The Poems of Catullus

The Poems of Catullus

Book rating: 05 Paperback Oxford World's Classics (Paperback) Language: English / Latin

By (author) Gaius Valerius Catullus, Edited by Guy Lee

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 224 pages
  • Language: English / Latin
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 193mm x 15mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 15 January 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199537577
  • ISBN 13: 9780199537570
  • Sales rank: 35,307

Product description

Of all the classical poets Gaius Valerius Catullus (c. 84-54 BC) is the most accessible to the modern reader. Presented alongside the original Latin text, this new translation reflects Catullus' mastery of poetic forms as diverse as the lyric, the inventive epigram, and the romantic legend, and shows his passionate, and sometimes dedicated to his lover Lesbia. This edition also includes a introduction to the poet's life and work, and full explanatory notes. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Customer reviews

By woad_battery 05 Jun 2014 5

Lee's translation is very good for students of Catullus. It has the Latin on the left page and English translation facing on the right. It represents the text literally enough that a student of intermediate level Latin might better understand the Latin, while it is also polished enough that it reads fluently in English and is enjoyable for and accessible to an English reader. For the most part, the translation is very true to the original. For example, at some points in the Latin the meaning is unclear, such as in the agreement of an adjective at 63.58; Lee innovatively transmits this ambiguity through word order in the English translation.

There are helpful notes at the back of the book on points in the text that deviate from Mynor's Oxford Classical Text edition of Catullus (taken by most as the modern standard edition of the text). There are also brief notes on some of the allusions.

I would recommend this book to all, and especially to university Latin students looking at Catullus for the first time.

Review quote

'The best current translator of Latin poetry, Guy Lee, has now turned his attention to "The Poems of Catullus" ... this is yet another distinguished version from Lee's pen which deserves to become the standard version both for those with Latin and those studying Catullus in translation, and its author deserves hearty congratulations.' Greece and Rome 'the work of a consummate Latinist ... with a desire to communicate something of the elegance and verbal flair of his original, a matter close to L.'s heart as the crisp introduction makes plain ... a very persuasive book' Roland Mayer, King's College, London, The Classical Review, Vol. XLIII, No. 2, 1993

Table of contents

Introduction: The text; The collection: Catullus the Epigrammist; Catullus' life and poetry; the translation; A chronology; Latin text and English verse translation; Explanatory notes; Appendices: A. Difference from Mynors' Oxford text; B. The metres of Catullus; Select bibliography