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The Eclogues


Book Overview: 

This book of poems, written between 42 en 39 BC, was a bestseller in ancient Rome, and still holds a fascination today. Held to be divinely inspired not only by the Romans themselves, but by the Medieval Catholic church, The Eclogues is one of the most beloved collections of Latin short poetry.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .BR> The thick-leaved shadowy-soaring beech-tree grove
Still would he haunt, and there alone, as thus,
To woods and hills pour forth his artless strains.
"Cruel Alexis, heed you naught my songs?
Have you no pity? you'll drive me to my death.
Now even the cattle court the cooling shade
And the green lizard hides him in the thorn:
Now for tired mowers, with the fierce heat spent,
Pounds Thestilis her mess of savoury herbs,
Wild thyme and garlic. I, with none beside,
Save hoarse cicalas shrilling through the brake,
Still track your footprints 'neath the broiling sun.
Better have borne the petulant proud disdain
Of Amaryllis, or Menalcas wooed,
Albeit he was so dark, and you so fair!
Trust not too much to colour, beauteous boy;
White privets fall, dark hyacinths are culled.
You scorn me, Alexis, who or what I am
Care not to ask- how rich in flocks, or how
In snow-white milk abounding: yet for . . . Read More

Community Reviews

I once spoke with a young goatherd on a wild Greek hillside and imagined for a moment I was in Arcadia, but I was rapidly aware of the disconnect between fantasy and reality. I could just about imagine him playing a flute but he and his goats exuded a very pungent and not very appealing odour, and a

U eklogama glavni lik je prostor – irealno međuprožimanje čoveka i prirode. Čovek ekloge nije homo faber, onaj koji svetu pristupa sa umećem, već je homo pastor – bukolikos. U takvom svetu nema vremena – ni cikličnog ni linearnog – vremenska ravan je zapravo negde iza, ali ne i vremensko proticanje.

Our familiar Virgil tempers the grandeur of the epic with loss, and strikes ambiguous moods in the midst of war glory; but, the lesser known Virgil floods the senses with a rustic imagination drunk on the colourful singing of country air through mountains and over streams. Here the world turns over,

Un giorno Dafni sedeva all'ombra di un'elce frusciante,
e Coridone e Tirsi vi avevano radunato greggi,
Tirsi le pecore, Coridone le capre colme di latte;
ambedue nel fiore dell'età, esperti nelle arti di Arcadia,
pari nel canto, e pronti ugualmente a ribattere:
là mi s'era sperduto proprio il caprone del

I read this, mistakenly, because of Willa Cather; it wasn't until I brought it all the way home from the library that I checked again and saw that she was quoting not the Eclogues but the Georgics in
My Ántonia
. I read it anyway.

The Eclogues (c.39 BC)—also and more descriptively known as the Bu

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