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on 30 May 2014
In over forty years of teaching, I have found this to be the finest translation of anything I have ever encountered. Though the translation is close to the Latin text, somehow it manages to capture so much of the fragile beauty of the original.
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on 23 April 2017
This is an excellent book for the student and scholar. It has a good commentary
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VINE VOICEon 20 February 2010
Thank you, Penguin, for publishing this slender volume which is small enough to tuck into my carryon whenever I travel to Italy; for Vergil's "Eclogues," written in the first century BC, celebrate the essence of the Italian landscape. Vergil's susurrant pines and splashing fountains; his humming bees and keening doves; his savours of crushed garlic and thyme are omnipresent, as any walk in Rome, Ostia Antica, or Hadrian's Villa on a summer's day will reveal. Reading Vergil's "Eclogues" makes one almost forget about the incessant din of the Roman traffic.

So that readers of Latin can fully appreciate these ten short poems, Penguin has set Vergil's Latin text on the left page and and Guy Lee's translation on the right page. The translator has essayed to approximate the Latin hexameter by using English Alexandrine meter. Translation is a matter of taste. I am not certain that one approaching these poems from English with no knowledge of Latin will get a sense of "what Vergil was really like" from the translator's rendition, which is nevertheless punctilious. Furthermore, since the poems are not annotated, the words "lucerne" (cytisus) and "sappy vervain" (verbenas. . . pinguis) may send non-Latin readers rushing to a dictionary.

Vergil may be regarded as 'untranslatable' in that one must read the "Eclogues" in Latin to appreciate the beauty of these poems. For example "The very pines,/ the very springs, these very orchards called to you/" is accurate, but it fails to catch Vergil's brilliant combined sibilance, consonance, and alliteration that imitates these sounds of nature themselves: "ipsae te Tityre, pinus/, ipsi te fontes, ipsa haec arbusta vocabant." Nor does "[as ever feeding Hybla bees]/ will often whisper you persuasively to sleep/" capture Virgil's drowsy combination of L's and S's in ". . . saepe levi somnum suadebit inire susurro." But again, one has to read these poems, which are unfortunately sometimes neglected in favour of the "Aeneid," in Latin to appreciate their stunning beauty.

Thanks to Penguin, readers of Latin, if not completely satisfied with the English, can refer to the magnificent original.
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on 18 October 2016
I am very disappointed with the copy of the Eclogues I received. It is extremely bad quality, with each of the pages falling out every time I study one, making it very difficult to use my copy. This is unacceptable for the price I paid.
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on 2 June 2011
The product review refers to "interpretative notes and analyses" - this is untrue, as there are no notes or analyses with this version..
The only other review, which prompted me to buy the product in the first place, refers to the Penguin edition with parallel Latin texts and translations - this is clearly not that edition, as there is no Latin text, simply the 10 Eclogues translated into what to my ear is not very readable English. Why is a review attached to a product which clearly refers to a completely different version? Not recommended!
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on 22 September 2014
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