Author Topic: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion  (Read 55342 times)

JoanK

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #80 on: August 19, 2011, 10:26:30 PM »
We have a winner!!



A page from the 1470 Ulrich Han printing of Plutarch's Parallel Lives.


The readers have spoken and our next read October 1 will be:
Plutarch (c.46 A.D.- c. 120 A.D.) in his famous "Lives" or Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans; also called Parallel Lives.

A perfect fit for our next read in October!  Help us choose 4 likely subjects from this list, one for each week in October! What do you think?




THESEUS
ROMULUS
COMPARISON OF ROMULUS WITH THESEUS
LYCURGUS
NUMA POMPILIUS
COMPARISON OF NUMA WITH LYCURGUS
SOLON
POPLICOLA
COMPARISON OF POPLICOLA WITH SOLON
THEMISTOCLES
CAMILLUS
PERICLES
FABIUS
COMPARISON OF PERICLES WITH FABIUS
ALCIBIADES
CORIOLANUS
COMPARISON OF ALCIBIADES WITH CORIOLANUS
TIMOLEON
AEMILIUS PAULUS
COMPARISON OF TIMOLEON WITH AEMILIUS PAULUS
PELOPIDAS
MARCELLUS
COMPARISION OF PELOPIDAS WITH MARCELLUS
ARISTIDES
MARCUS CATO
COMPARISON OF ARISTIDES WITH MARCUS CATO.
PHILOPOEMEN
FLAMININUS
COMPARISON OF PHILOPOEMEN WITH FLAMININUS
PYRRHUS
CAIUS MARIUS
LYSANDER
SYLLA
COMPARISON OF LYSANDER WITH SYLLA
CIMON
LUCULLUS
COMPARISON OF LUCULLUS WITH CIMON
NICIAS
CRASSUS
COMPARISON OF CRASSUS WITH NICIAS
SERTORIUS
EUMENES
COMPARISON OF SERTORIUS WITH EUMENES
AGESILAUS
POMPEY
COMPARISON OF POMPEY AND AGESILAUS
ALEXANDER
CAESAR
PHOCION
CATO THE YOUNGER
AGIS
CLEOMENES
TIBERIUS GRACCHUS
CAIUS GRACCHUS
COMPARISON OF TIBERIUS AND CAIUS GRACCHUS WITH AGIS AND CLEOMENES
DEMOSTHENES
CICERO
COMPARISON OF DEMOSTHENES AND CICERO
DEMETRIUS
ANTONY
COMPARISON OF DEMETRIUS AND ANTONY
DION
MARCUS BRUTUS
COMPARISON OF DION AND BRUTUS
ARATUS
ARTAXERXES
GALBA
OTHO

roshanarose

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #81 on: August 20, 2011, 01:21:43 AM »
Jude - love the line "Discordant atoms warred".  Took me back to the Milesians, namely Thales who put forward the theory of "atoms"  discovered in the Greek world that we are made of "atoms".  In Greek "atom" actually means individual.  Beautiful snippet from Ovid - didn't he write a lot of love Poetry?
How can you prove whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all our thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake, and talking to one another in the waking state?  - Plato

JudeS

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #82 on: August 20, 2011, 01:46:57 AM »
Joan K-
 It is the ninth printing (1963) of the translation by Rolfe Humphries.
A friend used it in College and lent it to me.

Roshanarose
Yes he wrote a great deal of Love Poetry and was ultimately exiled because of it.  However this book seems to be a book of stories.

Is anyone familiar with the book?

Babi

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #83 on: August 20, 2011, 08:24:59 AM »
 I was pleasantly surprised to learn, over in Poetry, that John Dryden was not only the first poet
laureate, he was also a highly respected translator of the Classics.  He invented what he called the 'paraphrase', and is credited with producing the best ever translation of the Aeneid. 
"I go to books and to nature as a bee goes to the flower, for a nectar that I can make into my own honey."  John Burroughs

Frybabe

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #84 on: August 20, 2011, 08:47:23 AM »
Here is a paragraph from the Marriage of Cupid and Psyche from "Metamorphoses (The Golden Ass)"  Apuleius (c. 155 A.D.) 

Quote
The King, sometimes happy when he heard the prophesie of Apollo, returned home sad and sorrowful, and declared to his wife the miserable and unhappy fate of his daughter. Then they began to lament and weep, and passed over many dayes in great sorrow. But now the time approached of Psyches marriage, preparation was made, blacke torches were lighted, the pleasant songs were turned into pittifull cries, the melody of Hymeneus was ended with deadly howling, the maid that should be married did wipe her eyes with her vaile. All the family and people of the city weeped likewise, and with great lamentation was ordained a remisse time for that day, but necessity compelled that Psyches should be brought to her appointed place, according to the divine appointment.

translation by William Adlington -- first published 1566.

This is the same translation used in Project Gutenberg if you want to read it on your computer. The type is easier to read online than the type Gutenberg uses. http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/language/a/goldenassconten.htm

Frybabe

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #85 on: August 20, 2011, 08:53:38 AM »
Here are the first four paragraphs of Aristotle's "Poetics":
Quote
I propose to treat of Poetry in itself and of its various kinds, noting the essential quality of each, to inquire into the structure of the plot as requisite to a good poem; into the number and nature of the parts of which a poem is composed; and similarly into whatever else falls within the same inquiry. Following, then, the order of nature, let us begin with the principles which come first.

