The Sixth Book of Virgil's Aeneid Translated and Commented on by Sir John Harington (1604)

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Clarendon Press, Jan 31, 1991 - Literary Criticism - 180 pages
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Sir John Harington (1560-1612) is well known to students of Elizabethan and Jacobean history and literature as a courtier and wit, and as the author of an unusually diverse oeuvre, including a translation of Ariosto; letters; epigrams; and a satirical discourse on a primitive kind of water-closet of his own invention. The Sixth Book of Virgil's Aeneid shows him in more serious vein, and throws new light on his abilities in translation, criticism, theological discussion, and social comment. The original manuscript was prepared for the use of Prince Henry in 1604. Long thought to be lost, it is here published for the first time, and forms an important and interesting addition to the canon of Harington's published writings. The manuscript consists of 162 neatly written pages, containing an epistle to King James I, parallel English and Latin texts (the latter added, after the first eight lines, by a scribe), marginal explanatory notes, and a `comment' in seven chapters. Dr Cauchi has prepared a critical old-spelling edition, with an introduction and commentary.

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About the author (1991)

Virgil was born on October 15, 70 B.C.E., in Northern Italy in a small village near Mantua. He attended school at Cremona and Mediolanum (Milan), then went to Rome, where he studied mathematics, medicine and rhetoric, and finally completed his studies in Naples. He entered literary circles as an "Alexandrian," the name given to a group of poets who sought inspiration in the sophisticated work of third-century Greek poets, also known as Alexandrians. In 49 BC Virgil became a Roman citizen. After his studies in Rome, Vergil is believed to have lived with his father for about 10 years, engaged in farm work, study, and writing poetry. After the battle of Philippi in 42 B.C.E. Virgil┐s property in Cisalpine Gaul, was confiscated for veterans. In the following years Virgil spent most of his time in Campania and Sicily, but he also had a house in Rome. During the reign of emperor Augustus, Virgil became a member of his court circle and was advanced by a minister, Maecenas, patron of the arts and close friend to the poet Horace. He gave Virgil a house near Naples. Between 42 and 37 B.C.E. Virgil composed pastoral poems known as Bucolic or Eclogues and spent years on the Georgics. The rest of his life, from 30 to 19 B.C., Virgil devoted to The Aeneid, the national epic of Rome, and the glory of the Empire. Although ambitious, Virgil was never really happy about the task. Virgil died in 19 B. C.

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