Life and Literature in the Roman Republic

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Life and Literature in the Roman Republic

Postby Q Valerius on Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:30 am

Readers of this forum may be interested in the following review:

http://neonostalgia.com/weblog/?p=375
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Tenney Frank's little outing

Postby Aldus Marius on Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:14 am

*sigh...*

...One of these days, mi Valeri--one of these days!--you and I are going to like the same thing. I met this little book in my earliest years of Romanitas; I found it evocative, pleasantly meandering in the way that books of that generation were wont to be, a gem and a delight. Several years later I'd hunted down my own copy (I think the Library was getting rather tired of me having theirs out all the time, and in any case I'd graduated that college); surely I must have thought it was worth the trouble?

Te spero,
Aldus Marius Peregrinus.
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Postby Q Valerius on Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:53 pm

Did you read the whole thing, mi Mari? Don't be off-put by the first sentence. It really was a mediocre account of the history of Latin literature even in context. However, I do have some very positive things to say about him:

I found the introduction (not the preface, which is separate) to be rather enlightening on its own. Simply titled “Introduction: Social Forces”, Frank is dead on with his analysis of stray critics, the historically inept, the failures of imagination, and for the most part the history of Rome. His history of Roman literary thought is perceptive, far more than most introductions go, as well as particularly provocative...

I do not have to repeat Norman DeWitt’s characterization of his chapters on “Prose of the Statesmen, Early Historians and Livy, and Cicero’s Contributions [as being] far and away the best treatments of the topics available anywhere.”
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Postby Q Valerius on Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:54 pm

Perhaps I should have made it clearer what I liked about it, what it did, instead of the negative things. I'll expand a bit in my revision (I needed to add references anyway).
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