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Classical Latin Literature

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Classical Latin Literature

Postby Caecilius » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:32 am

This is a tremendously broad topic, but perhaps with the linguistic liberty of this forum - in terms of its ability to branch out using translations - it would be rather interesting to discuss a little certain works from differing genres. I'm always on the look-out for various translations on different writers, but it's been some time since I've had the time to sit down with the classics (ordinarily, I spend my time with much later historical and modern texts, both fiction and non-fiction).

I've read a few of Martial's epigrams as well as Juvenal's 10th Satire (and a little of his 7th) in the Latin, of which the latter satirist was especially difficult, given the vocabulary, references, etc. It was a bit disheartening, but with those sorts of crude and snarky comments of his, I think it's worth it; translations can often too easily either under- or over-exaggerate his vulgarity, or else be unable to transfer some of the nuances over to the English. It'd be fascinating to hear some of everyone's views: any particular preferred satirist?
mirantur quidem divinam speciem, sed ut simulacrum fabre politum mirantur omnes.
- Psyche et Cupido, Lucius Apuleius
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Re: Classical Latin Literature

Postby Scribo » Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:00 am

Ah well technically the classical satirist of the lot is Horace with his Saturae and his experimental Epistles since he honed and established quite a few tropes of the genre as well as causing hexameter to become the standard. I'm...not his greatest fan actually, the Lucillius fragments are much more entertaining and worth reading if you're into satire since every later author references them.

For me it comes down to Persius or Juvenal. The former is more...let's say cryptic, dense and philosophical. Juvenal is much more expansive, electric and just plain funnier. Actually it's unfair since he's probably my favourite Latin poet. There's something in the rhythm and pace of attack I absolutely adore, though the massive dramatic set pieces (like III) are lost on me. :P
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Re: Classical Latin Literature

Postby Caecilius » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:19 pm

Yes, I really do love Juvenal, as much his philosophy, in fact, as his satire and the way in which he delivers it.

I didn't mention Horace because, although I've read some of his work in translation, never in the original Latin, and it's been some time in any case - so perhaps I'm not entirely qualified to speak on him. I considered, as part of my return to the Classical Latin texts, reading Lucretius' De Rerum Natura in English, but I might start off with some Horace now, actually.

I know some people find Horace harder than Juvenal; sometimes I've even heard the opposite. I've never tried Horace, as I mentioned, so I can't say myself, though I'd suspect it'd be difficult either way for intermediate/non-fluent readers. And especially so since it's a matter of satire: there are always cultural references and maybe issues of vocabulary from that, which might prove difficult. On the other hand, Catullus with commentary is still much easier in terms of translation, so it could be much more clear cut between Juvenal and Horace. Some thoughts, anyone?
mirantur quidem divinam speciem, sed ut simulacrum fabre politum mirantur omnes.
- Psyche et Cupido, Lucius Apuleius
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Re: Classical Latin Literature

Postby Qimmik » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:40 pm

Horace's Satires are very difficult and not at all like Juvenal. They jump around from topic to topic and on the surface seem incoherent and sometimes even idiotic. There has been a lot of work in recent years on the interpretation, and you should equip yourself with good, up-to-date commentaries if you decide to attempt them. There are commentaries in the Aris & Phillips series on each of Books 1 and 2 (I think), and one in the Green & Yellow series on Book 1.
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Re: Classical Latin Literature

Postby akshda » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:32 pm

hi, i am just join your form community...so please guide me about Latin Literature.
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