Anthology of Latin Poetry

Anthology of Latin Poetry

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Anthology of Latin Poetry

Anthology of Latin Poetry

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Excerpt

This collection of specimens of Latin poetry is intended to be a companion volume to the Eight Lectures given in America in 1893, and subsequently published (Houghton and Mifflin, Boston; Macmillan, London) under the title of Latin Poetry in 1895. I have called the collection Latin Anthology, as the most convenient title available; but that is not really the most accurate description which could be given of the contents or the aim of the volume. An anthology ought to contain only exquisite models of poetic composition. Now this collection aims at providing characteristic specimens of Latin poetry. Therefore, while the specimens of the work of the great masters will be very beautiful and also characteristic of their genius, the inferior artists will be found to exhibit the invariable signs of minor poetry, exaggeration, unreal sentiment, forcible-feeble diction, and ineffectual (sometimes almost ludicrously ineffectual) struggles to achieve the grand manner. This point of view has been put forward and illustrated in dealing with some of the early writers in Latin Poetry. It is dwelt upon in the notes to this volume in commenting on the specimens taken from Manilius and Grattius, who are not, I think, mentioned at all in Latin Poetry. Even in the case of the great poets like Lucretius, Statius, and Lucan, I have thought it better to present, among the more beautiful examples of their genius, also those which better illustrate their attitude towards their . . .

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