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SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE 2017 SHORTLISTED FOR THE LONDON HELLENIC PRIZE 2017 WINNER OF THE PRIX MEDITERRANEE 2018 From the award-winning, best-selling writer: a deeply moving tale of a father and son's transformative journey in reading - and reliving - Homer's epic masterpiece. When eighty-one-year-old retired scientist Jay unexpectedly enrols in his estranged classicist son Daniel's course on the Odyssey, the journey of a lifetime commences. Professor and student glean life lessons from the page over a semester and, that summer, son and father take to the sea to follow Odysseus's epic trail. Reading Homer becomes their chance to understand each other before it's too late. Theirs is a moving and erudite story of filial love and the importance of the classics. Rich with literary and emotional insight and weaving themes of deception and recognition, marriage and children, the pleasures of travel and the meaning of home, this is memoir writing at its finest.
Ash spewed into the sky. All eyes were on Vesuvius. Pliny the Elder sailed towards the phenomenon. A teenage Pliny the Younger waited. His uncle did not come back. In a dazzling new literary biography, Daisy Dunn introduces Pliny the Younger, the survivor who became a Roman lawyer, senator, poet, collector of villas, curator of drains, and representative of the Emperor. He was confidant and friend to the great and good, an unparalleled chronicler of the Vesuvius catastrophe, and eyewitness to the terror of Emperor Domitian. The younger Pliny was adopted by his uncle, admiral of the fleet and author of the Natural History, an extraordinary compendium of knowledge and the world's first full-length encyclopaedia. The younger Pliny inherited his uncle's notebooks and carried their pearls of wisdom with him down the years. Daisy Dunn breathes vivid life back into the Plinys. Reading from the Natural History and the Younger Pliny's Letters, she resurrects the relationship between the two men to expose their beliefs on life, death and the natural world in the first century. Interweaving their work, and positioning the Plinys in relation to the devastating eruption, Dunn's biography is a celebration of two outstanding minds of the Roman Empire, and their lasting influence on the world thereafter. .
Longlisted for the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction `A thrilling and complex book, enlarges our view of Homer ... There's something that hits the mark on every page' Claire Tomalin, Books of the Year, New Statesman Where does Homer come from? And why does Homer matter? His epic poems of war and suffering can still speak to us of the role of destiny in life, of cruelty, of humanity and its frailty, but why they do is a mystery. How can we be so intimate with something so distant? `The Mighty Dead' is a magical journey of discovery across wide stretches of the past, sewn together by some of the oldest stories we have - the great ancient poems of Homer and their metaphors of life and trouble. In this provocative and enthralling book, Adam Nicolson explains why Homer still matters and how these vital, epic verses - with their focus on the eternal questions about the individual versus the community, honour and service, love and war - tell us how we became who we are.
From the translator of the bestselling Poetic Edda (Hackett, 2015) comes a gripping new rendering of two of the greatest sagas of Old Norse literature. Together the two sagas recount the story of seven generations of a single legendary heroic family and comprise our best source of traditional lore about its members-including, among others, the dragon-slayer Sigurd, Brynhild the Valkyrie, and the Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok.
A biography of Gaius Valerius Catullus, Rome's first great poet, a dandy who fell in love with another man's wife and made it known to the world through his verse. This superb book gives a rare portrait of life during one of the most critical moments in world history through the eyes of one of Rome's greatest writers. Living through the debauchery, decadence and spectacle of the crumbling Roman Republic, Catullus remains famous for the sharp, immediate poetry with which he skewered Rome's sparring titans - Pompey, Crassus and his father's friend, Julius Caesar. But it was for his erotic, scandalous but often tender love elegies that he became best known, inspired above all by his own lasting affair with a married woman whom he immortalised in his verse as 'Lesbia'. A monumental figure for poets from Ovid and Virgil onwards, his journey across youth and experience, from Verona to Rome, Bithynia to Lake Garda, is traced in Daisy Dunn's brilliant portrait of life during one of the most critical moments in world history.
