The Oxford Anthology of Roman Literature

The Oxford Anthology of Roman Literature

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Though the wonders of ancient Roman culture continue to attract interest across the disciplines, it is difficult to find a lively, accessible collection of the full range of the era's literature in English. The Oxford Anthology of Literature in the Roman World provides a general introduction to the literature of the Roman empire at its zenith, between the second century BC and the second century AD. Two features of this extraordinarily fertile period in literary achievement as evidenced by this anthology are immediately and repeatedly clear: how similar the Romans' view of the world was to our own and, perhaps even more obviously, how different it was. Most of the authors included in the anthology wrote in Latin, but as the anthology moves forward in time, relevant Greek texts that reflect the cultural diversity of Roman literary life are also included, something no other such anthology has done in the past. Roman literature was wonderfully creative and diverse, and the texts in this volume were chosen from a broad range of genres: drama, epic, philosophy, satire, lyric poetry, love poetry. By its very nature an anthology can abbreviate and thus obscure the most attractive features of even a masterpiece, so the two editors have not only selected texts that capture the essence of the respective authors, but also have included accompanying introductions and afterwords that will guide the reader in pursuing further reading. The presentations of the selections are enlivened with illustrations that locate the works within the contexts of the world in which they were written and enjoyed. The student and general reader will come away from this learned yet entertaining anthology with a fuller appreciation of the place occupied by literature in the Roman world.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 656 pages
  • 187.96 x 251.46 x 30.48mm | 1,088.62g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 55 illus.
  • 0195395166
  • 9780195395167
  • 586,285

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Author Information

Peter E. Knox is Professor of Classics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. J. C. McKeown is Professor of Classics at the University of Wisconson at Madison.

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Review quote

The editors paint an intriguing portrait of the interdisciplinary challenges in harvesting history from a body of ancient literature Library Journal This is simply the best collection available today of ancient sources from the Roman world. The translations are consistently readable and appealing. The prefaces to each selection are of exceptional quality, and make this a useful reference work for all readers. The afterwords likewise contain fascinating introductions to the post-classical history and tradition of each selection, and are worth reading for their own sake. Knox and McKeown are to be applauded for the real service they have done for Classics teachers and students everywhere with this valuable volume. Barbara Weiden Boyd, Bowdoin College The two editors have outstanding reputations as Latin scholars, and they write in a very accessible manner, communicating a great deal of information with clarity and energy. The main strengths of the book are that it covers a remarkable range of Roman literature in authoritative translations and also provides a totally reliable and scholarly background for each text. The editors give us a fascinating line-up of great variety, even including Greek authors who wrote about Roman affairs. It is the only book of its kind on the market, and fills a real gap. Denis Feeney, Princeton University Succinct yet highly informative and colorfully written forewords and afterwords give excellent orientation to the wide and very rich selection of readings in this well-judged anthology of Roman literature. Less advanced students will find a very practical but entertaining introduction to landmark texts of the Republican and Imperial eras; but more advanced students will also find much of value in the editors' state-of-the-art cultural-historical contextualization of their selections. Gareth Williams, Columbia University an impressive collection of material Simon Squires, Classics for All

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