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Classical Literature: An Epic Journey from…

Classical Literature: An Epic Journey from Homer to Virgil and Beyond (original 2015; edition 2016)

by Richard Jenkyns (Author)

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Title:Classical Literature: An Epic Journey from Homer to Virgil and Beyond
Authors:Richard Jenkyns (Author)
Info:Basic Books (2016), Edition: First Us ed., 288 pages
Collections:Your library

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Classical Literature: An Epic Journey from Homer to Virgil and Beyond by Richard Jenkyns (2015)



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Classical Literature is a good, readable overview of the history of Greek and Latin literature from Homer through the AD 100s. He touches on all of the major authors: Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, Thucydides, Vergil, Ovid, Horace, inter alios. There's an entire chapter dedicated to Greek drama. But at the same time he also remembers the writers who are less well known, mostly because their work has not come down to us, but were key to the development of literature at the time. I, for one, appreciate that. I also really enjoyed his section on the Apostle Paul and his place as a classical writer. All too often, I think we forget that the New Testament was not written in a vacuum and that it has a place in literature as well as religion. So if you're at all interested in classical literature, this a book worth picking up. Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in Greek or Latin literature, the Classics, or the history of literature. ( )
  inge87 | Oct 28, 2016 |
Se il titolo “Classical Literature” è chiaro ma generico, il sottotitolo del libro di Richard Jenkyns potrebbe ingannare: l’aggettivo “epic” riferito a un ideale “viaggio” nel mondo letterario fa pensare all’epos, a cui rimanda ugualmente il richiamo a Omero e Virgilio. Si tratta invece di una breve storia della letteratura greca e latina, che va dalle origini al II secolo d.C. (l’ultimo autore trattato è Apuleio), concentrandosi sulla maggior parte degli esponenti di rilievo, ma non su tutti, tralasciando quelli meno noti e quelli giudicati meno interessanti.
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Wrath! – European literature begins not with the whimper of infancy, but with a bang.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465097979, Hardcover)

The writings of the Greeks and Romans form the bedrock of Western culture. Inventing the molds for histories, tragedies, and philosophies, while pioneering radical new forms of epic and poetry, the Greeks and Romans created the literary world we still inhabit today. Writing with verve and insight, distinguished classicist Richard Jenkyns explores a thousand years of classical civilization, carrying readers from the depths of the Greek dark ages through the glittering heights of Rome’s empire.

Jenkyns begins with Homer and the birth of epic poetry before exploring the hypnotic poetry of Pindar, Sappho, and others from the Greek dark ages. Later, in Athens’s classical age, Jenkyns shows the radical nature of Sophocles’s choice to portray Ajax as a psychologically wounded warrior, how Aeschylus developed tragedy, and how Herodotus, in “inventing history,” brought to narrative an epic and tragic quality. We meet the strikingly modern figure of Virgil, struggling to mirror epic art in an age of empire, and experience the love poems of Catullus, who imbued verse with obsessive passion as never before. Even St. Paul and other early Christian writers are artfully grounded here in their classical literary context.

A dynamic and comprehensive introduction to Greek and Roman literature, Jenkyns’s Classical Literature is essential reading for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the classics—and the extraordinary origins of Western culture.

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 16 Jan 2016 18:05:32 -0500)

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