HarperCollins is proud to present its incredible range of best-loved, essential classics... Despite dating from the 4th century BC, The Art of Rhetoric continues to be regarded by many as the single most important work on the art of persuasion. As democracy began emerging in 5th-century Athens, public speaking and debate became an increasingly important tool to garner influence in the assemblies, councils, and law courts of ancient Greece. In response to this, both politicians and ordinary citizens became desperate to learn greater skills in this area, as well as the philosophy behind it. This treatise was one of the first to provide just that, establishing methods and observations of informal reasoning and style, and has continued to be hugely influential on public speaking and philosophy today. Aristotle, the grandfather of philosophy, student of Plato, and teacher of Alexander the Great, was one of the first people to create a comprehensive system of philosophy, encompassing logic, morality, aesthetics, politics, ethics, and science. Although written over 2,000 years ago, The Art of Rhetoric remains a comprehensive introduction for philosophy students into the subject of rhetoric, as well as a useful manual for anyone today looking to improve their oratory skills of persuasion.
The Greek Novels have moved from the margins to the centre-stage over recent decades, not just because of their literary qualities and thrilling narratives, but also because they offer revealing insights into the culture of the Greek world of the Roman Empire: sexual mores, the position of women and men, identity, religion. Achilles Tatius' Leucippe and Clitophon, the most influential of the novels in antiquity, remains the favourite of many. With its freewheeling plotline, its setting on the edge of the Greek world (in modern Lebanon), its ironic play with the reader's expectations and its sallies into obscenity, it represents a new, mature, sophisticated stage in the development of the novel as a genre. This is the first commentary in English on Achilles for over 50 years, a period that has seen great strides forward in the understanding of the literary, linguistic and textual interpretation of this brilliant text.
This study of Early Christian literature and its influence on European thought and culture brings much to bear on a subject often overshadowed by the study of ancient Greek influences. The book, which begins with an excellent introduction by the author, covers Christian literature from its earliest manifestations in the first century to the Middle Ages. The author describes the lives of numerous writers (including Tertullian, St. Isidore of Seville and Arnobius) as well as their works and the ideas that shaped them, allowing readers to appreciate the rise of Latin literature and the historical circumstances that surrounded it.
A new account of tragedy and its fundamental position in Western culture In this compelling account, eminent literary critic Terry Eagleton explores the nuances of tragedy in Western culture-from literature and politics to philosophy and theater. Eagleton covers a vast array of thinkers and practitioners, including Nietzsche, Walter Benjamin, and Slavoj Zizek, as well as key figures in theater, from Sophocles and Aeschylus to Shakespeare and Ibsen. Eagleton examines the political nature of tragedy, looking closely at its connection with periods of historical transition. The dramatic form originated not as a meditation on the human condition, but at moments of political engagement, when civilizations struggled with the conflicts that beset them. Tragedy, Eagleton demonstrates, is fundamental to human experience and culture.
The Records of Mazu and the Making of Classical Chan Literature explores the growth, makeup, and transformation of Chan (Zen) Buddhist literature in late medieval China. The volume analyzes the earliest extant records about the life, teachings, and legacy of Mazu Daoyi (709-788), the famous leader of the Hongzhou School and one of the principal figures in Chan history. While some of the texts covered are well-known and form a central part of classical Chan (or more broadly Buddhist) literature in China, others have been largely ignored, forgotten, or glossed over until recently. Poceski presents a range of primary materials important for the historical study of Chan Buddhism, some translated for the first time into English or other Western language. He surveys the distinctive features and contents of particular types of texts, and analyzes the forces, milieus, and concerns that shaped key processes of textual production during this period. Although his main focus is on written sources associated with a celebrated Chan tradition that developed and rose to prominence during the Tang era (618-907), Poceski also explores the Five Dynasties (907-960) and Song (960-1279) periods, when many of the best-known Chan collections were compiled. Exploring the Chan School's creative adaptation of classical literary forms and experimentation with novel narrative styles, The Records of Mazu and the Making of Classical Chan Literature traces the creation of several distinctive Chan genres that exerted notable influence on the subsequent development of Buddhism in China and the rest of East Asia.
The power of legend is that it is never simply an old tale retold.
Though the legend may be old, its meaning and influence is new in
each retelling and for each new group of listeners.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. `There is no greater sorrow then to recall our times of joy in wretchedness.' Considered one of the greatest medieval poems written in the common vernacular of the time, Dante's Inferno begins on Good Friday in the year 1300. As he wanders through a dark forest, Dante loses his way and stumbles across the ghost of the poet Virgil. Virgil promises to lead him back to the top of the mountain, but to do so, they must pass through Hell, encountering all manner of shocking horrors, sins and evil torments along the way, evoking questions about God's justice, human behaviour and Christianity.