Epic poetry and Tragedy, Comedy also and Dithyrambic poetry, and the music of the flute and of the lyre in most of their forms, are all in their general conception modes of imitation. They differ, however, from one another in three respects- the medium, the objects, the manner or mode of imitation, being in each case distinct.

For as there are persons who, by conscious art or mere habit, imitate and represent various objects through the medium of color and form, or again by the voice; so in the arts above mentioned, taken as a whole, the imitation is produced by rhythm, language, or 'harmony,' either singly or combined.

Thus in the music of the flute and of the lyre, 'harmony' and rhythm alone are employed; also in other arts, such as that of the shepherd's pipe, which are essentially similar to these. In dancing, rhythm alone is used without 'harmony'; for even dancing imitates character, emotion, and action, by rhythmical movement.

ginny

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #86 on: August 21, 2011, 11:16:04 AM »
Man, don't you love these excerpts? The different voices, the different subjects? It looks to me as if we can't go wrong no matter what you choose.

Jude,  our Latin classes actually read Ovid's Metamorphoses in Latin so anybody from 104 up has read them in the original.

It's an epic poem, longer than the Aeneid, at 15 books. I love the translation you cited, have never seen it before, isn't it beautiful!

The Orpheus section is a bit brutal but I think any work cited here might have its bad parts, certainly there are parts of Suetonius we'd (or definitely I) would  not want to read.

The Metamorphoses would be great for anybody who liked or wanted to know more about Greek or Roman mythology, we could really get off on the different treatments of each myth in history,  as it does some very picturesque myths including Arachne (I never see a spider without thinking of Arachne) and Baucis and Philemon.  Pyramis and Thysbe is Babylonian, and then  there's Jason, Proserpina, Ceres and the 4 seasons, Echo and Narcissus, Daedalus and Icarus, Phaeton driving his chariot of the sun, and many others.

It's an intriguing nomination.




bookad

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #87 on: August 21, 2011, 12:20:22 PM »
JudeS--wish i had done a bit more research on the books, really like the way
that author 'Ovid' ?is that correct presents this, --the little poem excerpt

??was Plutarch just some guy writing about event & people he deemed
important??

all this classics is new to me

the first author noted on pg 2 kinda put me to sleep

Deb

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wildflower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

JudeS

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #88 on: August 22, 2011, 12:20:25 AM »
Ginny
Thanks for the heads up on the story of Arachne!
I thought it simply the scientific word for Spider.
Lo and behold a fascinating tale of a weaving battle between Minerva and the Maiden Arachne.
Minerva is angry about the content of Arachne's weaving designs and hits her with the shuttle over and over. Arachne hangs herself . Minerva says:
"Live , wicked girl; live on but hang forever,
And just  to keep you thoughtful for the future,
This punishment shall be enforced for always
On all your generations".

Hot stuff!

JoanK

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #89 on: August 22, 2011, 03:24:19 PM »
I'm the one who hasn't voted: can't make up my mind. But tomorrow the voting closes!

JoanK

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #90 on: August 22, 2011, 03:27:38 PM »
OOPS, I'm wrong. We have til the 26th. Anyway, I voted, but I wish we could read them all! (Maybe we will, sooner or later).

ginny

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #91 on: August 22, 2011, 03:46:47 PM »
We really can't go wrong: they are all super and we'll have plenty to talk about over the holiday dinner tables. :)

Jude, hahaha yes, very hot stuff and if somebody likes mythology very exciting: just seeing the constellations, some amazing myths are in the constellations,  and the names   like Arachnida for spiders and knowing who and what  it refers to would be a lot of fun.

Deb: ??was Plutarch just some guy writing about event & people he deemed
important??


Yes, he was a biographer/ historian and philosopher living about 46-120 AD  who wrote about people who interested him, like modern historians/ biographers do,  but he liked to compare the Noble Romans with the Greeks, and he was concerned with the moral character of each (That's unique today) haahhaa.   The thing with him is, we think we know these people, but we don't know them like he wrote about them, and nobody could ever forget some of  the vignettes or their surprising affecting nature today, like the  death of Pompey or Cassius, or Marc Antony,  or Brutus. Shakespeare used him a lot in his plays Julius Caesar, Coriolanus, and Antony and Cleopatra. Plutarch  makes it come alive.


We can't go wrong with any of these nominations. Can't wait to see who wins!



Babi

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #92 on: August 23, 2011, 08:24:41 AM »
 Me, either, GINNY.  If I were a bit younger I'd be bouncing on my toes.  If I were a kid, I'd
be asking "Are we there yet?!"
"I go to books and to nature as a bee goes to the flower, for a nectar that I can make into my own honey."  John Burroughs

roshanarose

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #93 on: August 24, 2011, 11:16:36 PM »
A Greek Tragedy as only the Greeks could write :

"You will remember (what Theseus unfortunately forgot) that his father, King Aegeus, had enjoined it upon him to hoist sunshiny sails, instead of black ones, in case he should overcome the Minotaur, and return victorious. In the joy of their success, however, and amidst the sports, dancing, and other merriment, with which these young folks wore away the time, they never once thought whether their sails were black, white, or rainbow colored, and, indeed, left it entirely to the mariners whether they had any sails at all. Thus the vessel returned, like a raven, with the same sable wings that had wafted her away. But poor King Aegeus, day after day, infirm as he was, had clambered to the summit of a cliff that overhung the sea, and there sat watching for Prince Theseus, homeward bound; and no sooner did he behold the fatal blackness of the sails, than he concluded that his dear son, whom he loved so much, and felt so proud of, had been eaten by the Minotaur. He could not bear the thought of living any longer; so, first flinging his crown and sceptre into the sea (useless baubles that they were to him now), King Aegeus merely stooped forward, and fell headlong over the cliff, and was drowned, poor soul, in the waves that foamed at its base!"

by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Tanglewood Tales (I think).

