Category: Calpurnius' Bucolica

07/19/09

Permalink 10:19:43 pm, by Chris Jones Email , 238 words, 1594 views   English (US)
Categories: Calpurnius' Bucolica

Calpurnius - Summary

After reading thru the opus totum of Calpurnius (with a possible exception in the uncredited Laus Pisonis), I thought it was worth reviewing some other sources and commentary. I found a copy of the Loeb edition that contains his poems and stumbled across this interesting article from Emory University Classic professor Niall W. Slater (I really wish I’d thought to look for it sooner).

The Loeb’s introduction to Calpurnius includes a speculative question about the order of composition. I agree that the strictly pastoral poems–II, III, V, and VI–were surely written before the political I, IV, and VII, and were perhaps an isolated exercise/imitation. I’d also agree that III is the least polished of the bunch and was therefore probably written first. But although I can understand the praise for V–the Micon soliloquy imitating Vergil’s Georgic III–I found that poem rather tedious and lacking the playful yet essential humor found in Virgil’s work. Of the strict pastorals VI–the “trash talk” between Lycidas and Astylus–was probably my favorite, but the political poems–despite the theme–display a skillful complexity that shouldn’t be overlooked. The Slater article amplifies this point; much of what he says regarding the first poem can be applied to IV and VII.

Overall I enjoyd the experience, and hope at least a few readers got something out of it. So do I move on to the Laus Pisonis now? :)

06/29/09

Permalink 12:28:45 pm, by Chris Jones Email , 730 words, 2914 views   English (US)
Categories: Calpurnius' Bucolica

Calpurnius, Bucolica VII (pt. 2)

Text can be found at the Latin Library. Change in speaker is indicated by capitalizing the first word of a line.

Vidimus in caelum trabibus spectacula textis
surgere, Tarpeium prope despectantia culmen;
(VII.23-4)

“I saw a stadium of interlocking beams surge into the sky,
nearly looking down on the summit of the Tarpeian rock.”

Read more! »

06/23/09

Permalink 01:56:25 pm, by Chris Jones Email , 586 words, 3369 views   English (US)
Categories: Calpurnius' Bucolica

Calpurnius, Bucolica VII (pt. 1)

Text can be found at the Latin Library. Change in speaker is indicated by capitalizing the first word of a line.

Summary: Corydon returns to the country from a visit to Rome and describes the spectacula presented there by a iuvenis deus.

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05/25/09

Permalink 12:14:54 am, by Chris Jones Email , 648 words, 2810 views   English (US)
Categories: Calpurnius' Bucolica

Calpurnius, Bucolica VI

Text can be found at the Latin Library. Change in speaker is indicated (as in II) by capitalizing the first word of a line.

Summary: Lycidas trades insults with Astylus, and the pair plan to settle their dispute with a singing contest.

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04/21/09

Permalink 09:37:48 pm, by Chris Jones Email , 357 words, 2827 views   English (US)
Categories: Calpurnius' Bucolica

Calpurnius, Bucolica V

Text can be found at the Latin Library, but as previously noted, look out for OCR scan issues.

Summary: The elder Micon gives pastoral advice to his younger ward Canthus.

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04/15/09

Permalink 04:49:27 pm, by Chris Jones Email , 61 words, 1610 views   English (US)
Categories: Literature, Calpurnius' Bucolica

Ver Mobile

Spring is a fickle season in Chicago. It must have been so in ancient Rome too…

Veris enim dubitanda fides: Modo fronte serena
blandius arrisit, modo cum caligine nimbos
intulit

(Calp. Buc. V.46-8)

“For Spring’s trust should be doubted: One moment she charmingly smiles with her fair face, the next she ushers in rainclouds with mist.”

Still a tease after 2000 years…

Permalink 01:49:54 pm, by Chris Jones Email , 425 words, 2092 views   English (US)
Categories: Calpurnius' Bucolica

Calpurnius, Bucolica V (prelude)

A merciless work schedule has left little time for detailed reading, and a few sections of this poem have me scratching my head. Here’s an example of the difficulties, with text taken directly from the Latin Library:

at si forte uaces, dum matutina relaxat
frigora sol, tumidis spumantia mulctra papillis
implebit quod mane fluet; rursusque premetur
mane quod occiduae mulsura redegerit horae.
parce tamen fetis: ne sint compendia tanti,
destruat ut niueos uenalis cascus agnos;
nam tibi praecipuo fetura coletur amore.
(V.32-38)

Read more! »

04/03/09

Permalink 09:17:39 pm, by Chris Jones Email , 601 words, 2909 views   English (US)
Categories: Calpurnius' Bucolica

Calpurnius, Bucolica IV (pt. 2)

If poetry in general is a dying art form, then the corpse of panegyric (along with it’s broader cousin occasional poetry) rotted away centuries ago. Yet its fossilized remains linger in many poems of the classical age, when the courtly role of writers was understood to be a serious calling:

Hos potius, magis hos calamos sectare: Canales
exprime qui dignas cecinerunt consule silvas.
(76-7)

“Rather, pursue these reeds more: Press
the pipes which sing of woods worthy of a consul.”

Read more! »

03/25/09

Permalink 10:16:40 am, by Chris Jones Email , 417 words, 2674 views   English (US)
Categories: Calpurnius' Bucolica

Calpurnius' style

Contrary to the modern image of the bard as a gifted eccentric, classical poetry (at least after Homer) is usually a highly calculated affair. So four poems into his collection of seven bucolics, I’ve been forming a detailed opinion of Calpurnius as a poetic craftsman.

