A History of European Versification

By M. L. Gasparov; G. S. Smith et al. | Go to book overview

The Author

MIKHAIL LEONOVICH GASPAROV was born in Moscow in 1935. He graduated from Moscow University in classical philology in 1957, and immediately took up a post in the Classical Literature department of the Academy Institute of World Literature, Moscow; he defended his kandidat's thesis in 1963 ( Classical Philology) and his doctoral dissertation in 1978 ( Theory of Literature). He served as Chairman of his department from 1971 to 1981, and also took part in the work of the Departments of Literary Theory and Twentieth Century Russian Literature at his Institute. In 1990 he transferred to the Academy Institute of the Russian Language, also in Moscow. He was elected to membership of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1992.

He has given guest lectures at numerous universities and institutes of higher education in Russia. In 1992 he was Visiting Professor at Stanford University and UCLA.

His first book, The Classical Fable (Phaedrus and Babrius) was published in 1971; then came two books on the history of Russian versification, Contemporary Russian Verse ( 1974), and A History of Russian Versification ( 1984). His History of European Versification was published in 1989. All four volumes were published by Nauka, Moscow, then the publishing branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He is now preparing a book called Metre and Meaning. These books draw to some extent on the articles Gasparov has been publishing in the fields of classical philology, and Russian and other systems of versification, since the beginning of his career; they total about 200 items. In addition, about fifty items have appeared under Gasparov's editorship, prepared for publication or with commentaries by him and others; they include some major editions of modern Russian poets.

Gasparov is recognized as one of Russia's leading literary translators. His versions of Pindar, Euripides, Ovid, Phaedrus, Babrius, Suetonius, Diogenes Laertius, Ausonius, the Aesopic fables, the Goliardic poets, and Ariosto have appeared in book form. In addition, he has published numerous smaller selections from a wide

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A History of European Versification
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Editor's Foreword v
  • Preface vi
  • The Author x
  • Acknowledgements xii
  • Contents xiii
  • Notation xvii
  • I - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Slavonic and Baltic Folk Syllabic and Tonic Verse 11
  • 3 - Germanic Tonic Verse 36
  • 4 - Ancient Greek Syllabo-Metrical Verse 49
  • 5 - Greek and Latin Quantitative Metre 65
  • 6 - Greek and Latin Medieval Syllabic Verse 88
  • 7 - Romance Syllabic Verse 119
  • 8 - The Rise of Germanic Syllabo-Tonic Verse 166
  • 9 - Slavonic Literary Syllabic Verse 210
  • 10 - The Expansion of Syllabo-Tonic Verse 238
  • II - International Free Verse 274
  • 12 - Summing-Up 293
  • Appendix 297
  • Bibliography 314
  • Subject Index 325
  • Metrical Index 328
  • Index of Names 330
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