Plutarch writes about Theseus.  The Aegean Sea was named after King Aegeus.  Ahhh those black ships!

How can you prove whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all our thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake, and talking to one another in the waking state?  - Plato

JoanK

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #94 on: August 25, 2011, 03:09:57 PM »
Last day to vote on which classic you want to read.

JoanK

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #95 on: August 28, 2011, 02:41:22 PM »
WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!!!!!!!!

Plutarch "The  Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans"

Of course, we won't read the whole thing. I suggest we ask Ginny to help us pick enough deselections to read for a month in October.

Dana

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #96 on: August 28, 2011, 05:08:55 PM »
Oh that's a shame I think.  I hope he won't put everyone off.  Not that the content of his stuff in uninteresting, but he's hardly great literature, more of a reference work really, to be dipped into, not perused.  I only have the Dryden vesrsion mind you, which I would not recommend for easy reading.

roshanarose

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #97 on: August 28, 2011, 10:34:47 PM »
Good show!!!  Good choice....  Lots of interesting people to read about.
How can you prove whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all our thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake, and talking to one another in the waking state?  - Plato

Frybabe

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #98 on: August 28, 2011, 11:56:46 PM »
Read them both eons ago. I'll have to cruise on over to Gutenberg and see which version they have since I no longer have my old books. What a list of names. My top pick would be ALCIBIADES.

Decisions, decisions. Gutenberg has Clough's translation which, according to the preface of the other verison, is a re-editing of Dryden's translation. The "other" version is done by Stewart and Long in four volumes. I only see three listed. This is a paragraph from the Stewart and Long preface.

"Without denying that Plutarch is often inaccurate and often diffuse;
that his anecdotes are sometimes absurd, and his metaphysical
speculations not unfrequently ridiculous, he is nevertheless generally
admitted to be one of the most readable authors of antiquity, while all
agree that his morality is of the purest and loftiest type."


Babi

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #99 on: August 29, 2011, 08:33:17 AM »
 Plutarch, it is.  My volume is one from a set of "The World's Greatest Literature", published by
Spencer Press.  A foreword has much to say about Spencer Press bindings and choice of
books, but nothing whatever on who translated this edition of Plutarch.  It includes lives of
12 "illustrious" men, plus a 'comparison' of two of them, Demosthenes and Cicero.  We may
need to compare our various volumes, so that we end of discussing 'lives' that appear in
everyone's edition.
"I go to books and to nature as a bee goes to the flower, for a nectar that I can make into my own honey."  John Burroughs

JoanR

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #100 on: August 29, 2011, 10:20:03 AM »
The selection that Ginny posted from Plutarch about Caesar and the pirates was so fascinating that it sent me to the library on a Plutarch quest!  I came home with Plutarch's Roman Lives (Oxford World's Classics) translated by Robin Wakefield.  After reading some of it, I ordered my own copy and will now be looking forward to the discussion.
I also found in the library a useful book on Plutarch and his life and work by D.A. Russell which gives, it seems, a pretty good picture of the times in which Plutarch lived.

ginny

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #101 on: August 29, 2011, 11:11:46 AM »
I am so glad to see so many people eagerly awaiting Plutarch because  he's somebody you really want to have read, even if only for a month, then you can decide for yourself if you enjoyed him or not. You'll never forget him, I can tell you that.

Reading  Plutarch is, to me, as JoanR said here, addictive: once you read a little you're hooked and reading a lot and it's also important to cast your own cynical eye on it too. He's unique I think, and his voice is so memorable. But which voice?  This is going to be like the Odyssey: choose the one which YOU like best.

Dana, Dryden?  Hopefully it's not in verse? I'd look out another translation, giving Dryden the credit, all the credit and more  he's due, I can't imagine Plutarch in rhyming couplets.  Does it?

No wonder you're not enamored.

Everybody, choose a translator whose style you like, just like we did for  The Odyssey. Let's see how many are online, Frybabe has found the Clough and Stewart and Long. That's just one source.

Don't anybody BUY a volume till we've decided what sections you want to read. You need to know that, for instance, if we're reading Brutus, he's in more than one section, and don't let that put you off.


I would say we should compare, for instance what  Shakespeare did with the same people but there's really no use, when you read, for instance, Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, you're reading Plutarch, he took the stuff almost verbatim.

For my part, in doing my own assignment, to help select passages,  we must decide who and what  to read, because he's like the World Book was  (an encyclopedia here in the States) which was...(was it?) primarily for children, sold door to door (remember that?)  Lots and lots and lots of photos and illustrations, you'd start to read one and get hooked and you'd be off reading another and another, Plutarch is like that.



Ok here are some suggestions, this by Babi gave me a lot of pause: Demosthenes and Cicero

Now THERE'S a combination, why are THEY compared? What, quick, quick, write down what you know about either in two columns. What have you got?  Marbles? What else? Be honest!

I can't FIND my Plutarch!!! I've had it 50 years and it's a beautiful volume, I must read it if we're going to read but where IS it? Whose translation is it?  It's not where it belongs, I shall tear the bookshelves (now lamentably double shelved) apart.

