小说搜索     点击排行榜   最新入库
首页 » 英文短篇小说 » The Book of the Epic » LATIN EPICS
选择底色: 选择字号:【大】【中】【小】
LATIN EPICS
Latin literature took its source in the Greek, to which it owes much of its poetic beauty, for many of its masterpieces are either translations or imitations of the best Greek writings. There have been, for instance, numerous translations of the Iliad and Odyssey, the first famous one being by the "father of Roman dramatic and epic poetry," Livius Andronicus, who lived in the third century B.C. He also attempted to narrate Roman history in the same strain, by composing an epic of some thirty-five books, which are lost.

Another poet, Naevius, a century later composed the Cyprian Iliad, as well as a heroic poem on the first Punic war (Bellum Punicum), of which only fragments have come down to us. Then, in the second century before our era, Ennius made a patriotic attempt to sing the origin of Rome in the Annales in eighteen books, of which only parts remain, while Hostius wrote an epic entitled Istria, which has also perished. Lucretius' epic "On the Nature of Things" is considered an example of the astronomical or physical epic.

The Augustan age proved rich in epic poets, such as Publius Terentius Varro, translator of the Argonautica and author of a poem on Julius Caesar; Lucius Varius Rufus, whose poems are lost; and, greatest of all, Virgil, of whose latest and greatest work, the Aeneid, a complete synopsis follows. Next to this greatest Latin poem ranks Lucan's Pharsalia, wherein he relates in ten books the rivalry between Caesar and Pompey, while his contemporary Statius, in his Thebais and unfinished Achilleis, works over the time-honored cycles of Thèbes and Troy. During the same period Silius Italicus supplied a lengthy poem on the second Punic war, and Valerius Flaccus a new translation or adaptation of the Argonautica.

In the second century of our own era Quintius Curtius composed an epic on Alexander, and in the third century Juvencus penned the first Christian epic, using the Life of Christ as his theme. In the fifth century Claudianus harked back to the old Greek myths of the battle of the Giants and of the Abduction of Persephone, although by that time Christianity was well established in Italy. From that epoch Roman literature practically ceased to exist, for although various attempts at Latin epics were made by mediaeval poets, none of them proved of sufficient merit to claim attention here.



欢迎访问英文小说网http://novel.tingroom.com

©英文小说网 2005-2010

有任何问题,请给我们留言,管理员邮箱:tinglishi@gmail.com  站长QQ :点击发送消息和我们联系56065533

鲁ICP备05031204号