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Difficulty of the Roman playwrights and Livy

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Difficulty of the Roman playwrights and Livy

Postby epiclesis » Thu Aug 12, 2004 3:41 pm

How would you rate the difficulty of Livy and the two Roman playwrights, Plautus and Terence?

Subjective of course, but nonetheless helpful.
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Postby whiteoctave » Thu Aug 12, 2004 5:37 pm

Livy is, for me, like the Thucydides of Greek. Although Sallust is typically given this title, I find that the state of Livy's prose is reminiscent to that Thucidydean flux: three quarters is fine and one can roll through it, but certain patches, often quite prolonged, rear their ugly heads on occasion. At such points I find it best to read the whole sentence without pre-empting any translation in your head, for often so many crucial parts are delivered too late for an English mind to handle.
As regards the comedians, so called, I find Terence easier than Plautus, but to describe either as easy, per se, would be somewhat rash.

~D
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Postby epiclesis » Thu Aug 12, 2004 7:02 pm

I've heard the comedians use a rather intricate meter for writing the plays. Oh, goody.
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Postby whiteoctave » Thu Aug 12, 2004 8:20 pm

yeah, it's more clumsy in my view than intricate. everything is based upon the iamb and trochee (so often intermingled) in senarii, septenarii and octonarii. the horrific amount of resolution (previously explained in bewilderment as "license") is, to me, disappointing.

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