So till I find it here is what I  suggest, do any of these topics entice at all?

Oh Joan R said:   I also found in the library a useful book on Plutarch and his life and work by D.A. Russell which gives, it seems, a pretty good picture of the times in which Plutarch lived.

Ok we need that desperately.  We also need for our readers to bring us stuff here about the backgrounds of the people involved. A "tidbit" if you will, not a link to an 800 page article but a tidbit, you get to be Plutarch like, see what YOU think is interesting.

Roshannarose mentioned a new interest in the "First Triumvirate." Just about every night on TV there is a commercial with...who ARE those Romans? There are three, Cassius? Brutus? I can't read the third.  It's a joke, is it an ad for imeet or something?

Wouldn't it be nice to have the real skinny on who these people are? On  the "First Triumvirate?" Maybe not Plutarch's skinny but an overview and then how he presents them? Caesar, Brutus, Cassius,  Crassus, Antony, Cleopatra, Cicero, Augustus: all of this period and time.

A new movie by George Clooney is called The Ides of March, wouldn't it be nice to have the background from the POV of the best sources of the day?

We'll need everybody to bring to the table a nugget or two or three,  about the subjects at hand.


________________________________________________

Here are some beginning suggestions, lacking my own BOOK!

Week I:  (1) The death of Pompey and what led up to it.

This will encompass as background the "First Triumvirate," the assassination of Caesar, what to do with Crassus? Crassus in his golden armor, a modern day Gordon Gekko in every sense of the word. Do things never change? Here was the richest man in the world, one of the three running the Roman Empire (the so called "First  Triumvirate), so he held the highest political office in the land, what more could anybody want?

He wanted to be a victorious general in battle.

Quick quick, what was his most famous conquest?  Don't look it up!

Then he had himself a suit of golden armor made and set out for the East.  His end is surely memorable but  too long and involved for our purposes. The Pompey section would touch on  Marc Antony also. Also includes Ptolemy.


Week II:

 (2) Antony and Cleopatra (3) possibly Caesar's death. I think the  Cassius selection is too long.  Maybe Brutus in his tent.

Weeks III and IV: up for grabs, who do you like?:  

The OCCL says the following are noteworthy:

the historical passages:

1. the catastrophe of the Peloponnesian War of the  Athenian expedition to Syracuse
2 Pompey's defeat by Caesar and his subsequent murder (Week I)
3. the death of the younger Cato
4. the suicide of Otho

Battle pieces:

Marius over the Cimbri
The victory of the  Corinthian  Timoleon over the Carthaginians at Crimisus (would tie in nicely with  Gaddafi)
The siege of Syracuse (when Archimedes was there)

The happy state of Italy under Numa
Sicily pacified by Timoleon
Cleopatra and her barge down the river Cydnus to Antony (Week II)

 Alcibiades

Babi mentions Demosthenes and Cicero. I must find out if the deaths of both are covered, we might want to really get into that.

Lets pick two more weeks worth? You to decide or throw out the first two if you like and suggest there too, they are only suggestions,  and see if we can get manageable pieces. Then we will need to limit the readings to something doable in a week.

We really ARE going to need all hands on deck with the background information. It will be a pot luck supper, nobody wants to come without at least one dish, but everybody wins, at the end. We shall be replete with knowledge the next time a Caesar reference comes to the theater or the television.

Yippee!! You don't want to be in the position of having missed Plutarch! Now's our chance, great pick! 

JudeS

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #102 on: August 29, 2011, 12:15:32 PM »

Friends
I was blown away by the suggestions on Amazon and at least four other sites I perused loooking for this book.  Too many choices! Some books give six lives, others twelve. Some cost five dollars, others sixty or even one hundred.
I am at sea!
Don't have any idea what to choose.  Nearly all are translated by Dryden.
Help!
Would like to order before Weds when we are on vacation in Southern CA for a week.
Thanks

Frybabe

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #103 on: August 29, 2011, 12:53:44 PM »
For myself, I will probably stick with the two versions on Gutenberg. Free is good. Oh, I should probably look at what my library has.

I'd like to read about some of the people we don't already know a lot about, or who are not regularly written about.

Gumtree

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #104 on: August 29, 2011, 02:24:17 PM »
I'm happy with the choice but my head is spinning from Ginny's suggestions - how to winnow it all down to something managable is beyond me.

I hunted around my shelves but can only find one old and foxed Penguin titled "The Rise & Fall of Athens"  It contains 9 'lives' - Theseus - Solon - Themistocles - Aristides - Cimon - Pericles - Nicias - Alcibiades - Lysander - it's translated by Ian Scott-Kilvert (from UK) and dates from 1960.

I did have a companion volume 'Makers of Rome' or some such which I think also had 9 lives but it seems to be missing. I'll check with my son as to its whereabouts - For years he's read the classics every morning before he gets up often 'borrowing' material from my shelves - so I'm guessing he's the culprit.

What to choose - now that really is the question!   ;)
Reading is an art and the reader an artist. Holbrook Jackson

JoanK

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #105 on: August 29, 2011, 02:51:15 PM »
JUDE: where are you going in Southern California? that covers a lot of area, but if by chance, you're in my neck of the woods (Torrance, south of LA), maybe we could say "hi" on the phone, or meet for coffee.

ginny

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #106 on: August 29, 2011, 03:19:54 PM »
OK we all need to remember that we're talking about an October 1 starting date so we have lots of time to get the book and decide, if we're deciding on the last two weeks, or all 4.