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Permalink 12:26:11 am, by Chris Jones Email , 449 words, 3076 views   English (US)
Categories: Calpurnius' Bucolica

Calpurnius, Bucolica IV (pt. 1)

Text can be found at the Latin Library

Summary: After a lengthy discussion, Meliboeus coaxes Corydon to join his brother Amyntas and sing verses about a deus…qui populos urbesque regit.

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03/19/09

Permalink 12:22:36 pm, by Chris Jones Email , 70 words, 1639 views   English (US)
Categories: Fun & Games, Calpurnius' Bucolica

So True

More on Calpurnius’ fourth eclogue in an upcoming post, but for now I had to share these few lines, an epitaph for almost any modern Latin poet…

“Certe mea carmina nemo
praeter ab his scopulis ventosa remurmurat echo.”
(IV.27-8)

“True, no one repeats my poems,
except the windy echo from these rocks.”

Substitute hoc interrete for his scopulis, and you have a headline quip for just about any Latin blog :)

03/08/09

Permalink 10:17:24 pm, by Chris Jones Email , 1026 words, 3759 views   English (US)
Categories: Calpurnius' Bucolica

Calpurnius, Bucolica III (pt. 2)

Last time we looked at the framing device of Iollas searching for his lost heifer. Now we’ll look at central picture: Lycidas’ love poem for the return of wayward Phyllis (ll. 45-91). Iollas makes much of this, and promises:

Dic age; nam cerasi tua cortice verba notabo
Et decisa feram rutilanti carmina libro

“Sing then; for I shall write the words on a cherry bark
And carry (to her) a poem cut into the ruddy rind”

Read more! »

03/02/09

Permalink 12:01:32 am, by Chris Jones Email , 410 words, 2799 views   English (US)
Categories: Calpurnius' Bucolica

Calpurnius, Bucolica III (pt. 1)

Text can be found at the Latin Library

Summary: While looking for a lost heifer, Iollas finds Lycidas lamenting over Phyllis, a former lover who is now with Mopsus.

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02/11/09

Permalink 01:06:26 pm, by Chris Jones Email , 643 words, 2739 views   English (US)
Categories: Calpurnius' Bucolica

Calpurnius, Bucolica II (pt. 2)

Full text can be found here. Only found one obvious error:

Line 62: cespite should be caespite

The singing contest between Idas and Astacus (II.28-91) follows the expected pattern where one singer picks up on a theme started by the other, often reversing reworking it to promote his own position.

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02/09/09

Permalink 03:04:50 pm, by Chris Jones Email , 547 words, 2701 views   English (US)
Categories: Calpurnius' Bucolica

Calpurnius, Bucolica II (pt. 1)

Full text can be found here.

Summary: The shepherd Idas and gardener Astacus hold a singing competition for the virgin Crocale (intactam Crocalen).

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02/02/09

Permalink 11:21:33 pm, by Chris Jones Email , 371 words, 2861 views   English (US)
Categories: Calpurnius' Bucolica

Calpurnius Bucolica I.32-94 (pt. 2)

Calpurnius is not mentioned by any other writer from the classical age, so scholars must rely on internal evidence to date his work. Two historical allusions in the first Eclogue give us a clue.

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01/28/09

Permalink 01:00:41 pm, by Chris Jones Email , 619 words, 2383 views   English (US)
Categories: Calpurnius' Bucolica

Calpurnius Bucolica I.32-94 (pt.1)

Full text can be found here, though I think it has a few typographical errors:

Line 32: silva should be silvas
Line 43: positi should be posito
Line 71: priore should be priorem

Summary: Ornytus recites the poem of Faunus, who predicts a golden age led by a god who will end civil war and establish “real” peace and rule of law. In an epilogue, the shepherds resolve to repeat the song.

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01/23/09

Permalink 04:25:29 pm, by Chris Jones Email , 684 words, 3374 views   English (US)
Categories: Calpurnius' Bucolica

Calpurnius, Bucolica I.1-31

Full text can be found here, though I think it has a few typographical errors (I’ll point those out in the review).

Summary: The shepherd brothers Corydon and Ornytus look for shade on a hot day and find a text carved in a beech tree.

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01/20/09

Permalink 09:12:24 am, by Chris Jones Email , 207 words, 1641 views   English (US)
Categories: Announcements, Literature, Roman Culture, Calpurnius' Bucolica

New Project...

Pastoral Northern Italy

One of the reasons I started this blog is to share my interest in Latin literature. Things have been a litle dead around here for the past month, and so I’ve been looking for a blog project in 2009 to keep me writing, something like the series of posts I did on the first book of Statius’ Thebaid.

At the same time, we’ve hired some contractors to do some work on our home. The house is a mess, but it did force me to go thru some old boxes I had in the attic. Lo and behold, I found an old paper I wrote for graduate school on Titus Calpurnius Siculus. Don’t worry if you don’t recognize the name; Calpurnius is a minor poet who wrote a set of bucolic poems (in imitation of Virgil’s Eclogues) most probably in the time of Nero.

I needed a topic to jump-start this blog, and along comes Calpurnius. So what’s say I take a look at his opera and do a little translation/analysis? If you’re a fan of Virgil’s Eclogues, these imitations will likely pique your interest.

I’ll add Calpurnius to the categories in the righthand column, and you can expect an initial post within the next week or so

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