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A Plautus Reader: Selections from Eleven Plays

The comic playscripts by Plautus—the earliest Latin texts we have—made it through the ancient world to reach ours because the moves and verbal jousting found in them have always made people laugh. Plautine comedies span a wide range of idioms, extending from saucy adventures in the sex trade with Father as the fall-guy who foots all bills, to the trouncing of bigmouth trooper by Ms. Hot Stuff; from the fairytale wishes come true of faraway foundlings fished up on a surprise romantic shore, to the caricature gospel that re-stages the myth of the birth of the hero, in true panto style, gods and all.


A Propertius Reader: Eleven Selected Elegies

The erotic elegy of Propertius reveals the work of a consummate artist, one who deftly weaves public themes into the emotional experiences of a first-person narrator. The poems in this selection reflect an evolution from a private focus on erotic love to more public and political themes, charting a gradual if ambiguous accommodation to the interests of the Augustan regime. Compelling portraits of passion are entwined with varied features of Rome’s momentous historical transition from republic to empire: the trauma of recent civil wars, nostalgia for an irrecoverable past, the stirrings of social legislation, and the opulence of foreign luxuries from trade and conquest. Selections also display Propertius’s innovative treatment of gender and the psychology of desire, and provide insight into the origins of Western attitudes toward erotic feeling.


A Roman Army Reader: Twenty-One Selections from Literary, Epigraphic, and Other Documents

This edition offers a compact portrait, in peace and in war, of the ancient Roman army, one of history’s most famous and successful military organizations. Twelve literary passages combine with nine epigraphic and other documents to show soldiers who don’t merely fight: Between battles, they march, drill, camp, construct public works, eat, drink, and—sometimes illegally—marry and have children. At times, and invariably with bloodstained results, troops also involved themselves in Roman politics. With selections from a variety of sources and a time span ranging from the First Punic War to the reign of M. Aurelius, this compact reader is like no other currently available.


A Roman Verse Satire Reader: Selections from Lucilius, Horace, Persius, and Juvenal

The trademark exuberance of Lucilius, gentleness of Horace, abrasiveness of Persius, and vehemence of Juvenal are the diverse satiric styles on display in this Reader. Witnesses to the spectacular growth of Rome’s political and military power, the expansion and diversification of its society, and the evolution of a wide spectrum of its literary genres, satirists provide an unparalleled window into Roman culture: from trials of the urban poor to the smarmy practices of legacy hunters, from musings on satire and the satirist to gruesome scenes from a gladiatorial contest, from a definition of virtue to the scandalous sexual display of wayward women. Provocative and entertaining, challenging and yet accessible, Roman verse satire is a motley dish stuffed to its readers’ delights.


A Roman Women Reader: Selections from the Second Century BCE through Second Century CE

This selection of Latin readings, drawn from texts in a variety of genres across four centuries, aims to provide a comprehensive and accurate picture of the images and realities of women in Roman antiquity. Depicted in the readings are both historical and fictional women, of varying ages and at different stages of life, from a range of social classes, and from different locales. We see them dramatized—sometimes in their own words—in the roles the women actually played, as wives and mothers, friends and lovers. This Reader differs from others in showing women in explicitly erotic roles, in drawing some of its passages from "archaic" Latin, and in encouraging a variety of critical approaches, all suitable for its intended college-level audience.


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