I found my Plutarch's Lives!!! It's the Modern Library edition (edited by Bennett Cerf, remember him?) apparently no longer available, and I am shocked to see that it's the Dryden done over by Clough.   I personally love it. Everything we'll talk about is in it. Clough is online free, so that should not be an impediment.   This is a big book, it's got 1200 pages and is probably free for e readers, too, as so many of the old ones are.

Most of the sections seem to fall very neatly (hooray!) into an interesting week's read.  The issue will be whom to choose.

The Antony section,  including Cleopatra,  is approximately 53 pages in a 5x8 book with normal smallish  print. He is compared with Demetrius as both  being  "examples of the vicissitudes of fortune." Demetrius's biography precedes Antony's, and his is 22 pages. The comparison of their characters takes up 2 1/2 pages.

Pompey is 56 pages,  preceded by Agesilaus whom I am unfamiliar with for 26 pages and then compared for another 3 1/2 pages. We need not read the comparisons of each when given nor the extra biography, it's just whatever we'd like to do.

The death of Cicero is covered and he is compared with Demosthenes, that is a separate life of Demosthenes a Greek is written,  it's about 18 pages, then the life of Cicero, it's about 50 pages, then they are compared with each other, an interesting concept,  for about 3 pages. It's not one of the ones particularly cited  as relatively interesting, but his death is also unforgettable and this interests me, anyway. :)

Caesar's is about 40 pages, it takes up Brutus and Cassius indirectly, (Brutus has his own section, compared with Dion) but Caesar is not compared to anybody. Which makes sense. :) neither is Alexander, the chapter between Pompey and Caesar.

All the others are here, including Alcibiades, who is compared with Coriolanus.

Now if these names are not familiar to us, (I'm drawing quite a few blanks, myself, with the Greeks), let's make a vow this fall to take ONE month, October,  and find out what we can  about them. We would have no better source, but we want other sources for a full picture, we really NEED all hands on deck.   If nothing else it will make great table talk for the holidays.  Even those whom we think are familiar we might find something new about. I'm thinking of Pompey, whom we think we know well;   I wonder. Antony's another one. I do love Richard Burton's performance and  movie but it makes a point now hotly  disputed by many historians and unfortunately that's how Antony has been known ever  since. He's fascinating, to me. And so is she. And Plutarch actually gives one of the only physical descriptions of her extant.

At any rate,  these little biographies are very doable, each  in a week's time and seem to me at least to promise some people and events we don't know a lot about as well as some old familiar names we may not, despite Hollywood, know as much as we think, so it's something old something new perhaps.

How do you want to go about designating the 4 weeks reads?






ginny

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #107 on: August 29, 2011, 03:50:53 PM »
OK these are just all over the internet.   I mean everywhere.  But the "volume" thing is confusing. We can't go by "volume number."

We need to go by the Table of Contents?

My book is quite old and has no volume number, it's got them all, but as I said it's 1200 pages. This is apparently no longer done.

But there are several reasonable alternatives and prices. And lots of them free online and as e readers.


Here's a  Clough online, which appears to have all of the ones we've discussed as potential contenders:

http://classics.mit.edu/Browse/index-Plutarch.html


Here's another one, this covers the Table of Contents we want:

http://emotional-literacy-education.com/classic-books-online-b/plivs10.htm



Plutarch's Lives, trans by A. H. Clough
by Plutarch
Hypertext Meanings and Commentaries
from the Encyclopedia of the Self
by Mark Zimmerman

   Plutarch's Lives

Edited by A.H. Clough

Contents

THESEUS
ROMULUS
COMPARISON OF ROMULUS WITH THESEUS
LYCURGUS
NUMA POMPILIUS
COMPARISON OF NUMA WITH LYCURGUS
SOLON
POPLICOLA
COMPARISON OF POPLICOLA WITH SOLON
THEMISTOCLES
CAMILLUS
PERICLES
FABIUS
COMPARISON OF PERICLES WITH FABIUS
ALCIBIADES
CORIOLANUS
COMPARISON OF ALCIBIADES WITH CORIOLANUS
TIMOLEON
AEMILIUS PAULUS
COMPARISON OF TIMOLEON WITH AEMILIUS PAULUS
PELOPIDAS
MARCELLUS
COMPARISION OF PELOPIDAS WITH MARCELLUS
ARISTIDES
MARCUS CATO
COMPARISON OF ARISTIDES WITH MARCUS CATO.
PHILOPOEMEN
FLAMININUS
COMPARISON OF PHILOPOEMEN WITH FLAMININUS
PYRRHUS
CAIUS MARIUS
LYSANDER
SYLLA
COMPARISON OF LYSANDER WITH SYLLA
CIMON
LUCULLUS
COMPARISON OF LUCULLUS WITH CIMON
NICIAS
CRASSUS
COMPARISON OF CRASSUS WITH NICIAS
SERTORIUS
EUMENES
COMPARISON OF SERTORIUS WITH EUMENES
AGESILAUS
POMPEY
COMPARISON OF POMPEY AND AGESILAUS
ALEXANDER
CAESAR
PHOCION
CATO THE YOUNGER
AGIS
CLEOMENES
TIBERIUS GRACCHUS
CAIUS GRACCHUS
COMPARISON OF TIBERIUS AND CAIUS GRACCHUS WITH AGIS AND CLEOMENES
DEMOSTHENES
CICERO
COMPARISON OF DEMOSTHENES AND CICERO
DEMETRIUS
ANTONY
COMPARISON OF DEMETRIUS AND ANTONY
DION
MARCUS BRUTUS
COMPARISON OF DION AND BRUTUS
ARATUS
ARTAXERXES
GALBA
OTHO

That's the table of contents we're looking for? Many times the "Look Inside" feature of Amazon or Barnes and Noble online will reveal the above.

roshanarose

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #108 on: August 29, 2011, 10:13:12 PM »
Ginny - Thanks for all your work preparing this list for us.  And what a List!  

