Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Eclogues (also called the Bucolics) by…

The Eclogues (also called the Bucolics)

by Virgil

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
574None17,169 (3.67)9
  1. 10
    The Idylls by Theocritus (dirkjohnson)
    dirkjohnson: This is the foundation work of the genre in which the Bucolics are placed. Virgil largely copied several of his poems from the Greek of Theocritus.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 9 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Edition: // Descr: xxviii, 154 p. : ill. 15 cm. // Series: Elementary Classics Call No. { 873 V81 4 c. #1. } Edited, with Notes & Vocabulary, for the Use of Schools, by T.E. Page // //
  ColgateClassics | Oct 26, 2012 |
Edition: // Descr: xxviii, 154 p. : ill. 15 cm. // Series: Elementary Classics Call No. { 873 V81 4 c. #3. } Edited, with Notes & Vocabualry, for the Use of Schools by T.E. Page. // //
  ColgateClassics | Oct 26, 2012 |
These poems provide the foundation for a definition of pastoral. Virgil's book contains ten pieces, each called not an idyll but an eclogue, populated by and large with herdsmen imagined conversing and singing in largely rural settings, whether suffering or embracing revolutionary change or happy or unhappy love. They are inviting and easy to like, both attractive and intelligent. This was from early in Virgil's career and he is already an accomplished poet. The eclogues, written under the patronage of Maecenas, are called the Bucolics or country poems even though they are really highly civilized set pieces. Like much of Roman literature they look back to Greek examples, in this case that of Theocritus, the Greek poet of the third century B.C.
They highlight individual characters like Meliboeus and Tityrus in Eclogue 1. Here Virgil uses the two herdsmen to convey issues of power and its opposite. In Eclogue 2 Corydon and Alexis demonstrate the power of passion. Corydon coaxes Alexis saying, "O come and live with me in the countryside among the humble farms." (p 13) Virgil is able to consider the result of erotic passion with some detachment through his use of homosexual passion in this country setting. Perhaps the best known of the Eclogues is number four which foretells of a son to be born to Antony and Octavia. Alas this event was not fated to happen and the birth prophesied would later be interpreted as one of a completely different boy, one who would have a career that outlived both the poet Virgil and Rome's empire if not her culture.
Through the eclogues as a whole there is the exploration of the idea of the nature of the pastoral, its innocence and seeming edenic being in comparison with the urban life of Virgil and most of his audience. In David Ferry's beautiful translation these verses come alive in a contemporary idiom. As Michael Dirda has said, this is a "volume to buy, read , and treasure." ( )
  jwhenderson | Jul 16, 2012 |
Virgil's poetic language is flowing and beautiful, classical and intelligent, sensual, merry, and at times tragic.
The charmingly simple yet powerful themes of these short poems focus on things such as shepherds, singing contests, sexual desire, twins, and soldiers. ( )
  joririchardson | Jan 20, 2010 |
Virgil's Eclogues are the second and most influential step in the establishment of the pastoral mode in European and European colonial poetry (the first were some of Theocritus' Idylls). One is of course entitled to an opinion, but one should be aware that one's opinion of Virgil's poetry really doesn't matter; it certainly doesn't have any bearing upon the quality or influence of his poetry. Personally, I prefer many of the Ancient Greeks to any of the Romans. I also frequently feel that Virgil receives too much attention relative to the Greeks. There are many reasons for this, many of them historical. I'm not trying to change things with regard to who is more popular.

Virgil was among the greatest of all poets who have ever lived. His Eclogues are perfect gems of the genre, strung on a single necklace. I'll go so far as to say that no poet has ever been greater than Virgil, not even Homer (pretending for the moment that Homer was a single person). To me, both the Odyssey and the Iliad are far superior to the Aeneid. Even this isn't a fair comparison because I've read Homer in Greek but not Virgil in Latin. Yet I must say that Homer didn't write the equivalent of Virgil's Eclogues nor of his Georgics, so Virgil has greater breadth. And, even though I prefer the Idylls of Theocritus to the Eclogues of Virgil, Virgil's Eclogues are more completely of the genre toward which Theocritus only pointed, and as such they are a more finished work of art as a whole than the Idylls, which aren't all written in the same genre. It's true that Virgil copied Theocritus, but also true that Theocritus didn't write an enduring epic poem, or any epic poem as far as we know.

Seeing ratings below three for any poetry of Virgil's (since it's Virgil's poems that gets rated in aggregate, not any particular translation or edition) only makes me wonder how someone so ignorant could even end up with a LibraryThing account in the first place. If you don't like Virgil, that's fine. There's no question but that you're entitled to your own likes and dislikes. But please don't presume to rate Virgil or any other truly great poet unless you've read him or her very deeply. If you still think he sucks after reading him deeply in Latin, please do rate him low. And, in that case, please let me know why you think so. But even then it's only one opinion against the judgment of 2,000 years of readers and scholars.

On the other hand, possibly those rating Virgil's poetry on the low end of the scale are actually rating the translation or the edition that they read. Such a rating is completely valid, but, unfortunately, such a rating has no meaning whatsoever on LibraryThing.

I wonder if there might be a way to create a composite rating for an author with separate ratings for each work and individual editions of each work. This would be something I might find truly useful. But it's probably difficult to do and most people likely don't care anyway.

Regarding the edition of the Eclogues at hand, the one translated by David Ferry and published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, I will only say that the translation is very, very good. Ferry has clearly read his Virgil carefully and draws over into English some of Virgil's excellences, which is to say that Ferry is a good poet himself. Even though I haven't studied Latin formally, I like having the Latin en face since so much of Latin is transparent to even an ignorant one such as I am. ( )
  dirkjohnson | Aug 27, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (43 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Virgilprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bowen, EurosTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Calverley, Charles StuartTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Day Lewis, C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deweerdt, RikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dolç, MiquelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
DooremanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Everaert, MarnixCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fowler, Barbara HughesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gould, Howard ErnestEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, GuyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michie, JamesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rieu, E. V.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rieu, Emile VictorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valery, PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Stretched in the shadow of the broad beech, thou rehearsest, Tityrus, on the slender pipe thy woodland music. (Calverley trans.)
Tityrus, lying back beneath wide beechen cover,
you meditate the woodland muse on slender oat. (Lee trans.)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014044419X, Paperback)

Haunting and enigmatic, Virgil's "Eclogues" combined a Greek literary form with scenes from contemporary Roman life to create a work that inspired a whole European tradition of pastoral poetry. For despite their rustic setting and the beauty of their phrasing, the poems in Virgil's first collection are also grounded in reality. Shepherds are overwhelmed by the torments of poetic love - but they must also endure such real-life events as the tragic consequences of Julius Caesar's murder in 44 bc and a civil war. In giving unforgettable expression to the disasters of the day through poetry, the "Eclogues" paved the way for the "Georgics" and the "Aeneid", the two greatest works of Latin literature, and are also a major masterpiece in their own right.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:11 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
10 wanted
9 free
32 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.67)
1 1
2 4
2.5 3
3 17
3.5 2
4 11
4.5 1
5 15

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,498,339 books! | Top bar: Always visible