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Virgil's Eclogues

By Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro). Translated by Len Krisak. Introduction by Gregson Davis

Publication Year: 2010

Publius Vergilius Maro (70-19 B.C.), known in English as Virgil, was perhaps the single greatest poet of the Roman empire—a friend to the emperor Augustus and the beneficiary of wealthy and powerful patrons. Most famous for his epic of the founding of Rome, the Aeneid, he wrote two other collections of poems: the Georgics and the Bucolics, or Eclogues.

The Eclogues were Virgil's first published poems. Ancient sources say that he spent three years composing and revising them at about the age of thirty. Though these poems begin a sequence that continues with the Georgics and culminates in the Aeneid, they are no less elegant in style or less profound in insight than the later, more extensive works. These intricate and highly polished variations on the idea of the pastoral poem, as practiced by earlier Greek poets, mix political, social, historical, artistic, and moral commentary in musical Latin that exerted a profound influence on subsequent Western poetry.

Poet Len Krisak's vibrant metric translation captures the music of Virgil's richly textured verse by employing rhyme and other sonic devices. The result is English poetry rather than translated prose. Presenting the English on facing pages with the original Latin, Virgil's Eclogues also features an introduction by scholar Gregson Davis that situates the epic in the time in which it was created.

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Introduction

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pp. vii-xviii

The trio of masterpieces that Virgil composed during the prolonged sunset of the Roman Republic1 begins with the collection of ten poems that we have come to know by the conventional title Eclogues (“Selections”). Though these exquisite short poems inaugurate the sequence that continues with the Georgics and culminates in the Aeneid, they are neither less elegant in...

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Translator’s Preface

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pp. xix-xx

Coming to the translation of Virgil’s Eclogues (the Greek word means “choices” or “selections,” which may explain why the more descriptive Bucolics is often favored), I determined to set myself only a few criteria (though not necessarily here in descending order of importance): accuracy, sensitivity to the spirit and tone of the work insofar as I could determine them, approximation in English accentual-syllabic equivalents to the...

The Eclogues

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pp. 1-

Eclogue I

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pp. 3-10

Eclogue II

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pp. 11-16

Eclogue III

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pp. 17-30

Eclogue IV

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pp. 31-36

Eclogue V

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pp. 37-44

Eclogue VI

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pp. 45-50

Eclogue VII

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pp. 51-58

Eclogue VIII

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pp. 59-66

Eclogue IX

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pp. 67-74

Eclogue X

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pp. 75-80

Notes

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pp. 81-91


E-ISBN-13: 9780812205367
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812242256

Page Count: 112
Publication Year: 2010

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Country life -- Rome -- Poetry.
  • Pastoral poetry, Latin -- Translations into English.
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