OMNES.

I've had some delays, but now I'm getting back to my Latin. Soon I will be ready to tackle my first classical author.

These are my choices:

Cattulus: Love Poems
Horace: Odes
Ovid: The Art of Love
Virgil: Aeneid

Which do you think would be the easiest to start with? Thanks!

VALETE BENE.
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Postby mraig » Sat Aug 07, 2004 4:53 pm

I would say Vergil or Ovid. Just be sure that you have a good commentary, and be aware that (in my opinion at least) the first few pages of an author are usually fairly difficult just because you are getting used to his style and vocabulary. Make it through them and the pages will start flying by faster.
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Postby benissimus » Sat Aug 07, 2004 10:47 pm

I would say Vergil or Ovid. Just be sure that you have a good commentary, and be aware that (in my opinion at least) the first few pages of an author are usually fairly difficult just because you are getting used to his style and vocabulary. Make it through them and the pages will start flying by faster.

I would have said that Catullus is one of the easiest poets, Ovid is somewhat difficult, and Vergil and Horace are both quite sophisticated. I would be curious why you would say that Vergil is easier to read than Catullus, though I do know one exceptional person (EPISCOPUS) who agrees with you.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby mraig » Sun Aug 08, 2004 7:03 am

I hadn't really looked at Catullus in a while; pulling him off my shelf for a quick glance over I see that he's not as difficult as I remember. I think maybe I'm influenced by the fact that when I started reading Latin, I began with Caesar (who everyone says is the easiest, but whom I struggled with at the time), and then moved to the Aeneid, which I found much easier to follow. Looking back, I think the thing that got me with Caesar is that he uses some very un-English constructions - the different uses of 'quod' drove me crazy, and I got lost in his complex series of infinitives - while Vergil is more of a straightforward storyteller. But now that I look back at Catullus, his constructions are generally shorter and more simple than Vergil's, and his vocabulary seems smaller. Actually, I am enjoying reading Catullus right now, because his poems are short enough that I can read through each fairly quickly. I still don't think Vergil or Ovid are that difficult, but I will concede that Catullus might be easier (although http://www.faqs.org/faqs/classics-faq/ rates Catullus and Vergil as 6/10 in difficulty, and Ovid as 5/10). Also, keep in mind that commentaries and help are probably more readily available for Vergil that Catullus.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sun Aug 08, 2004 5:54 pm

I'd vote for some Caesar, then move on to Catullus and then Ovid. As for his Libri Amores, I suggest starting here:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/ovid/lboo/

Ovid's definitely the most fun, though, I think.

V

quos umeros, quales vidi tetigique lacertos!
forma papillarum quam fuit apta premi!
quam castigato planus sub pectore venter!
quantum et quale latus! quam iuvenale femur!


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Postby epiclesis » Sun Aug 08, 2004 6:25 pm

Catullus is the easiest, followed by Ovid.

I'm tempted to say Vergil is the most difficult, but it's close between Horace and Vergil.

I love Ovid and Horace, and everything of Vergil EXCEPT The Aeneid.
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