Horace: Satire 1.9
By Margaret Brucia, Madeleine Henry
Complete text based on the Oxford Wickham-Garrod edition, with introduction, notes on same and facing pages, complete vocabulary in back.
Advanced Placement: Meets the 1999-2000 AP* requirements for Horace: Satire 1.9.
Margaret A. Brucia earned her MA and PhD in Classics from Fordham University. She has taught courses in Latin and classical antiquity for over thirty years to students in middle school, high school, and college. For more than ten years she has conducted workshops in Rome for Latin teachers. Currently a member of the Classics Department at Temple University, Rome Campus, she serves as the chair of the Subject Area Test in Latin for The College Board.
Madeleine M. Henry holds a PhD in Classics from the University of Minnesota. She is Professor of Classical Studies and chair of the Classical Studies Program at Iowa State University. She has taught at Macalester College (St. Paul, MN) and Concordia College (Moorhead, MN). Henry was a Visiting Scholar during 2002–03 at the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies at the University of Minnesota. Her book Neaera: Writing A Prostitute’s Life is under contract with Routledge. Her main research fields are women’s history in ancient Greece; the history of literary criticism; encyclopedic literature; and Greek comedy. Her book Prisoner of History: Aspasia of Miletus and her Biographical Tradition (Oxford 1995) won a Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award in 1996.
Comments and Reviews
This slim volume of Horace Satire 1.9: The Boor by Margaret A. Brucia and Madeleine M. Henry opens with an encouraging and enthusiastic Preface. The Introduction is clear and is not at all pedantic and could easily be read aloud by students in class as an introduction to this Satire. Nothing is taken for granted. All terms are explained—in particular the history of the word "satire" is nicely handled. There is a clear synopsis of the plot, which would give students a sense of security and good orientation to the plot.
The Latin text is printed on the right hand page and notes are provided on the facing page and also underneath the Latin text.
The purpose of this book is stated on the title page: "For College and Advanced Placement Preparation." Unfortunately, the authors have been too generous to those college and Advanced Placement students!
The first striking issue that too often rather elementary grammatical points are given, for example in note 2 of the partitive genitive (which is repeated in note 4); in note 36 the ablative absolute is noted unnecessarily; and in note 49 an obvious ablative of comparison is given.
This brings us to a fundamental issue clearly identified by the College Board. The ability to translate Latin literally is extremely important in virtually all advice published by the College Board. In The Teacher's Guide to Advanced Placement Courses in Latin, Margaret A. Brucia (one of the editors of this text) actually states on page 39 in her own section of the Guide: "Prepared translations must be as literal as good English allows. Once the student's mastery of the grammatical structure of the poem is evident, the student may be encouraged to write a freer, more 'poetic' translation. Students should be reminded, however, that free-response translation questions on the AP Examination will always require a literal translation." Ms. Brucia and Ms. Henry give so much free translation, interpretation, and explanation that the student barely has a chance to try to figure anything out alone.
One example: note 54: "quae tua virtus: 'such is your strength,' i.e., you will stop at nothing, or, more sarcastically, such is your moral perfection." Another example in note 4-5: "The conversation may be loosely translated: 'How are things, old pal?' Just fine, at the moment, and I hope all's well with you. If that's all, I'll be on my way?'" The Latin: "Quid agis, dulcissime rerum?" "Suaviter, ut nunc est, Inquam, et cupio omnia quae vis."
Although the authors are very generous and careful not to leave students in the dark at any time, they quote other commentators in their notes: note 35, Rudd; note 43, seven lines by Peter White are written out, note 69 Bennett; note 78 Mazurek. This seems unnecessary.
Figures of speech are identified in capital letters as in note 7 SYNCOPE. However, there is no indication that these are capitalized because they are listed in the Glossary of Terms on page 17.
That brings us to Glossary of Terms itself. Twelve different terms are given. Although they are not dramatically different from the definitions given in the College Board's Teacher's Guide to Advanced Placement Courses in Latin page 69ff, they are somewhat simplified. For example "ellipsis: Words, usually verbs, omitted but implied (line 7)." The College Board: "Ellipsis: omission of one or more words necessary to the sense." Another example: "enjambment: the spilling over of a thought to the next line (lines 10-11)." The College Board: "The running over of a sentence from one verse or couplet into another so that closely related words fall in different lines." The definition of "transferred epithet" is much better than that given by the College Board: "a word which agrees grammatically with one word but better describes another;" while the College Board says "A device of emphasis in which the poet attributes some characteristic of a thing to another thing closely associated with it."
A final criticism: there is no treatment of scansion in this book. Even a modest presentation would have been helpful.
The notes are copious (the ratio of Latin to notes is about 12-25%) and certain large chunks of information are excellent: note 35 contains 7 lines about the division of the Roman day into hours; note 36-37 provides 12 lines about court proceedings which are invaluable to understanding of the Satire, note 43 gives good background on Maecenas; notes 76 & 77 give fascinating information about the law of the Twelve Tables and includes information from Pliny the Elder about the legal importance of the earlobe! Finally in note 77-78 flagitatio is described in detail, with Fraenkel as the source.
In conclusion, this book would make a fine addition to a collection on Horace, especially for a teacher who had never taught Horace before. The authors have provided a carefully prepared text, which is accessible and practical. However, Advanced Placement or college students should be provoked into making their own discoveries in a text and Ms. Brucia and Ms. Henry may have given them so much information that there is not much left to discover.
— Vi Patek
South Salem, New York CAES Newsletter
Brucia and Henry's clear and useful commentary on Satire 1.9 makes a required text for the Horace Advanced Placement syllabus available in an inexpensive, single-text format. Aimed at A.P. or college-level readers, the student's volume includes several illustrations. A brief preface precedes a concise introduction to a) Horace's life and works, b) Satire before Horace, c) Horace's satire, d) Satire after Horace, and e) the poem at hand. The annotated poem is followed by a glossary of literary figures found in the text. A bibliography (not annotated) and a vocabulary conclude the main volume. The disappointing teacher's guide consists of a large print reproduction of the text, a sometimes—quirky literal translation, and 19 questions, some aimed at discussion and others at eliciting information (e.g., 'give two qualities of Maecenas' or 'explain the alliteration'). Some nudge the student toward a specific reaction, perhaps inadvertently curtailing discussion (e.g., 'why do lines 8-13 cause us to smile').
In the commentary, notes for a given section begin on the left page and continue under the text itself at the bottom of the right-hand page, with line numbers in the upper right hand corner. Clearly stated syntax help is aimed appropriately at advanced high-school readers. A judicious balance of background material supplies enough information to facilitate reading the poem without overwhelming the reader.
— Jeanne Neuman O'Neill
The Classical Outlook