My choice would be:

Pompey and Agesilaus (I know nothing about Agesilaus)
Demosthenes and Cicero
Alcibiades and Coriolanus
Themistokles (who has noone to compare with in the list that I am aware of)
Solon and Poplicola (obviously a popular Roman beverage)
Romulus and Theseus

Would love to reacquaint myself with Alexander and Caesar (separately).  I think that Plutarch did compare them, but we have lost that comparison.  In addition, neither Alexander or Caesar's  bios are extant.

Some historians have taken it upon themselves to compose their own versions of Plutarch's missing works regarding the comparison of Alexander and Caesar.  A search should reveal some of them, including this one by J. Trumbull.  The search term I used was Alexander and Caesar.

www.bostonleadershipbuilders.com/...comparison_alexander_caesar.htm


How can you prove whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all our thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake, and talking to one another in the waking state?  - Plato

Babi

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #109 on: August 30, 2011, 09:12:23 AM »

  Plutarch explains his 'comparison'of Demosthenes and Cicero. Following the 'Lives', he
writes that there was much yet fit to be said about their "respective faculties in
speaking".

 My copy has twelve lives, JUDE, and does not identify the translator. I would be pleased
to find it was Dryden.

 Obviously, if our choice falls on other than those twelve, I'll need to head for the
library...bless them. For the record, this Spencer edition contains Themistocles,
Pericles, Alcibiades, Coriolanus, Lucullus, Pompey (Ginny's favorite), Alexander, Caesar,
Demosthenes, Cicero, (plus the comparison), Antony and Artaxerxes. All of them are
interesting.
"I go to books and to nature as a bee goes to the flower, for a nectar that I can make into my own honey."  John Burroughs

ginny

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #110 on: August 30, 2011, 08:00:46 PM »
That's a good list, RoshannaRose!  (who IS PepsiCola er... Poplicola  hahaha anyway?) I thought he was a misprint! hahahaa

You've got 6. 

Why don't we all list our 6, (even if we don't know who they are, we might take the time to read a paragraph about the one that interests us online), and we'll all present 6 and then we'll see if we can get 4 out of them?  4 we agree on for the 4 weeks?

You have to think that with a name like Poplicola he wasn't destined for greatness but then, look at Ptolemy. :)

Why don't we say why we might be interested in one or the other? We really need to read at least one paragraph to make sure they are not a total dud, check the recommendations of the OCCL above as a check list, but of course there are others.

So let me go follow my own advice and come back in the morning with 6. We can do another vote too!.

Dana

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #111 on: August 30, 2011, 09:46:59 PM »
Hi, I just got home from a trip to Canada and looking thru my books I find have 3 Plutarchs--the Dryden edited by Clough,  the fall of the roman republic tr. by Rex Warner, and lives of the noble Greeks by Fuller. Warner is the most readable.  I won't be joining you as I have read these over the years (in small pieces at a time I may say).   Marius and Sulla are fascinating, also Alcibiades., but at the moment I've started Agamemnon (Aeschylus), first part of the Orestia, which is what I really want to concentrate on now.  So far its heavy going but fascinating--Agamemnon and Klytaemnestra as depicted by Aeschylus are much more equally portrayed than in the Odyssey, ie she is not the evil wife here by any means, and I have already discovered that Greek tragedy does not end with everyone dying, but usually on an upbeat note!! (but I'm a long way from the end yet.......)





Frybabe

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #112 on: August 30, 2011, 10:34:10 PM »
Here's my six:

ALCIBIADES - very interesting guy, kept swapping sides
ARTAXERXES - referenced in Bible, gave Themistocles asylum, Roger Williams (1st gov of RI) cited him to support limited government and separation of church and state.
COMPARISON OF POPLICOLA WITH SOLON - Roman and Greek reformers
THEMISTOCLES - for the Battle of Salamis
ARISTIDES - Themistocles' arch-rival'
SERTORIUS  - he picked the wrong side, against Sulla, and almost got the better of Pompey

kidsal

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  • Howdy from Rock Springs, WY
Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #113 on: August 31, 2011, 04:10:02 AM »
I have the Oxford World's Classics Plutarch Greek Lives - A Selection of Nine Lives translated by Robin Waterfield, 1998.  Includes Lycurgus, Solon, Themistocles, Cimon, Pericles, Nicias, Alcibiades, Agesilaus and Alexander.

JoanK

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #114 on: August 31, 2011, 09:17:12 PM »
OK, Plutarch-Clough is on kindle with half a dozen versions. Some are free, but after looking at several, I recommend one that costs 95 cents (even my budget can take that). It has the table of contents Ginny mentioned, and the TOC is electronic, so you just click on a name to go to the selection . Its labeled "improved 8/11/2010".

Frybabe

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #115 on: August 31, 2011, 10:20:55 PM »
Thanks, JoanK. I'll take a look at it. The TOC links will be a great help.

ginny

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Vote for 2!!
« Reply #116 on: September 01, 2011, 07:46:49 AM »
OH good, JoanK!!!~ And having the book free online also means that we, even if we have at home a book with only the Greeks or a limited bit of the 50 biographies, we can still participate!

