Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent presentation, accurate, academic and yet very readable, 27 Nov 2013
This review is from: Fasti (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
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This new translation of Ovid's Fasti aims to be accurate, and has therefore not attempted to put it into verse. IMHO for the versification, speaking it in the original Latin was best, even if I didn't fully understand it then as part of my 'O' levels.

So I am very happy to have had the pleasure of reading this version with its academic rigour, and the accompanying bonuses of full notes, references, glossary, indices, and a comprehensive introduction with a clear contextual time-line to help with understanding Ovid's reasoning for writing what he did. This book is perfect for the student preparing for an exam, or for anyone else wanting to fully understand what Ovid was trying to tell us. There are other translations in couplets with more detailed notes for the intensive academics, but this one seems to hit the mark well enough for most of us.

Coming to it now, presented to us with clear English and no fudging the words to fit a metre or rhyme scheme, I can finally see why Ovid was so popular and has stood the test of time; he is wise, witty, cynical, moral, double-dealing, obtuse, mystical, and above all instructive in the ways of life, this philosophical cocktail is cunningly wrapped in the guise of an erudite Calendar explaining what is relevant to the different times of year. The only problem with the book is one that Ovid himself suffered; he was unable to complete the Calendar and stopped at the end of June (Book 6) when he was sent into exile by the emperor Augustus, and in those days you didn't argue with the big boss.

I do so wish I had had a copy of this when I was doing my own exams all those years ago. Latin would then have been more like fun rather than a difficult chore struggling with apparently meaningless and obscure translations.
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