A story of love and grief. `I became a widower and a father on the same day' says Joseph Luzzi. His book tells how Dante's `The Divine Comedy' helped him to endure his grief, raise their infant daughter, and rediscover love. On a cold November morning, Joseph Luzzi, a Dante professor, found himself racing to hospital - his wife, eight-and-a-half months pregnant, had been in a horrible car accident. In one terrible instant, Luzzi became both a widower and a first-time father. Adrift and grieving, Luzzi found himself sharing Dante's dark wood with an intimacy that years of reading had never shown him: the words became a wise companion through the Inferno of his grief, his healing, and ultimately his rediscovered love.
This book offers a response to the culture of metrics, mass digitisation, and accountability (as opposed to responsibility, or citizenship) that has developed in higher education world wide, as exemplified by the UK's Research Excellence Framework exercise (REF), and the increasing bureaucracy that limits the time available for teaching, research, and even conversation and collaboration. Ironically, these are problems that will be solved only by academics finding the time to talk and to work together. The essays collected here both critique the culture of speed in the neoliberal university and provide examples of what can be achieved by slowing down, by reclaiming research and research priorities, and by working collaboratively across the disciplines to improve conditions. They are informed both by recent research in medieval studies and by the problematic culture of twenty-first century higher education. The contributions offer very personal approaches to the academic culture of the present moment. Some tackle issues of academic freedom head-on; others more obliquely; but they all have been written as declarations of the academic freedom that comes with slow thinking, slow reading, slow writing and slow looking and the demonstrations of its benefits. CATHERINE E. KARKOV is Professor and Chair of Art History at the University of Leeds. Contributors: Lara Eggleton, Karen Jolly, Chris Jones, James Paz, Andrew Prescott, Heather Pulliam
This is the first full-scale reference grammar of Classical Greek in English in a century. The first work of its kind to reflect significant advances in linguistics made in recent decades, it provides students, teachers and academics with a comprehensive yet user-friendly treatment. The chapters on phonology and morphology make full use of insights from comparative and historical linguistics to elucidate complex systems of roots, stems and endings. The syntax offers linguistically up-to-date descriptions of such topics as case usage, tense and aspect, voice, subordinate clauses, infinitives and participles. An innovative section on textual coherence treats particles and word order and discusses several sample passages in detail, demonstrating new ways of approaching Greek texts. Throughout the book numerous original examples are provided, all with translations and often with clarifying notes. Clearly laid-out tables, helpful cross-references and full indexes make this essential resource accessible to users of all levels.
A scintillating novel about acerbic, ninety-year-old Anna who in death is refreshingly freed from the chains of mortal life.
"Once her dying got underway, Anna could not really complain about the way the process moved along." So begins this deftly amusing, wryly perceptive look at the passing of a feisty, funny woman. During the four-day limbo that bridges her death and burial, Anna, who is "infinitely present, never dead, never stupid, and never done with it all, " gets to investigate the preparations for her own funeral, the true nature of her sister's suicide attempt, and the revelations of her own sexual abuse by her half-brother.
She contemplates her parents -- her impoverished Polish Jewish mother, her father who was obsessed with his digestive system -- and she longs to remember her beloved husband, who is all but buried by time. She considers the origins of her bigotry and her reluctant capitulation to romantic and physical love.
In her final moments of consciousness, Anna has the last word on her own secrets and crimes before stepping into eternity.
The Life of Christ (Vita Christi), written by the abbess Isabel de Villena, is the only literary work to have been preserved in Catalan and to bear the signature of a woman during the Middle Ages. It was composed to provide spiritual direction for the nuns within the community of Poor Clares which Sor (i.e. Sister) Isabel oversaw at the Convent of the Holy Trinity in Valencia. The work was only able to emerge from obscurity by accident. In 1497 Queen Isabel of Castile, the wife of Ferdinand of Catalonia-Aragon, who had heard news of the book's existence, asked Sor Isabel's successor for a copy. The new Abbess, Sor Aldonca, responded by bringing the work to press. Queen Isabel's interest in Sor Isabel's book was understandable. The former abbess had been the daughter of the refined and restless Marquess of Villena, and was herself educated at Court, a milieu with which she maintained very positive relations throughout her life. As an abbess, what's more, she carried out important reforms at the convent and became a valued and respected figure within the dynamic cultural world of the Valencia of her day. Isabel de Villena's Vita Christi has often been interpreted as a response, delivered from the serenity of the cloister, to the misogyny and satire against the female gender emanating from certain books written at that time. Sor Isabel's work is a re-evaluation of the role women played in the life of Jesus Christ, a role at variance with the subsidiary one ascribed to them by the majority of commentators. Published in association with Editorial Barcino, Barcelona.