And we can still read on, ourselves, too, if the particular one we've nominated is not chosen?

Great nominations here. My fear is somewhat now that we may, in the interest of finding somebody we never heard of, inadvertently stumble into one of the  less interestingly written accounts in Plutarch, and there are some?  And we would then take away as a book club eager to try an ancient author, a  somewhat false impression of Plutarch who really doesn't deserve it, as some of his "biographies" are better than others and we can't read all 50.

Of course we can read something that particularly interests us by ourselves. And of course any list is arbitrary. I finally found "Poplicola," for heaven's sake, he's pre Roman Republic and all those guys, he, and Romulus being raised by a  wolf, and Hostilius and Priscus, etc., and the early kings are really the stuff of legend: very little is actually known.  If we're wanting to know more about real people, little tidbits which show their character, perhaps Lucius Valerius "Publicola,"  nicknamed "Poplicola," which itself may be inaccurate, would not be a candidate.  Plutarch, writing  600+ years after the last king passed on, is unlikely to have had much except rumor and legend about these people who are the King Arthurs of Roman history: legend and fable.  But of course it's up to you all.

 I got stuck in Brutus's tent yesterday and could not put it down.

I think we owe it to ourselves and the readers to at least take TWO weeks of the recommended most interesting vignettes, hopefully we can get 2 hahaaa.  Who knows what we may emerge with at the end?

The master list of 50 is here:


THESEUS
ROMULUS
COMPARISON OF ROMULUS WITH THESEUS
LYCURGUS
NUMA POMPILIUS
COMPARISON OF NUMA WITH LYCURGUS
SOLON
POPLICOLA
COMPARISON OF POPLICOLA WITH SOLON
THEMISTOCLES
CAMILLUS
PERICLES
FABIUS
COMPARISON OF PERICLES WITH FABIUS
ALCIBIADES
CORIOLANUS
COMPARISON OF ALCIBIADES WITH CORIOLANUS
TIMOLEON
AEMILIUS PAULUS
COMPARISON OF TIMOLEON WITH AEMILIUS PAULUS
PELOPIDAS
MARCELLUS
COMPARISION OF PELOPIDAS WITH MARCELLUS
ARISTIDES
MARCUS CATO
COMPARISON OF ARISTIDES WITH MARCUS CATO.
PHILOPOEMEN
FLAMININUS
COMPARISON OF PHILOPOEMEN WITH FLAMININUS
PYRRHUS
CAIUS MARIUS
LYSANDER
SYLLA
COMPARISON OF LYSANDER WITH SYLLA
CIMON
LUCULLUS
COMPARISON OF LUCULLUS WITH CIMON
NICIAS
CRASSUS
COMPARISON OF CRASSUS WITH NICIAS
SERTORIUS
EUMENES
COMPARISON OF SERTORIUS WITH EUMENES
AGESILAUS
POMPEY
COMPARISON OF POMPEY AND AGESILAUS
ALEXANDER
CAESAR
PHOCION
CATO THE YOUNGER
AGIS
CLEOMENES
TIBERIUS GRACCHUS
CAIUS GRACCHUS
COMPARISON OF TIBERIUS AND CAIUS GRACCHUS WITH AGIS AND CLEOMENES
DEMOSTHENES
CICERO
COMPARISON OF DEMOSTHENES AND CICERO
DEMETRIUS
ANTONY
COMPARISON OF DEMETRIUS AND ANTONY
DION
MARCUS BRUTUS
COMPARISON OF DION AND BRUTUS
ARATUS
ARTAXERXES
GALBA
OTHO

The recommended as particularly interesting bits are here:


the historical passages:

1. the catastrophe of the Peloponnesian War of the  Athenian expedition to Syracuse
2 Pompey's defeat by Caesar and his subsequent murder
3. the death of the younger Cato
4. the suicide of Otho

Battle pieces:

Marius over the Cimbri
The victory of the  Corinthian  Timoleon over the Carthaginians at Crimisus (would tie in nicely with  Gaddafi)
The siege of Syracuse (when Archimedes was there)

The happy state of Italy under Numa
Sicily pacified by Timoleon
Cleopatra and her barge down the river Cydnus to Antony

We've had two great nominations of 6 and one of 2:


--Pompey's defeat by Caesar and his subsequent murder
--Cleopatra and her barge down the river Cydnus to Antony


--Pompey and Agesilaus (I know nothing about Agesilaus)
--Demosthenes and Cicero
--Alcibiades and Coriolanus
--Themistokles (who has noone to compare with in the list that I am aware of)
--Solon and Poplicola (obviously a popular Roman beverage)
--Romulus and Theseus


--ALCIBIADES - very interesting guy, kept swapping sides
--ARTAXERXES - referenced in Bible, gave Themistocles asylum, Roger Williams (1st gov of RI) cited him to support limited government and separation of church and state.
--COMPARISON OF POPLICOLA WITH SOLON - Roman and Greek reformers
--THEMISTOCLES - for the Battle of Salamis
--ARISTIDES - Themistocles' arch-rival'
--SERTORIUS  - he picked the wrong side, against Sulla, and almost got the better of Pompey




Pompey has appeared twice so I suggest since he's also on the "most interesting" list he be Week I.


So that leaves three more weeks.


