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Minor Latin Poets, Volume 1: Pubilius Syrus, Elegies on Maecenas, Grattius, etc. (Loeb Classical Library No. 284): v. 1 Hardcover – 1 Jul 1989

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Minor Latin Poets, Volume 1: Pubilius Syrus, Elegies on Maecenas, Grattius, etc. (Loeb Classical Library No. 284): v. 1 + The Minor Latin Poets: v. 2 (Loeb Classical Library)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 434 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; Revised edition edition (1 July 1989)
  • Language: Latin, English
  • ISBN-10: 0674993144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674993143
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,437,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Caveat: volume of good, hard-to-find poems is filled with errors 20 Feb. 2010
By Vince Emery - Published on
This volume gathers Latin poems that are worthy but hard-to-find. It presents Latin text on the left page with an English translation on the facing page. It is difficult to find an inexpensive Latin text of these verses, and even more difficult to find twentieth-century or later English translations of them. From that standpoint, this is a volume to cherish.

Unfortunately, both the Latin text and the translations are riddled with mistakes.

Here are excerpts from a review by the great classicist and poet A.E. Housman when this volume was first published:

"This is a volume containing Grattius, Calpurnius, Nemesianus, Auianus, Rutilius, the sententiae of Publilius Syrus, the Aetna, the disticha Catonis, and a dozen shorter works, in all about 7400 verses. As I soon saw that it would invite more comment than its importance would justify I have read through only Syrus, who comes first, and the slenderer authors; from the bulkier I have taken samples of 50 lines or more apiece. Since translation is the chief feature of this series I will say nothing of the recension or any subsidiary matter, and in the [Latin] versions themselves I shall not notice a few places where words are omitted or where the reading translated is not that of the text, nor the rather more frequent cases where a sense has been invented for Latin which possesses none. Mistranslations proper will occupy me sufficiently; for not only are they numerous, but many of them are such as would not have been expected, and some are quite astounding."

"... A singular fatality by which the editors are pursued is an impulse to believe that sentences mean the opposite of what they do mean. ... Syrus is least adequately rendered, not so much because he is the best literature in the book as because of the difficulty inherent in rendering apophthegms."

Because the Latin originals are high-quality poetry, influential, and historically important, and because Latin or English texts of them are scarce, this is a worthwhile volume for any lover of classical poetry or classical history. But caveat emptor; its Latin texts are flawed, and its English translations are packed with errors and sins.
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