Idylls

ISBN-10: 0199552428

ISBN-13: 9780199552429

Edition: 2008

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Description: A key figure in the development of Western literature, the Greek poet Theocritus of Syracuse, was the inventor of "bucolic" or pastoral poetry in the first half of the third century BC. These vignettes of country life, which center on competitions of song and love are the foundational poems of the western pastoral tradition. They were the principal model for Virgil in the Eclogues and their influence can be seen in the work of Petrarch and Milton. Although it is the pastoral poems for which he is chiefly famous, Theocritus also wrote hymns to the gods, brilliant mime depictions of everyday life, short narrative epics, epigrams, and encomia of the powerful. The great variety of his poems illustrates the rich and flourishing poetic culture of what was a golden age of Greek poetry. Based on the original Greek text, this accurate and fluent translation is the only edition of the complete Idylls currently in print. It includes an accessible introduction by Richard Hunter that describes what is known of Theocritus, the poetic tradition and Theocritus' innovations and what exactly is meant by "bucolic" poetry.

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Book details

List price: $11.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/15/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 144
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.50" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.242
Language: English

Regarded as the creator of pastoral poetry, Theocritus was a native of Syracuse and lived in Alexandria. About 30 idylls and a number of his epigrams are extant. His genuine love of the country lends freshness and great beauty to the idylls; his bucolic characters are realistic and alive. He is a master of dramatic presentation, description, and lyrical refinement. He has had many imitators, among them Virgil and Spenser. The surviving works of two other Greek pastoral poets are often included with those of Theocritus: Moschus of Syracuse, who lived in the second century b.c. and Bion, who is best known for his Lament for Adonis. The Andrew Lang translation in prose of these three poets is considered an English classic.

Anthony Verity is former Master of Dulwich College. He has also translated Theocritus' The Idylls and Pindar's Odes . Barbara Graziosi is Professor of Classics at Durham University. She has written extensively on Homer.

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