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The Complete Odes and Epodes (Oxford World's Classics)
Horace (65-8 B.C.) is one of the most important and brilliant poets of the Augustan Age of Latin literature whose influence on European literature is unparalleled. Steeped in allusion to contemporary affairs, Horace's verse is best read in terms of his changing relationship to the public sphere. While the Odes are subtle and allusive, the Epodes are robust and coarse in their celebrations of sex and tirades against political leaders. This edition also includes the Secular Hymn and Suetonius's "Life of Horace."
About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
The more notes the better
- June 27, 2003
Okay - so Horace is notoriously allusive, each line packed with meaning. What that calls for, it would seem, is a translation with as many pages of notes as of text, if not more, and a line-by-line gloss in the back.West in his Oxford World's Classic gives better annotation than most (the Penguin or Modern Library edition), but still could stand to do a lot more. One suspects he wants people to buy his expanded editions of the Odes.The translations, as poetry, will not knock you off your feet, but they do better than the looser Michie versions at letting you know what Horace more or less wrote. (I find Michie's unrhymed versions very fine as poetry, but the rhymed ones are too glib to bear.) And West's aren't quite as soporific as Shepard's versions in Penguin.Basically, it seems, I need to learn Latin. And if any of you eager reviewers knows a good English-language commentary on the Odes, don't keep it a secret.
"...a monument more lasting than bronze..."
By A Customer
- April 11, 2002
[This review refers to the Oxford World's Classics
edition of Horace's THE COMPLETE ODES AND EPODES,
and the "Secular Hymn" -- "Translated with an Introduction
and Notes by David West."] It is always wise, if funds permit, to purchase more
than one edition (translation) of some of these classic
works. To read several translations that are well done
is like experiencing the same piece of classical music
so well interpreted but with different style, flair, and
felicity by different orchestras and conductors.
The Oxford World's Classics series are excellent for
their formatting, the scholarship, and the wonderful
Explanatory Notes at the back which give such helpful
context and understanding.
You know that you are in the company of an interesting
translator (as well as the company of Horace, the poet,
himself) when you read something like this in the
"Introduction":... read more
Enjoyed this book.
By A Customer
- July 2, 1999
This book was a revelation to me. I don't have any background in Latin but have always enjoyed reading literature, especially poetry. No one had told me what an influence Horace had on the English and French poetry that I have always enjoyed! I kept recognizing things that later writer copied and imitated from him, because he is so lovely. He also is a great poet for a thinking person to read. Mature and interesting. The translations seemed to be good. I had a friend who reads Latin listen to a few and she said they were very accurate. When she read the original aloud to me, they sounded much more lovely than the English. But I suppose that is normal.
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