Entries from May 2007

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

The Gifts of Venus (Lucretius, De rerum natura 1.1-20)

Lucretius’ poem on nature opens with an invocation addressed not to the Muses but to Venus, goddess of love and sex.  [Audio clip: view full post to listen] Aeneadum genetrix, hominum divumque voluptas, alma Venus, caeli subter labentia signa quae mare navigerum, quae terras frugiferentis concelebras, per te quoniam genus omne animantum concipitur visitque exortum lumina solis:                    5 […]

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Panic (Statius, Thebaid 7.108-131)

[Audio clip: view full post to listen]  inde unum dira comitum de plebe Pavorem quadripedes anteire iubet: non alter anhelos insinuare metus animumque avertere ueris                110 aptior; innumerae monstro vocesque manusque et facies quamcumque velit; bonus omnia credi auctor et horrificis lymphare incursibus urbes. si geminos soles ruituraque suadeat astra, aut nutare solum aut veteres descendere […]

Monday, May 14th, 2007

Why poets are needed (Cicero, Pro Archia)

Cicero defends the poet Archias against the charge that he was not a Roman citizen, and in the process tells the jury why, in his view, poetry is valuable to the state and why the name of poet is revered (sanctum). The speech was originally given in 62 B.C. Latin text of the speech, with English and French […]