Poetry, Literature, Music

Most texts and materials on this site have to do with the Latin language, including its perception in popular culture: movies, tattoos, inscriptions, engravings, bits of ancient philosophy, online Latin resources and company names. There is also information about learning Latin and Greek: textbooks, dictionaries, DVDs and software that can be used in a homeschooling environment.


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Translation of the Aeneid by C.S. Lewis

 
Saturday, May 17, 2008, 00:40 - Books, dictionaries and texts, Latin Translation, Poetry, Literature, Music
Posted by Administrator
A little rumor spreading here. I heard, on pretty good authority, that a verse translation of Virgil's Aeneid by C.S. Lewis is presently "in the hands" of a renowned Classicist. It is possible that the C.S. Lewis Foundation is going to publish it?

On a related note, C. S. Lewis once wrote about the Aeneid that no one "who has once read it with full perception remains an adolescent." Personally, I find this statement extremely profound and true.

Virgil's Aeneid: which edition NOT to buy

 
Saturday, May 3, 2008, 14:38 - Books, dictionaries and texts, Latin Translation, Poetry, Literature, Music, Reviews
Posted by Administrator
A few weeks ago I was at a used bookstore and a very promising title caught my attention: Virgil's Aeneid (Interlinear). The book was in one convenient volume, attractively priced -- something I just don't have yet. I like to have cheap editions of my favorite books, so I can take them places without the fear of loosing or damaging them (I won't take my Mynors to the beach!). Anyways... I opened this Aeneid and discovered that the way this edition was organized simply goes against everything that is good and honorable in this world. They simply translated the Latin text verbatim and then... and then... Well, they rearranged Virgil's text, so that the word order would follow the English translation. For instance, let's take the opening lines:

arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
Italiam fato profugus Laviniaque venit
litora.


This "interlinear" text has something like that:

cano arma que virum qui ob oris Troiae primus venit Italiam que litora Lavinia, profugus fato.

Then I remembered that I actually have a copy of Cicero published in this exact manner. I never fully understood the purpose of this pedagogical practice, but it is so much worse when it comes to poetry. So, people, be on the lookout for those "interlinear" texts!


Previously unknown works by St. Augustine discovered

 
This story did not get the news coverage that I believe it deserved:

Not all sensational finds come out of the ground! Augustine scholars will be delighted at the news of 6 previously unknown sermons being discovered through a library excavation in Erfurts Bibliotheca Amploniana. Isabella Schiller and colleagues from the Austrian Academy of Sciences discovered these works while studying an 800-year-old manuscript in the summer of 2007.

Concealed in a medieval parchment manuscript amongst 70 other religious texts are ca. 26 sermons attributed to Augustine, 3 of them on brotherly love and alms-giving. These were known previously only by their titles cited in Possidius Indiculum. One sermon is on the martyrs Perpetua and Felicitas, and another on the recently martyred Cyprian, the latter of which condemns the copious drinking that took place on saints feast days. The final sermon deals with resurrection of the dead and biblical prophecies.


Unknown works of Saint Augustine found

An acrostic in Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica

 
Tuesday, April 1, 2008, 14:26 - Latin Language, Unsolved Mysteries and Myths, Poetry, Literature, Music
Posted by Administrator
Haec ubi non ulla iuvenes formidine moti
accipiunt (dulce et dura sic pergere mente), 175
terga sequi properosque iubet coniungere gressus.
litore in extremo spelunca apparuit ingens
arboribus super et dorso contecta minanti,
non quae dona deum, non quae trahat aetheris ignem,
infelix domus et sonitu tremebunda profundi. 180
at varii pro rupe metus: hinc trunca rotatis
bracchia rapta viris strictoque immortua caestu
ossaque taetra situ <et> capitum maestissimus ordo
per piceas, quibus adverso sub vulnere nulla
iam facies nec nomen erat; media ipsius arma 185
sacra metu[que] magnique aris imposta parentis.


Val. Fl. 4

The acrostic reads LANIABO. However, in older editions line 184 used be rendered as "respicias." So, we would have had LANIABOR, which is a lot more interesting. Did the acrostic contain a self-fulfilling prophesy about the transmission of the text?

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