This book contains twenty-six articles, including three hitherto unpublished, on a wide range of topics in Latin literature by R. G. M. Nisbet. Some handle literary themes with a historical bearing: Gallus' elegiacs on Caesar and 'Lycoris', rediscovered in 1978; the relation of Virgil's fourth Eclogue to Isaiah; Horace as an eye-witness of the battle of Actium; the causes of Ovid's exile and his poetic response. Other papers discuss Virgil's bucolic style; symbolism in Seneca's tragedies; how poems by Horace and Statius are coloured by the characteristics of their addresses. Articles on prose consider the reader's contribution to the understanding of Cicero's speeches and the use of rhythm to determine the punctuation of Latin sentences. Many textual conjectures are proposed on familiar Latin authors, notably Catullus, Horace, and Juvenal; other papers discuss Housman's Juvenal and 'how textual conjectures are made'. The book ends with a criticism of the current tendency to exaggerate the ambiguities of Roman poetry.
`a delight to read. Nisbet is challenging, witty, honest, gifted in metaphor, and commands an extraordinarily persuasive mathod and style of argument. His mastery of the Latin language is exhilerating to watch, rather than depressingly intimidating, as it can be in other scholars. Anyone who reads this book from beginning to end will come out knowing a lot more Latin than they did going in.'
`As one works through the book, the overwhelming impression is of a scholar whose true gift lies in being able to combine a profound understanding of Latin with genuine feeling for it. Textual criticism for N. is not merely a cognitive exercise but one that calls for a fine sense of style and an acute ear. His conjectures are frequently stimulating, sometimes brilliant ... from this book one will learn much, both directly and along the way.'
J.H.D. Scourfield, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Journal of Roman Studies
`This dazzling collection reveals the full breadth of his critical skills and the profound depth of his learning. His life-work, as represented by the twenty-six papers in this volume, stands as a model of the very best philological scholarship of our century. These collected papers should be recommended to all aspiring young literary critics...Meticulously edited by Nisbet's former student and colleague Stephen J. Harrison, the book has been elegantly
produced by the Clarendon Press.'
New England Classical Journal
The usefulness...of having these and other papers gathered together may profitably be assessed. Above all, the collection provides an instructively repeated demonstration of N.'s basic method of getting on terms with Latin texts. Step-by-step, close analysis of a few lines at a time.
Notes on Horace Epistles I
Review and Discussion of K. Muller (ed.), Petronii Arbitrii Satyricon and W. V. Clausen (ed.) A. Persi Flacci et S. Iuni Iuvenalis Saturae; Felicitas at Surrentum (Statius Silvae 11.2)
Virgil's Fourth Eclogue: Easterners and Westerners
Notes on the Text of Catullus
Elegiacs by Gallus from Qasr Ibrim
Aeneas Imperator: Roman Generalship in an Epic Context
Sidere Clarior (Horace, Carm. 3.1.42)
`Great and Lesser Bear' (Ovid, Tristia 4.3)
Horace's Epodes and History
Sacrilege in Egypt (Lucan IX. 150-161)
Review of D. R. Shackleton Bailey (ed.) Q. Horatii Flacci Opera
The Oak and the Axe: Symbolism in Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1618 ff.
Pyrrha among Roses: Real Life and Poetic Imagination in Augustan Rome
Notes on the Text and Interpretation of Juvenal
Footnotes on Horace
On Housman's Juvenal
The Dating of Seneca's Tragedies, with special reference to Thyestes
Cola and Clausulae in Cicero's Speeches
The Style of Virgil's Eclogues
How Textual Conjectures are Made
The Orator and the Reader: Manipulation and Response in Cicero's Fifth Verrine
Adolescens Puer (Virgil, Eclogues 4. 28-30)
Four Conjectures on Catullus LXIV
The Survivors: Old Style Literary Men in the Triumviral Period
Tying Down Proteus; the Limitations of Ambiguity and Cross-reference in Horace's Odes