Allen chooses texts whose commentary tradition provides the greatest opportunity for completeness. The most important of these is Ovids Metamorphoses. Medieval readings of Ovid bring into focus a number of major literary questionsthe problems of fable and fiction, of unity imposed by miscellany poetry, of allegorical commentary, and of Christian use of pagan cultureall in connection with text which furnished medieval authors with more stories than any other single source except possibly the Bible.
Allen also studies commentaries on the Consolation of Philosophy of Boethius, the Thebaid of Statius, the De nuptiis of Martianus Capella, the medieval Christian hymn-book, and the Poetria nova of Geoffrey of Vinsauf.
Together these texts represent the range of medieval literaturea literature which, Allen concludes, was taken as direct ethical discourse, logically conducted and artfully organized within a system of language that also assimilated the natural world and sought to absorb its audience.
European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages is a monumental work of literary scholarship. In a new introduction, Colin Burrow provides critical insights into Curtius's life and ideas and highlights the distinctive importance of this wonderful book.
While Milton is recognized as one of the most learned English poets in history, his Latin poetry is less well known. Slavitt’s careful rendering brings Milton’s Latin poems—many written in his late teens—into the present. He keeps true to the style of the originals, showing Milton’s maturing poetic voice and the freedom he found working in Latin.
On the Gunpowder PlotO, sly Guy Fawkes, you plotted against your king and the British lords, but did you intend to be kindand make up for your malice in this thing with at least a show of piety? Do we findan intention, perhaps, of sending the members of court up to the sky in a chariot made of firethe way Elijah traveled. Or do I distort the simple wickedness of your desire?
Featuring an introduction by Gordon Teskey, this comprehensive English-language collection of Milton’s Latin poems pays due respect to a master. Poetry lovers, Milton fans, and scholars of either will welcome, enjoy, and learn from this work.