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The Portable Roman Reader (Portable Library) Paperback – January 27, 1977


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Product Details

  • Series: Portable Library
  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (January 27, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140150560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140150568
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #522,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Laura of Maine on April 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'm a freshman in high-school and am very interested in Classical literature and history. This book is wonderful. It gives you a flavor for some of the greatest Roman authors, and also gives you a feel for the time they were written. The introduction is wonderfully written, and his insight on the Roman culture is really quite interesting. I wish Davenport had done more books, one on Greek literature would have been spectacular, but to my knowladge there are no more. :( I highly recomend this book for a young person interested in Roman authors. He'll take you from early Roman comedy through the Republic, the Golden and Silver Ages, to the bitter end of the Empire.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Hadley on April 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Davenport's 656 page compendium of selections by most of the great names in Roman literature begins with a useful introduction at the opening of each section, but lacks an introductory note before each individual selection. I liked that it includes meaty excerpts from the greatest writers, including complete plays by Plautus, Terence and Seneca, plus some complete books of the best works by Lucretius and Virgil.
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4 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Miguel on March 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
About the best one volume compilation of Roman Latin writings around. Unfortunately, editor Basil Davenport was an admirer of the southern confederacy. Here's what he had to say in his introduction:..."And not to know Roman history is not to know one of the great historic dramas. The story of Rome is not indeed a tragedy in Aristotle's sense. Greece and the Golden Age, and the Southern Confederacy, are examples among the nations of the Aristotelian tragic hero - the great man who by a certain flaw in his nature is brought to a downfall greater than he deserved." The SC was synonymous with the "great man" that did not deserve its ignoble defeat at the hands of the real heros, Lincoln and the Union Army? The South shall rise again, eh Basil? And further more deserves to? Maybe next time, they'll get slavery right. This is a putrid opinion from a small and ignorant man. I see now why he admired Rome, one of the biggest slave holding civilizations in history...

Later addition: In all fairness, Basil Davenport (1905-1966) flourished during a time when opinions like his about the southern confederacy were fairly commonplace. In the thirties and forties, there was still a notion of the "noble confederacy" etc. minus the vile associations with slavery that it carries today. I could find no later writings about what he thought of the Civil Rights Movement. He was probably in his dotage by then anyway...
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