Fables of Phaedrus, “The Dogs Sent Envoys to Jupiter”

Fables of Phaedrus, “The Dogs Sent Envoys to Jupiter”
By Dara Sánchez

Animal fables in ancient Rome were not viewed with high regard in comparison to other genres of literature. Yet Phaedrus, an alleged freeman of Augustus from the 1st century AD, does not allow these preconceived notions to deter his ambitions. In this feces-filled poem, Phaedrus describes to us an etiological myth that explains why dogs smell each other’s behinds. He mixes the sacred gods, Jupiter and Mercury, with the vulgarity of dogs and excrement, contrasting such different things, and playing on borderline absurdity…

Penelope’s Wait: A Translation of Ovid’s Heroides Book I Lines 1–50

Penelope’s Wait: A Translation of Ovid’s Heroides Book I Lines 1–50
By Erin Schott

Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey have endured for thousands of years because they tell stories still true to the human experience. The Iliad recounts the horrors of war and the egotism of those in power, while the Odyssey narrates an arduous homecoming to a place that is not the same as before…

Pericles’s Funeral Oration

Pericles’s Funeral Oration: A Partial Translation of The History of the Peloponnesian War 2.37-41
By Noah Apter

Pericles’s funeral oration comes down the centuries as one of the most difficult pieces of ancient Greek literature to properly translate. As classicists, it seems that Thucydides wishes to help us sharpen our teeth on his grammar. Why? It is in the nature of speeches to differ from narrative texts, the former tending to be “live” while narratives…

Beyond Translation: The Benefits and Drawbacks of English-to-Latin Composition

Beyond Translation: The Benefits and Drawbacks of English-to-Latin Composition
By Lily Nesvold

In an advanced Latin course my senior year of high school, my teacher gave the class an assignment that was deceptively simple: to compose four “correct” lines of dactylic hexameter, a quest which would result in an automatic “A” for the trimester. Naturally, we were all very excited about the grading scale for the task. What we failed to recognize was how difficult it would be…

The Wealth of the Countryside

Virgil, Georgics 2.458-542
Translated by Sara Chopra

In this final passage of Book 2 of his Georgics, Virgil presents his reader with an ode to the farmer, extolling the virtues of country living. However, as much as these closing lines celebrate the joys of an agrarian lifestyle, they equally express the poet’s distaste for the corruption that has taken hold of his city, Rome…

Catullus 101: Hello and Goodbye

Catullus 101
By Sara Albert

Catullus wrote this elegy while mourning the untimely death of his brother. Despite the fact that he wrote it so long ago, the raw emotion he expresses throughout the piece is timeless and universal. Any reader who has lost someone special to them knows how Catullus felt in the moments he describes…

Graecia Capta: Sappho and Catullus

By Mati Davis
Sappho 31 and Catullus 51

These two poets focus on the same theme as the previous part of this series: love’s pains. Catullus’ poem 51 hovers somewhere between allusion and direct quotation of Sappho’s poem 31. These two are as interesting for their similarities as for their differences. Even though they follow nearly the same formula, Catullus deftly contrasts Sappho’s romantic euphoria with his own frenzied agony…