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Greek Elegiac Poetry: From the Seventh to the Fifth Centuries B.C. (Loeb Classical Library No. 258) Hardcover – October 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0674995826 ISBN-10: 0674995821

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Greek Elegiac Poetry: From the Seventh to the Fifth Centuries B.C. (Loeb Classical Library No. 258) + Greek Iambic Poetry: From the Seventh to the Fifth Centuries B.C. (Loeb Classical Library No. 259) + Greek Lyric: Sappho and Alcaeus (Loeb Classical Library No. 142) (Volume I)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (October 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674995821
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674995826
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 4.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #221,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


These two additions to the Loeb Classical Library [Greek Iambic Poetry and Greek Elegiac Poetry] will be welcomed by readers at all levels. Archolicus, Hipponax, Solon, the Theognidea, and many others are now accessible as never before...The translations, into prose, are wonderfully clear and readable. All traces of translationese have been removed, or more likely were never there. While the revisions are plain, they are always instructive and can be elegant. It will repay students to read these versions not just as a crib, but to compare them carefully with the Greek. There are surprises and delights for the attentive...Gerber has a gift for finding English that shows how the Greek works...The notes are marvels of condensed information...Gerber throughout the notes writes in a clear, concise, and scrupulous style. In effect he had summarized for his readers a great deal of information about current interpretations and problems of dozens and dozens of fragments...Gerber has distilled an impressive amount of scholarship. That feat, together with the excellence of his translations, makes these volumes among the most distinguished of those recently issued. (H.G. Edinger Phoenix)

Gerber's texts and general scholarship, including helpful notes, are fully up-to-date, his presentation is lucid...and his translations are neat and accurate, as well as faithful to, for example, the obscenity of iambos (the era of euphemistic Loebs is over). These volumes form a fine complement to Campbell's Greek Lyric set; they deserve to be widely used. (Stephen Halliwell Greece and Rome)

About the Author

Douglas E. Gerber is Fox Professor of Classical Studies, University of Western Ontario.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "acominatus" on January 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent volume for anyone interested
in poetry, ancient Greek culture and mores, and
the expression of thought in subtle shadings.
The poets included in this volume, in the order
of presentation, are: Callinus, Tyrtaeus, Mimnermus,
Solon, Theognis (and the "Theognidae"), Philiadas,
Phocylides, Demodocus, Xenophanes, Asius,
Dionysius Chalcus, Euenus, Critias, and
Anonymous Elegiacs.
There is an excellent Introduction, and each poet's
section begins with "Testimonia" from ancient authors
concerning the poet. The poems are sometimes fragments,
lines or phrases which were quoted by some ancient
author or by a later commentator on some ancient author,
who then uses the line or phrase of the poet mentioned.
The "elegy" in this case is not the poem of mourning
that most people are familiar with. As the Introduction,
by the translator and editor, Douglas E. Gerber states:
"Almost any topic, apart from the scurrilous or obscene,
was considered suitable for archaic elegy and in this
period it is therefore more apporpriate to define elegy
as simply a poem composed in elegiac couplets."
Many of the poems were composed during symposia, drinking
parties where intellectual discussion and cultural commentary
and criticism also were shared by the participants.
Some of the poetry is wise advice; some is commentary
on love making and beauty worshipping. All of it is
wondrous insight into ancient Greek thinking, ways of
living, and creative expression.
-- Robert Kilgore.
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