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Sixteen Satires [Unknown Binding]

3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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  • Unknown Binding
  • ASIN: B006X1AW9O
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Must I always be stuck in the audience, never get my own back for all the times I've been bored by that ranting Theseid of Cordus? Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware the wasp - and the mullet! 31 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Yes, Dr Jones may well be right in suggesting that there are better editions than this (although it would have been useful if he'd told us exactly which ones and why!). However, Peter Green arguably offers the best introduction to Juvenal's Satires. After all, Green is not writing for the specialist but for the average, intelligent reader - the kind of reader that Penguin Classics habitually caters for. Jones probably has scholars like Susanna Braund in mind and I'd imagine that her editions are those that professional classicists like him find most valuable. She offers an extremely perceptive commentary, full Latin text and a translation that is, I suspect, closer to the letter than Green's. But Braund comes at a hefty price - 18 for Volume I alone.

In any case, this Penguin edition has lots to offer besides value. Green captures the spirit and vitality, as well as the sharply ironic humour, of the original at least as well as Braund or Rudd, the two main competitors. His Juvenal sounds fresh, witty and modern (as well as occasionally loathsome, misogynistic and xenophobic). His Introduction, moreover, is extensive and engaging. It may well be 'old-fashioned' in its lack of enthusiasm for the 'persona theory' (ie the view that the poet is donning a mask and not voicing his own opinions, thereby preventing us from reading the satires as self-revelation). But Green does at least address 'the much-vexed question of Juvenal's satirical persona', and gives us an alternative approach. He inclines to the view that Juvenal's savage indignation resulted from humbling personal experience. According to long-held tradition, he was exiled - probably to Egypt.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Green's revision hits the mark 25 Sep 2003
I studied this book for Classical Civilisation last year and found it an extremely refreshing rendering of an author whose medium (the satire) has been mauled and abused by even the best of English translators. I picked up a second much inferior translation of this book to reinforce my learning and instantly appreciated the quality of Peter Green's method: he avoids sucking the life out of Juvenal's poetry through prose translation but doesn't go so far as to force the advanced and passionate sentiments into dry showy Dryden-esque iambics or rhyming couplets. The result is an unrhyming semi-poetic rendering; beautifully and entirely naturally rhythmic. He also meets an audience mid-way between scholar and 'layman' by removing references to unknown people referred to in the text, thus avoiding clumsy English (which may also be seen as a trifle patronising on the translator's part), and providing an thorough endnotes and a bibliography for each satire. The introduction and preface are also hugely informative. However I find his (to me) unique method of applying endnotes a little irritating: he often places the endnotes twenty lines apart and then explains all of the different points in the preceeding twenty lines, rather than the more orthodox way of applying one note per reference. However this is, I assume, an attempt at making the experience of reading the work a more fluid one and only jarred on me as I was studying it in conjunction with other texts which use the more traditional method.
In any case this is a wonderful book, finally hitting that hard to reach mark between poetry and prose.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is the only Kindle book I've ever returned. it was badly formatted, there is no table of contents and it cost more than the paperback. There's no excuse for this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars So this is what the Romans were really like 11 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you want to get under the skin of ancient Rome, Juvenal is the perfect guide. Well worth a read
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