Let's do this: since I was asked to pick the passages and I really wanted your help in deciding,  I suggest this:

Week I: Pompey
Week IV: Cicero and Demosthenes, who is one of the suggestions here. That leaves 2 weeks if you agree.

We really could spend months trying to pick from the 50, let's just vote here?


Who should get Weeks II and III?


Here's who is left:

--Alcibiades and Coriolanus
--Themistokles (who has noone to compare with in the list that I am aware of)
--Solon and Poplicola (obviously a popular Roman beverage)
--Romulus and Theseus
--ALCIBIADES - very interesting guy, kept swapping sides
--ARTAXERXES - referenced in Bible, gave Themistocles asylum, Roger Williams (1st gov of RI) cited him to support limited government and separation of church and state.
--COMPARISON OF POPLICOLA WITH SOLON - Roman and Greek reformers
--THEMISTOCLES - for the Battle of Salamis
--ARISTIDES - Themistocles' arch-rival'
--SERTORIUS  - he picked the wrong side, against Sulla, and almost got the better of Pompey


I do see Timoleon mentioned twice in the suggested most interesting list by the Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. I know nothing at all about him, but apparently he had an interesting life?



Let's fill Week II and Week III with somebody from these combined lists, YOU to choose. Can you read online a bit in each? About 10 lines would suffice to cement in your own mind if the style is good.

Dana I'm sorry you won't be joining us,  the problem with voting is that our choice does not always win, but maybe next time, we're only taking a month. I enjoyed your insightful comments on the last one and I agree that Agamemnon is interesting and powerful. Maybe next time.

Just the same here, we can't have all the nominees, we need TWO from this somewhat long list:

Let's ask everyone to vote for  TWO from this list for the center two weeks.
If a person's personal fave does not make it: you can always read it on your own, they are only 50 or so pages, and report along as we go.





Pick TWO from these 19
:
(and before you choose, read 10 lines of the one you picked to be sure it's written in an engaging manner):

the historical passages:

1. the catastrophe of the Peloponnesian War of the  Athenian expedition to Syracuse
2 Pompey's defeat by Caesar and his subsequent murder
3. the death of the younger Cato
4. the suicide of Otho

Battle pieces:

5. Marius over the Cimbri
6. The victory of the  Corinthian  Timoleon over the Carthaginians at Crimisus (would tie in nicely with  Gaddafi)
7. The siege of Syracuse (when Archimedes was there)

8. The happy state of Italy under Numa
9. Sicily pacified by Timoleon
10. Cleopatra and her barge down the river Cydnus to Antony

11. --Alcibiades and Coriolanus
12. . --Themistokles (who has noone to compare with in the list that I am aware of)
13. --Solon and Poplicola (obviously a popular Roman beverage)
14. --Romulus and Theseus
15. --ALCIBIADES - very interesting guy, kept swapping sides
16. --ARTAXERXES - referenced in Bible, gave Themistocles asylum, Roger Williams (1st gov of RI) cited him to support limited government and separation of church and state.
17. --COMPARISON OF POPLICOLA WITH SOLON - Roman and Greek reformers
18. --THEMISTOCLES - for the Battle of Salamis
19. --ARISTIDES - Themistocles' arch-rival'
20. --SERTORIUS  - he picked the wrong side, against Sulla, and almost got the better of Pompey








ginny

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #117 on: September 01, 2011, 07:57:09 AM »
 To summarize:




Vote for  TWO from these 19
:
(and before you choose, if you can,  read 10 lines of the ones you picked to be sure they are  written in an engaging manner):


the historical passages:

1. the catastrophe of the Peloponnesian War of the  Athenian expedition to Syracuse
2 Pompey's defeat by Caesar and his subsequent murder
3. the death of the younger Cato
4. the suicide of Otho

Battle pieces:

5. Marius over the Cimbri
6. The victory of the  Corinthian  Timoleon over the Carthaginians at Crimisus (would tie in nicely with  Gaddafi)
7. The siege of Syracuse (when Archimedes was there)

8. The happy state of Italy under Numa
9. Sicily pacified by Timoleon
10. Cleopatra and her barge down the river Cydnus to Antony

11. --Alcibiades and Coriolanus
12. . --Themistokles (who has noone to compare with in the list that I am aware of)
13. --Solon and Poplicola (obviously a popular Roman beverage)
14. --Romulus and Theseus
15. --ALCIBIADES - very interesting guy, kept swapping sides
16. --ARTAXERXES - referenced in Bible, gave Themistocles asylum, Roger Williams (1st gov of RI) cited him to support limited government and separation of church and state.
17. --COMPARISON OF POPLICOLA WITH SOLON - Roman and Greek reformers
18. --THEMISTOCLES - for the Battle of Salamis
19. --ARISTIDES - Themistocles' arch-rival'
20. --SERTORIUS  - he picked the wrong side, against Sulla, and almost got the better of Pompey








Frybabe

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #118 on: September 01, 2011, 08:12:18 AM »
JoanK, you are right. The 95 cent edition for the Kindle is much nicer to get around in since we are only doing selections from the list. Trying to find them in the Gutenberg books would be a real pain without the link from the TOC. Manybooks probably has the same as Gutenberg.


Will be back with my two picks later. Too much to do today.

JoanK

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Re: Nominations for our next Classics books discussion
« Reply #119 on: September 01, 2011, 02:27:58 PM »
JUDES will be here in half an hour!! I'm so excited to meet her and her husband! Will tell you all about it later.