David T. Gura's innovative catalogue describes the 288 medieval and Renaissance manuscripts held by the University of Notre Dame (Hesburgh Library and Snite Museum of Art) and Saint Mary's College. Bound manuscripts, leaves, and fragments, which span the late eleventh through the sixteenth century and include bibles, books of hours, calendars, liturgical texts, and much more, are given thorough critical treatment and scholarly description. Organized by repository, each manuscript description is based on Gura's intensive paleographical and codicological analyses, which address features such as material and support, collation, illumination, layout, script types, ownership history, book bindings, and bibliographical references. Scaled diagrams of distinct and variant ruling patterns and border arrangements are included with each catalogue entry to facilitate comparison with each other and with manuscripts outside the collection. Gura's flexible schematic for analytical manuscript description presents the important aspects of particular genres of the manuscripts, distinguishes their uncommon features, and interprets them. In his introduction to the catalogue, Gura provides a history of the formation of the manuscript collections, a scholarly overview organized by genre, and a detailed explanation of his analytical schematic. Paratextual materials allow readers to browse all manuscripts in the collections by repository, date, country or region of origin, language, and textual contents. Academic librarians, manuscript dealers and collectors, and the community of scholars, curators, and librarians who work with medieval and Renaissance manuscripts will find this an accessible and valuable resource.
"This edited volume will make a major contribution to our appreciation of the importance of classical literature and learning in medieval Ireland, and particularly to our understanding of its role in shaping the content, structure and transmission of medieval Irish narrative." Dr Kevin Murray, Department of Early and Medieval Irish, University College Cork. From the tenth century onwards, Irish scholars adapted Latin epics and legendary histories into the Irish language, including the Imtheachta Aeniasa, the earliest known adaptation of Virgil's Aeneid into any European vernacular; Togail Troi, a grand epic reworking of the decidedly prosaic history of the fall of Troy attributed to Dares Phrygius; and, at the other extreme, the remarkable Merugud Uilixis meic Leirtis, a fable-like retelling of Ulysses's homecoming boiled down to a few hundred lines of lapidary prose. Both the Latin originals and their Irish adaptations had a profound impact on the ways in which Irish authors wrote narratives about their own legendary past, notably the great saga Tain Bo Cuailnge (The Cattle-Raid of Cooley). The essays in this book explore the ways in which these Latin texts and techniques were used. The chapters of this book are unified by a conviction that classical learning and literature were central to the culture of medieval Irish storytelling, but precisely how this relationship played out is a matter of ongoing debate. As a result, they engage in dialogue with each other, using methods drawn from a wide range of disciplines (philology, classical studies, comparative literature, translation studies, and folkloristics). Ralph O'Connor is Professor in the Literature and Culture of Britain, Ireland and Iceland at the University of Aberdeen. Contributors: Erich Poppe, Helen Fulton, Robert Crampton, Barbara Hillers, Michael Clarke, Maire Ni Mhaonaigh, Ralph O'Connor, Abigail Burnyeat
This is the first comprehensive and accessible survey in English of Old Norse eddic poetry: a remarkable body of literature rooted in the Viking Age, which is a critical source for the study of early Scandinavian myths, poetics, culture and society. Dramatically recreating the voices of the legendary past, eddic poems distil moments of high emotion as human heroes and supernatural beings alike grapple with betrayal, loyalty, mortality and love. These poems relate the most famous deeds of gods such as Odinn and THorr with their adversaries the giants; they bring to life the often fraught interactions between kings, queens and heroes as well as their encounters with valkyries, elves, dragons and dwarfs. Written by leading international scholars, the chapters in this volume showcase the poetic riches of the eddic corpus, and reveal its relevance to the history of poetics, gender studies, pre-Christian religions, art history and archaeology.
