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Catullus and his World: A Reappraisal Paperback – 12 Jan 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Reprint edition (12 Jan. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521319684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521319683
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 404,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

'T. P. Wiseman's Catullus and his World must be one of the most readable and exciting new books about a Latin poet for many years … [It] can confidently be recommended to anyone interested in Catullus and not just to the professional classical scholar or student.' Francis Cairns, The Times Literary Supplement

'Disarmingly readable, and with many a neat turn of phrase, it is a valuable study of Catullus and his time, full of shrewdness and common sense, sometimes subtle, sometimes provocative.' Richard Jenkyns, The Times Higher Education Supplement

'I applaud the book as a scintillating work of imaginative scholarship.' Peter Jones, The Times

'The book deserves to become required reading for all students of late-republican Rome, its society and its literature.' Tony Woodman, British Book News

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brilliant resource for classical studies students. These books are difficult to find at reasonable prices. Thanks amazon.
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Format: Paperback
Catullus is one of the most fascinating of the Latin poets, and his poems have provoked endless speculation about himself, his circle and in particular his love affair with 'Lesbia' and who she might be. This book is an eminently readable and equally fascinating reappraisal of much of the scholarship and speculation that has gone before. By emphasising the nature of Catullus' world in late Republican Rome and drawing extensively from the poems, the author is able to produce a credible and detailed appreciation of this great and very accessible poet. All the extracts from the poems are presented in English and Latin, so you don't need to read Latin to follow the exposition. This book will also be of great interest ot anyone interested in the Rome of Cicero and Caesar.
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Format: Paperback
Some academic books make fascinating historical material seem underwhelming with plodding writing- but here the style, humour and energy of the writing is up to the task. It's a very engaging read.
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Format: Paperback
Wiseman calls this 'A Reappraisal' but although he sets up the dangers of associating Catullus' Lesbia unproblematically with Clodia Metelli, he then goes on to do the same thing himself!

So much of this book is concerned with the politics of the late Republic, the depiction and representation of elite women, a long analysis of Cicero's Pro Caelio - all of which is fascinating in its own right but methodologically misses the point surprisingly that gender and gendered representations are conditioned by genre and so a woman in Catullus' love poetry has both generic antecedents as well as a textual function that can't be automatically assumed to be the same as that which underpins Cicero's forensic speech.

As a background read, or for anyone with a general and unspecialised interest in this field then Wiseman is excellent (although his footnotes are undecipherable to a non-classicist, and frquently include untranslated latin and Greek); but for the serious student of Catullus, Cicero or Republican Rome something far more methodologically sophisticated is needed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusually good 22 April 2008
By Edward Yarborough - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book tells you most everything that can be known or guessed about Catullus, and it does so in a way that is both erudite and entertaining--a rare combination.
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