The third book of Lucretius' great poem on the workings of the universe is devoted entirely to expounding the implications of Epicurus' dictum that death does not matter, 'is nothing to us'. The soul is not immortal: it no more exists after the dissolution of the body than it had done before its birth. Only if this fact is accepted can men rid themselves of irrational fears and achieve the state of ataraxia, freedom from mental disturbance, on which the Epicurean (...) definition of pleasure was based. To present this case Lucretius deploys the full range of poetic and rhetorical registers, soberly prohibitive, artfully decorative or passionately emotive as best suits his argument, reinforcing it with vivid and compelling imagery. This new edition has been completely revised, with a considerably enlarged Commentary and a new supplementary introduction taking account of the great amount of new scholarship of the last forty years. (shrink)
Heinrich Dörrie has demonstrated that the text of two long passages of Ovid's Heroides depends entirely on a single witness, the printed edition of the complete works published at Parma in 1477 by Stephanus Corallus . The passages in question are from the letters of Paris and Cydippe . In this paper I limit myself to a single question: whether these verses are by the same hand as the rest of the epistles of Paris and Cydippe. Since, however, I see (...) no reason to doubt that all the double epistles are by Ovid, this means in effect that I shall be asking whether the disputed passages are his. (shrink)
In these notes I propose to discuss only those passages where I can offer either a new solution or new arguments in favour of a neglected one. Where I am wrong I hope to be told so before my proposals are enshrined in my text.
To the editor of a classical text manuscripts are useful as they can be induced to yield the truth. The purpose of this article is purely practical: to discuss in moderate compass, though in greater detail than an O.G.T. preface seems to demand, how the manuscripts of these poems can be used to find out what Ovid wrote. His text has been transmitted to us in circumstances which defy the rigid application of this or that ‘method’ of recension; and his (...) editors will sometimes be wise to recognize the limitations of the evidence and to cultivate a robust indifference to unnecessary detail. (shrink)
Femina in line 28 has nagged me subconsciously for years. I have now belatedly realized that it sabotages the poet's prudent disclaimer: it is not women in general who are in question, but only those not ruled out of bounds by stola and uittae. The repetition of the word in the following verse, where it means, as the opposition to uiri indicates, ‘the female sex’, only serves to underline its inappropriateness here. Cristante's defence of the anaphora, that it ‘ribadisce la (...) necessità dell'insegnamento, introducendone la giustificazione’ , sets up an unwanted connection: lines 25–8 are strictly parenthetic to the main argument, as indeed is signalled by the truly functional anaphora of femina in line 29, whose effect is blurred in the text as transmitted. The form of the couplet, typical of Ovid, dictates that what is wanted is a variation on nil nisi lasciui, e.g. nec or, better, non proba. The source of the intrusive femina is not far to seek, though how precisely it ousted the original reading I do not pretend to guess. (shrink)
Apuleius' story of Cupid and Psyche, the relationship of the human Soul with divine Love, is one of the great allegories of world literature. It forms an integral part of and profoundly illuminates the message of his novel Metamorphoses or The Golden Ass, which relates the adventures of a young man and his spiritual fall and redemption. To enrich and deepen his basic plot, the origins of which are obscure, Apuleius has combined poetic sources, Platonic philosophy and popular iconography in (...) an unprecedented tour de force of literary creation. This edition sensitively elucidates the subtle art with which this transformation has been accomplished, and comprehensively illustrates both Apuleius' inventive handling of his various models and sources and the exuberant and idiosyncratic Latinity with forms the vehicle for it. It places in a fresh light the results of recent work on the ancient Novel and on Apuleius himself, and offers a stimulating, occasionally provocative, reading of his much-discussed text. The Latin is accompanied by a facing English translation, making the edition more accessible to students of comparative literature as well as to classicists. (shrink)