Monday, November 07, 2005

Father Foster

In reference to Magister Coke's teaching of AP Vergil, he might find the latest installment of Father Foster worth sharing with his class, in which the esteemed Latinist says a couple of times that Vergil is overdone, and that he prefers Horace. In fact, I think he even says at one point that there are 10,000 other Latin authors as good as Vergil (but I may be remembering incorrectly). I listened to it last night, and it was quite entertaining. Here is the link to rogueclassicism, from which you can click on a link to download the mp3 file.

And speaking of Vergil and Horace, I also learn from the rogue that today is the anniversary of Maecenas' death.

Maecenas atauis edite regibus,
o et praesidium et dulce decus meum,
sunt quos curriculo puluerem Olympicum
collegisse iuuat metaque feruidis
euitata rotis palmaque nobilis 5
terrarum dominos euehit ad deos;
hunc, si mobilium turba Quiritium
certat tergeminis tollere honoribus;
illum, si proprio condidit horreo
quicquid de Libycis uerritur areis. 10
Gaudentem patrios findere sarculo
agros Attalicis condicionibus
numquam demoueas, ut trabe Cypria
Myrtoum pauidus nauta secet mare.
Luctantem Icariis fluctibus Africum 15
mercator metuens otium et oppidi
laudat rura sui; mox reficit rates
quassas, indocilis pauperiem pati.
Est qui nec ueteris pocula Massici
nec partem solido demere de die 20
spernit, nunc uiridi membra sub arbuto
stratus, nunc ad aquae lene caput sacrae.
Multos castra iuuant et lituo tubae
permixtus sonitus bellaque matribus
detestata. Manet sub Ioue frigido 25
uenator tenerae coniugis inmemor,
seu uisa est catulis cerua fidelibus,
seu rupit teretis Marsus aper plagas.
Me doctarum hederae praemia frontium
dis miscent superis, me gelidum nemus 30
Nympharumque leues cum Satyris chori
secernunt populo, si neque tibias
Euterpe cohibet nec Polyhymnia
Lesboum refugit tendere barbiton.
Quod si me lyricis uatibus inseres, 35
sublimi feriam sidera uertice.


Coke said...

Yesterday, I read the whole comments section to my students and then we listened to Foster for the rest of the period. Needless to say, we didn't read one line of Vergil. I agree with Foster in one sense and I disagree in another - Vergil should not be taught to beginning Latin students - or perhaps he should be read only in sections along with other authors. There is too much specialized vocabulary and not enough repetition of grammatical constructions. In fact, I have not yet seen a gerundive! On the other hand, as good literature (a thing I happen to believe in, most of the time), Vergil is not to be missed and he is certainly not one of 10,000.

eric said...

Coke: Yes, I have to agree that Vergil is top-notch. Not one of 10,000, indeed. And you know what I say: even bad literature is better than philosophy!

Just kidding.