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The Poems of Catullus Hardcover – 9 Sep 2005

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; Bilingual Ed edition (9 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520242645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520242647
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 17.1 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,506,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Peter Green is Dougherty Centennial Professor Emeritus of Classics at the University of Texas at Austin and Adjunct Professor of Classics at the University of Iowa. He is the author of many books, including Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography (California, 1991) and Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age (California, 1990). His translations include Ovid's The Poems of Exile: Tristia and the Black Sea Letters (California, 2005), Juvenal's The Sixteen Satires (third edition, 1998), and Apollonios Rhodios's The Argonautika: The Story of Jason and the Quest for the Golden Fleece (California, 1997).

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First Sentence
Who's the dedicatee of my new witty booklet, all fresh-polished with abrasive? Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 30 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Like Green's other Latin poetic translations (e.g. The Erotic Poems), this keeps to the general spirit of the originals, but definitely not the letter. So if you want an energetic, sometimes quite brisk and very American rendering of the sense of Catullus into English, then this may well work for you. If, however, you want a literal or nuanced translation of the Latin words, then this is sometimes very loose.

For example, the programmatic opening poem starts `qui dono lepidum novum libellum', literally `to whom do I give this charming new little book' - Green turns this into `who's the dedicatee of my new witty booklet', erasing the active `dono, I give' and introducing a `dedicatee' which is not in the Latin original. `Booklet', too, for `libellum' turns the characteristic Catullan use of diminutives into something vaguely comic as the idea of a booklet or pamphlet for modern readers is something quite different from a slim volume (or slender roll) of Roman verse.

Catullus isn't particularly well served by translators: Whigham (The Poems) is also very loose, as is, to a lesser extent, Lee (The Poems of Catullus); the Loeb (Catullus) is the most accurate to the Latin but puts the English into prose.
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By E. L. Wisty TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I agree wholeheartedly that this is the best translation of Catullus. A reviewer of the paperback edition Poems of Catullus: A Bilingual Edition rather condemned it. I confess my Latin is far from adequate, but having done some comparison of a few of these translations against those in The Poems of Catullus (Oxford World Classics) and Catullus - The Poems Translated (Penguin Classics), I find this current work's translations both more readable in themselves and also closer in meaning to the originals as far as I understand them. To me, there is no argument - this is the edition to get.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alan Tucker on 5 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A look at the Contents page on 'See inside this book' shows the extent of notes etc making this a comprehensive edition of Catullus. Excellent translations, notes and introduction. The facing page original texts, even if you have no Latin whatever, are essential as you can begin to appreciate the concision and wit of the most modern of all the ancient poets,and along with Horace the most 'human'. I bought the hard-cover edition from an Amazon merchant for under £10. A handsome book, it opens easily and is a joy to read. Strongly recommended.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By torcorcaigh on 17 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have seen Peter Green's translation mentioned as one of the better modern versions of Catullus. Like Guy Lee's (which I have), it is bilingual. Unlike Lee's, it is said to have have a full explanatory commentary. I have several of Green's other translations from Latin poets (all of them unfortunately monolingually Anglophone) and would certainly consider adding his Catullus to my collection. However, I note that Amazon offer only the highpriced hardback and not the available paperback (see the California UP website).

Without having read the book (but having put it on my wishlist for the future) I am happy to award it a provisional four stars, based on the combined reputations of Valerius Catullus, Peter Green and California UP.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Less romantic than I expected 19 Feb. 2006
By Kristin M. Slonsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I got this book as a xmas gift from my mom. She picked it out from my wishlist. I've studied much Latin, but I completely skipped over Catullus as an undergrad. That's why, I put a Bilingual edition on my wish list rather than just an English translation. I wanted to get a real feel for the actual poetry.

I'm not very familiar with Catullus and I honestly thought that there would be more romantic love poems throughout the book. I think that it was a good thing that there were more 'vulgar' poems in the book because they left a strong impression and because they made those rare instances of romantic poetry stand out more brilliantly. Personally, my favorite poem was about Catullus thinking about his home. It really resonated with me because I have travelled so much.

I think that this is an excellent intermediate level Latin book and that if you haven't acquainted yourself with Catullus, this is the method to do so!

kittie
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
indispensable 28 Oct. 2009
By gaetano catelli - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i am currently translating the extant works of Catullus, in aid of which i have 6 different translations. Peter Green's is the one that is indispensable, as well as the most pleasurable to read for its own sake.

for example, on the page facing his translation is the Latin text, a sine qua non for appreciating Catullus's brilliance.

there is also a glossary that explains the significance of each proper name to the poem in which it appears. and, most helpfully, there are notes to each poem that summarize not only Green's wise interpretation, but various views by other Catullus scholars.

the translation itself strikes a perfect balance, to my taste, of the literal Latin, Catullus's meaning and intent, and elegance (without stuffiness or pretension).

if you are going to buy only one book of Catullus's poems, or are thinking about adding to your collection of them, this is the one to get.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Poems of Catullus: very useful adjunct to the AP Latin Lit classroom 9 Feb. 2008
By Suzanne Nussbaum - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have enjoyed sharing the translation of Cat. 63 with my AP students, and the complete text of Cat. 64 (after they read the Ariadne episode in Latin). It's very easy to glance across the page at the Latin and get at least some sense of it; since what we're reading in translation is in addition to the AP syllabus, this seems appropriate. The translator's notes on 63 and 64 are also worth reading, in my opinion. Using this book has allowed me a better way to make my students at least somewhat familiar with the long poems of Catullus.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Catullus translation by Peter Green 15 Jan. 2014
By stephen liem - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best edition of Catullus' poems. In addition to the Latin text, it has extensive notes for each poems and also a list of place-names and character-names with good historical explanations for each. It is better than the Loeb bi-lingual edition because of the notes.
Catullus for the modern age 1 Jun. 2014
By rowenateena&ben - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The translation was excellent and enlightening to a latin scholar from decades ago. However, the print size used was so small that those decades made it frustratingly difficult to read.
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