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Macaulay's Lays of ancient Rome, and other…
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Macaulay's Lays of ancient Rome, and other poems

by Thomas Babington Macaulay

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See the review on my previous copy. This old schoolboy text does include the prefaces (hence the improved rating), though they're placed at the back. ( )
  thecardiffgiant | Dec 24, 2006 |
Thoroughly convinced of Niebuhr's thesis -- namely that the mythic elements of early Roman history conceal the traces of a native ballad poetry and, perhaps, an Italian Homer -- Macaulay attempted to recreate these ballads on the improbable but aesthetically satisfying model of the English ballad, borrowing heavily from Sir Walter Scott.

The thesis was unsound and later thoroughly discredited by the likes of George Cornewall Lewis and the great Theodor Mommsen, but Macaulay's artistic achievement was considerable.

The poems themselves are lively and entertaining while the essays (sadly lacking in this edition) serve as a brilliant introduction to early Roman history for the energetic reader who has the will to hunt up all that Macaulay sweeps through with the casual air of one who has mastered a subject. ( )
  thecardiffgiant | Nov 24, 2006 |
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