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Georgics / Edition 1

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Overview

Virgil (70-19 B.C.) needs no formal introduction, as he has long been considered Ancient Rome's greatest poet and is globally renowned for The Aeneid, one of the most famous epic poems in history. Virgil's other greatest works are considered to be the Eclogues (or Bucolics), and the Georgics, although several minor poems collected in the Appendix Vergiliana are also attributed to him.
Similar to Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil's Aeneid was considered Rome's national epic and legend, and it was immediately popular within the empire. It is said Virgil recited parts of it to Caesar Augustus, and it's believed the epic poem was unfinished when Virgil died in 19 B.C. The works of Virgil also had a dramatic effect on other Latin poetry. The Eclogues, Georgics, and above all the Aeneid became standard texts in school curricula with which all educated Romans were familiar. In the millennium following Virgil, poets often cited his work. For example, Ovid parodies the opening lines of the Aeneid in Book 14 of the Metamorphoses, and Lucan's epic, the Bellum Civile, has been considered an anti-Virgilian epic, disposing with the divine mechanism, treating historical events, and diverging drastically from Virgilian epic practice. Even Gregory of Tours, who admired Virgil, quotes Rome's poet, and Virgil famously guides Dante through Hell in the Italian's great work.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Chew's translation is, both in aesthetic and scholarly terms, an excellent piece of work. I find her approach refreshing and true to the spirit of the Georgics; her adventurousness strikes me as just the thing to rescue the poem from the appearance of blandness that a more straightforward style of translationese would inevitably, but misleadingly, impose upon it. This Georgics does not read much like any previous version of it. Chew helps the English reader to get a sense of Virgil's avant-garde poetics, which is the main thing that almost all translators of the Georgics work to eliminate, if indeed they are even aware of it. First-rate. --Joseph Farrell, Professor of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania

This is a translation with a difference, intended for readers without Latin. The most striking feature is the use of variations of type and layout. . . . Invocations are set out like memorial inscriptions; tasks or points to look for in animals come in the form of numbered or bulleted lists, assembling a plough reads like an instruction manual. Similes appear in italics, but so do the key words in some descriptive passages. The positioning of the text is used to illustrate the meaning of a quincunx, terracing, or the flight of a swarm of bees. These innovations serve to distinguish between what might be termed the poetry and the practical. Explanations are sometimes incorporated into the translation, which is in free verse, but mostly these are in the generous footnotes. . . . Chew has done considerable research into ancient and modern methods of husbandry and the notes concentrate on agriculture, astronomy, and botany. . . . Some [renderings] are particularly apt: 'the cicadas' complaining plainsong bursts the strawberry trees' for 'cantu querulae rumpent arbusta cicadae;' 'the murmur of the groves grows and grows' for 'et nemorum increbescere murmur.' . . . Chew should certainly achieve her aim of bringing the work to a wider readership. As she claims in her Introduction, 'Plain and simple, it is an American Georgics.' _—Anne Haward, The Joint Association of Classical Teachers Review

My graduate seminar members and I enjoyed Dr. Chew's rendering of the Georgics immensely. We were delighted and instructed by her playful blend of argots and typefaces, and by her artful blend of information in the notes. This translation opened the poem for me all over again—and it has long been among my favorites. Chew's translation offers a dazzling survey of musical styles in the poem. The fifteen of us send our thanks for her provocative and delightful achievement. -—Thomas A. Goodmann, University of Miami

Booknews
To translate the Latin poem on Italian agriculture by the renowned first-century Roman poet, Chew draws on modern nature guides, gardening handbooks, how-to-manuals, and scientific treatises. She bases the style on 20th-century poetry. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872206090
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2002
  • Series: Classics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 1,098,802
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.42 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Kristina Chew received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Yale University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction vii
Book I Works and Days 1
Book II The Care of Plants and Vines 41
Book III Livestock 77
Book IV The Race of Bees 117
Select Bibliography 149
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    Posted September 24, 2014

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