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The Georgics


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Book Excerpt: 
. . .R> And all the choir, a joyful company,
Attend it, and with shouts bid Ceres come
To be their house-mate; and let no man dare
Put sickle to the ripened ears until,
With woven oak his temples chapleted,
He foot the rugged dance and chant the lay.
Aye, and that these things we might win to know
By certain tokens, heats, and showers, and winds
That bring the frost, the Sire of all himself
Ordained what warnings in her monthly round
The moon should give, what bodes the south wind's fall,
What oft-repeated sights the herdsman seeing
Should keep his cattle closer to their stalls.
No sooner are the winds at point to rise,
Than either Ocean's firths begin to toss
And swell, and a dry crackling sound is heard
Upon the heights, or one loud ferment booms
The beach afar, and through the forest goes
A murmur multitudinous. By this
Scarce can the billow spare the curved keels,
When swift the sea-g. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is an excellent translation of Virgil's Georgics (the four poems he wrote just before the Aeneid), describing and praising the life of the farmer. The translator, Janet Lembke, is somewhat unique in that she's an American, her father was a farmer, and she is a naturalist as well as a classic...more

This was recommended in the newsletter of a farmer I follow on social media, and I'm glad I picked it up. It was a quick read, but can also be read in small sections.

I thought it was gorgeous, funny, horrifying, a nostalgic (for Virgil!) tour of rural Italy back when farming was very much manual...more

Imagine if Michael Pollan had written The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World using hexameter verse. Now you can begin to understand how cool the Georgics is.

“Unfortunate man, what grass you have had to secure!
Sit down on this couch, and let us both rest from our fears.
Plants-eyed v...more

Virgil, his works and legacy have interested me for some time. His ability influence and inspire the Christian homogeneity of the middle ages with his Pagan thoughts and ideals shows the enormous scope of his talent as a writer. The four works within this collection demonstrate exactly how talent...more

I’ve just finished two contemporary book-club reads in a row that cited Virgil’s “Georgics,” either expressly or via imagery. Who would have guessed that a long, plotless poem about the everyday joys of farming in ancient Italy would exert so much influence on 21st century literature?

Both “Elean...more

I love how much Virgil loves bees.

Vergilius: Georgica - Maanviljelijän työt / proosasuomennos, johdanto ja erittäin informatiiviset viitetekstit Teivas Oksala, Gaudeamus, 1976

"Näiden todisteiden ja esimerkkien nojalla väitetään,
että mehiläiset ovat osa jumalallista sielua
ja taivaallisia henkäyksiä: jumala läpäisee kaikkeuden,

Politics and agriculture, an interesting mix especially when it comes to the topic of animal husbandry.

Allow me to clarify those stars you see above.
I love Virgil, with all of my heart. His depth is devastating and his verse, in the original Latin, is uncanny. Before Shakespeare he was the definition of greatness. And I love the Georgics. For some people, the Aeneid will always be the end of the...more

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