Posted by Dennis » 1 Comment »
Two quickies for your consideration:
Christopher Francese reads Horace’s priamel to Maecenas in the latest Latin Poetry Podcast, and Kiichiro Itsumi’s Pindaric Metre: The Other Half finally gets a proper (and a positive) review.
Horace 1.1 is one of the first pieces I can recall really working on to produce a good, literary translation, and Itsumi’s book is still sitting on my meter shelf, waiting for enough time in the schedule to dive in.
Good news all around.
Posted by Dennis » 6 Comments »
I’ve read on rogueclassicism of the death of Kenneth Dover, and thought it might be worth sharing what may be the first assessment of his work as a Hellenist in print.
When Kenneth Dover was just 19 (in 1939) Oxford published his winning lines for the Gaisford Prize for Greek Verse. His model was a selection of 113 lines from Racine’s Phèdre, and this publication was reviewed very favorably by the great Lionel Pearson (perhaps best known for The Local Historians of Attica, published three years after this review), who wrote that this “Oxford prize version in iambic trimeter is a reminder that the wholesome and fascinating practice of Greek verse composition has not been abandoned by English undergraduates and that their standard is a high one.”
I’d like to quote at length to show the respect the young Dover earned from Pearson, and which he should still command from us now:
The opening scene of the Phèdre introduces a theme entirely strange to the story told by Euripides. Hippolytus, after first giving the excuse that it is high time he departed in search of his absent father, explains to his tutor Theramenes that he must flee from Troezen because he has fallen in love with Aricia, whom he can never marry because of his father’s deadly feud with her brothers, the Pallantidae; and since he has not yet performed any heroic exploits, he dares not face the shame which his love is likely to bring him if he remains behind; the irregular loves of Theseus, he feels, can be excused only in consideration of his benefits to civilization; he himself cannot give that excuse
ὡς ταὐτὸ κείνω πανδίκως φράσαι παθεῖν.
Such argument is in the Euripidean spirit and it is admirably presented in lucid idiomatic Greek.
— CW 33. 5 (1939), p. 52
At 19 Dover was a master of Greek verse in a way that it seems none of us can be today, and in that he seems to have belonged to another time. The scholar he became seems just as out of time, but I suppose great scholars always do.
Reading through his commentaries (e.g., his Theocritus is still the best in my eyes) is an experience unmatched by more modern, chattier, less-definite works. He could be authoritative while being frank about the state of the evidence, cutting through the common mistakes and false suppositions of other editors without condescending. He was, unlike so many, willing to say that a question could not be answered, and both his front matter and notes were tempered by good judgment and attention to the needs of his readers. (Too often today scholars are prone to cram their research into every page, whether the reader needs it or not.)
I’ll be giving some time again to reading through his works and finding inspiration from his example.
Posted by Dennis » 3 Comments »
This one is a real treat, but very odd: a work on Google Books listed as Opuscula by A.E. Housman. The truth is that no such work was published, and what we have is a poorly scanned PDF of a collection of Housman’s articles which had been collected by someone at Oxford and bound together.
Here are the contents:
- Emendations Propertianae, JP XVI. 1 ff.
- Note on Emendations Propertianae, JP XVI. 291
- The Manuscripts of Propertius, JP XXI. 101 ff.
- The Manuscripts of Propertius (cont’d.), JP XXI. 161 ff.
- The Manuscripts of Propertius (cont’d.), JP XXII. 84 ff.
- Review: Butler and Barber’s Propertius, CR XLVIII. 136 ff.
- Note’s on Seneca’s Tragedies, CQ XVII. 163 ff.
- The Silvae of Statius, CR XX. 37 ff.
- Notes on the Thebais of Statius, CQ XXVII. 1 ff., 65 ff.
- Notes on Latin Poets (Catullus, Horace, and Ovid), CR IV. 340 ff.
- Remarks on the Vatican Glossary, JP XX. 432 ff.
- Adversaria Orthographica, CR V. 293 ff.
- Greek Nouns in Latin Poetry from Lucretius to Juvenal, JP XXXI. 236 ff.
- Siparum and Supparus, CQ XIII. 149 ff.
- The Latin for Ass, CQ XXIV. 11 ff.
- Vester = tuus, CQ III. 244 ff.
- Prosody and Method, CQ XXI. 1 ff.
- Prosody and Method II: the metrical properties of GN, CQ XXII, 1 ff.
- Praefanda, Hermes LXVI. 402 ff.
- On Certain Corruptions in the Persae of Aeschylus, AJP IX. 317 ff.
- The Agamemnon of Aeschylus, JP XVI. 244 ff.
- On the Aetia of Callimachus, CQ IV. 114 ff.
- Dorotheus of Sidon, CQ II. 47 ff.
- Dorotheus Once More, CQ XVII. 53 ff.
- On the New Fragments of Menander, CQ II. 114
- Sophoclea, JP XX. 25 ff.
- The Oedipus Coloneus of Sophocles, AJP XIII. 139 ff.
- The Michigan Astrological Papyrus, CP XXII. 257 ff.
- Abstract of a paper read at the Cambridge Philosophical Society, “Dryden, Poem upon the death of his late highness, Oliver”
Thanks to Kevin for pointing out that the OPVSCVLA seem to have been compiled by Eduard Fraenkel.
Housman, of course, wrote a letter recommending Fraenkel for the Corpus professorship at Oxford, and later defended his appointment in a letter to the Times: