Discovered in an Egyptian papyrus in 1896, the lyrics of Bacchylides are one of the great treasures of Greek poetry. These exquisite choral odes celebrate victories in the Pythian, Isthmian, Nemean, and Olympic games and chronicle the classical gods and heroes, eloquently revealing to us the spirit and world of Golden Age Greece. The poems are brilliantly translated by Robert Fagles, recently hailed by Garry Wills in the New Yorker as "the best living translator of ancient Greek drama, lyric poetry, and epic into modern English." First published in 1961, the book now includes a new translator's note by Fagles.
"[Fagles] has produced a work which is at once a faithful translation of Bacchylides in the fullest sense and something which stands and lives in its own right as a work of art."-Sir Maurice Bowra, from the Foreword
"Fagles has created . . . a musical and craftsmanly series of verses. As a translator, Fagles has the merits of . . . keeping the lilting rhythms of Bacchylides alive in one's ear . . . and unearthing metaphors behind faded Greek words, of splitting the strings of compound adjectives into pungent clauses which lose nothing in color but make coordinated English."-Emily Vermeule, American Journal of Philology
"The beauty, richness, and classic quality of Mr. Fagles's unrhymed verse make this translation a creative work and a valuable contribution to English letters."-Rae Dalven, Poetry