Following his account of Irish origins as evidenced by archaeology, genetics and linguistics, J. P. Mallory returns to the subject to interrogate what he calls the `Irish Dreamtime': the native Irish retelling of their own origins, as related by medieval manuscripts. He attempts to explore the reality of this version of the earliest history of Ireland, which places apparently `mythological' events on a concrete timeline of invasions, colonizations and royal reigns that extends even further back in time than the history of Classical Greece. Can the accounts of this `Dreamtime' really inform us of the way of life in Iron Age Ireland? By comparing the world depicted in the earliest Irish literary tradition with the archaeological evidence available on the ground, Mallory explores Ireland's rich mythological tradition and tests its claims to represent reality.
Between late antiquity and the fifteenth century, theologians, philosophers, and poets struggled to articulate the correct relationship between sound and sense, creating taxonomies of sounds based on their capacity to carry meaning. In World of Echo, Adin E. Lears traces how medieval thinkers adopted the concept of noise as a mode of lay understanding grounded in the body and the senses. With a broadly interdisciplinary approach, Lears examines a range of literary genres to highlight the poetic and social effects of this vibrant discourse, offering close readings of works by Chaucer and Langland, as well as the mystics Richard Rolle and Margery Kempe. Each of these writers embraced an embodied experience of language resistant to clear articulation, even as their work reflects inherited anxieties about the appeal of such sensations. A preoccupation with the sound of language emerged in the form of poetic soundplay at the same time that mysticism and other forms of lay piety began to flower in England. As Lears shows, the presence of such emphatic aural texture amplified the cognitive importance of feeling in conjunction with reason and was a means for the laity-including lay women-to cultivate embodied forms of knowledge on their own terms, in precarious relation to existing clerical models of instruction. World of Echo offers a deep history of the cultural and social hierarchies that coalesce around the aesthetic experiences that accentuate ways of knowing outside proscribed models.
From the stories of wives and their lovers to those of kings and their conquests, to the overarching story of Shahrazad and Shahryar, the tales of the Arabian Nights have offered countless audiences entertainment and enjoyment as well as serving as cautionary stories. An outstanding piece of world literature, the Arabian Nights provide a lively and interesting way of exploring aspects of sexuality, romance, gender, culture, wealth, and politics. Looking at a wide range of the tales, David Ghanim offers a rigorous exploration of their profound sexuality: looking at both the context in which they were written and organised, as well as their legacy. By including accounts of heterosexuality, homosexuality, cuckoldry, insatiable lust, promiscuity, rape, incest, bestiality, demonic sexuality, and erotica, Ghanim highlights the complexity and dynamism of medieval sexuality, the active role of women in sexual activities, and the prevailing positive outlook on sexual liaison and gender mixing.
Classical mythology came west from Greece, bearing the thoughts,
feelings, and distilled experiences of ancient peoples that have,
in turn, been formed by the skilled hands of artists into tangible
creations of beauty and significance. Before there were records to
preserve significant events, these stories were passed down in
tales and songs. Adapted and embellished by successive generations,
they were later written down and used to create art from many
different materials in different mediums. Within these stories and
the creations they inspired was an impulse either to recover the
secrets of something that had been lost or to create something new
from the old material.
In the Shadows of the Master: Al-Mutanabbi's Legacy and the Quest for the Center in Fatimid and Andalusian Poetry offers original translations, analysis, and provides anecdotal and historical context for five important odes by four of the Arab world's most influential poets in the tenth and eleventh centuries C.E. These odes span the broad spectrum of the Arabic-speaking Middle East, starting with al-Mutanabbi at Sayf al-Dawlah's court in Aleppo (located in northern Syria), and concluding with Ibn Darraj al-Qastalli at the courts of al-Munsur and Mundhir b. Yahya in the Iberian Peninsula (Muslim Spain). The purpose of the book is to provide a contemporary analysis with a consistent application of a theoretical framework that will make these poems relevant for scholars and students of Arabic literature, but also for scholars and students of comparative literature as well. It examines both how poetic discourse formulates and articulates legitimacy claims in the court ceremonial, and how poetry is used to do things in a specific historical context.
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