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Georgics (Oxford World's Classics) Reissue Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199538836
ISBN-10: 0199538832
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Editorial Reviews


Review from previous edition: "the combination of truth to the words Virgil wrote, natural vernacular speech and a general at-homeness on the land make Fallon's an inspired translation" --Seamus Heaney, Irish Times

"magnificent new translation...Fallon is the perfect translator for the Georgics" --Bernard O'Donoghue, Times Literary Supplement

"supple and assured new translation" --Jonathan Bate, TLS Books of the Year

About the Author

Elaine Fantham is the Giger Professor of Latin Emeritus in the Department of Classics at Princeton University and a professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Toronto.

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reissue edition (April 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199538832
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199538836
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.4 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Peg Moran on March 23, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Virgil, a Roman poet who lived over 2000 years ago, writes with the same passion and vigor as Shakespeare. However, Virgil's language is Latin and his subject is country life. Peter Fallon presents this new translation of Virgil's Georgics. He calls the work, "a hymn to peace and people."

The Georgics contains four small books. This entire edition - complete with introduction, translator's notes and line notes to help modern readers through the many references to Greek and Roman mythology - runs a mere hundred pages. Book I covers farming topics that range from crop rotation and when to fallow fields, to seed saving and developing a weather eye. Virgil suggests that "if the goddess of the dawn rises wanly from her consort's saffron couch, beware ..." This ancient advice sounds similar to weather guidance I learned as a teen on the New England Coast. "Red sun at dawning, sailors take warning." Book I ends with an eternal description of war and its effects on agriculture "For right and wrong are mixed up here, there's so much warring everywhere, evil has so many faces, and there is no regard for the labors of the plough....scythes and sickles have been hammered into weapons of war."

Virgil devotes Book II to the cultivation of grapes and olives while Book III discusses the breeding and care of domesticated animals. Virgil devotes Book IV to the keeping of bees. He encourages his reader to consider bees "a small society comprising systems worthy of our high esteem." He then describes the perfect site for a hive. It must be protected from winds, close to a tree-lined stream that provides shade and water. Near the hive "let all around be gay with ... spreads of fragrant thyme and masses of aromatic savory.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Peter Fallon's translation seems anything but stilted--earthy, colorful, rhythmical, it is sheer delight.

I wasn't sure at first whether a long didactic poem on agriculture would be gripping, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading the "Georgics." Many of Virgil's images and descriptions of nature are meltingly beautiful, and the deeper philosophical stratum of this work produces a constant intellecutal tension--ultimately, this poem investigates to what extent "the good life" is possible in this world, what is the balance between good and evil, to what extent our good efforts and labors are rewarded, how we are to position ourselves spiritually in this ambiguous, hard-to-understand universe... From an ecological standpoint, Virgil examines how we are to relate and live in harmony with our environment. Many mythological stories are woven in, and Peter Fallon's notes help one understand historical and mythological allusions without any problem. The poem really is just brimming over with interesting content, and reading it to me felt like an utterly pleasurable meditative exercise. And I am truly grateful to Fallon for bringing this poem to me in a wonderfully "natural" and vivid translation, the best translation of the "Georgics" that I have been able to find.

I read the "Georgics" partly in order to understand Willa Cather's novels better, which allude to and are deeply influenced by this poem. Her works truly cannot be fully understood without a clear awareness of the Virgilian subtext. The "Georgics" are a supremely influential work of literature and should be read by anyone wishing to gain an in-depth understanding of the Western literary tradition.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have bought the kindle version of Georgics (Oxford World's Classics) for $7.24 and shocked to find out that the format of the kindle book is defective (sometimes unable to turn the pages, and also the format / lines of the poem is irregular from page to page). At first I think the problem is caused by unsuccessful download, so I tried to get a refund and then bought the book later after few days. Unluckily the problem remained the same. This kindle book is defective in quality! Later I tried to cancel it for a refund but unsuccessful (maybe past 7 days), so I have to cancel this defective kindle book from my library, causing a loss of $7.24 immediately. I hope that you will not commit the same mistake. Also, I think Oxford has a responsibility to correct the format problem of this ebook before they put it on Amazon website for sale.
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