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Translating Rome

Robert Graves

Edited by Robert Cummings

Foreword by Robert Cummings

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Categories: 21st Century, Ancient Greek and Roman
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Hardback (668 pages)
(Pub. Jan 2010)
£45.00 £40.50
  • Description
  • Author
  • Contents
  • In his translations of three major works from the Roman world, collected in a single volume for the first time, Robert Graves brings the myths, legends and history of the classical world to life. His translations influenced a generation of readers and writers when they were first published in the 1950s. As Robert Cummings demonstrates in his introduction, Graves sometimes overrides the demands of accuracy; his interpretations of and responses to his material are at times idiosyncratic but, ‘Whatever complaints are lodged against Graves’s translations, he remains, after fifty years, eminently readable.’ Graves himself recognised the translator’s problem: ‘how much is owedto the letter, and how much to the spirit’. It is the novelist’s narrative virtuosity, his flair for catching a character’s individual voice, and above all his endless curiosity about the world, that make these translations as compelling as they were to their original audience; they also mirror Graves’s interest in myth in The White Goddess and his imaginative recreations of the classical world in I, Claudius and Claudius the God.

    The Golden Ass is an essential work in European literature, a magical, sometimes bawdy adventure, to which Graves responds with exuberant delight. In contrast, Lucan’s Pharsalia, an account of the civil war between Julius Casear and Pompey, raises for Graves issues of the writer’s moral responsibility, the rejection of rhetoric, that in his own time, he writes, had sent poets ‘marching through the Waste Land’ after the Great War. The Twelve Caesars exemplifies the writer’s responsibility to the truthful record in its vivid accounts of the corruptions of arbitrary power.

    Editor’s Introduction by Robert Cummings    

    Introduction by Robert Graves    
    Apuleius’s Address to the Reader    
    Chapter I    The Story of Aristomenes    
    Chapter II    At Milo’s House    
    Chapter III    The Story of Thelyphron    
    Chapter IV    The Festival of Laughter    
    Chapter V    Lucius is Transformed    
    Chapter VI    The Bandits’ Cave    
    Chapter VII    Cupid and Psyche (I)    
    Chapter VIII    Cupid and Psyche (II)    
    Chapter IX    Cupid and Psyche (III)    
    Chapter X    Defeat of the Bandits    
    Chapter XI    At the Stud-Farm    
    Chapter XII    With the Eunuch Priests    
    Chapter XIII    At the Mill-House    
    Chapter XIV    With the Market-Gardener and the Centurion    
    Chapter XV    At the Councillor’s House    
    Chapter XVI    Under the Trainer    
    Chapter XVII    The Goddess Isis Intervenes    
    Chapter XVIII    The Ass is Transformed    
    Chapter XIX    At the Bar    
    Appendix    Lucian’s Ass    

    Introduction by Robert Graves    
    Book I    
    Book II    
    Book III    
    Book IV    
    Book V    
    Book VI    
    Book VII    
    Book VIII    
    Book IX    
    Book X    

    Foreword by Robert Graves    
    Chapter I    Julius Caesar, afterwards deified    
    Chapter II    Augustus, afterwards deified    
    Chapter III    Tiberius    
    Chapter IV    Gaius Caligula    
    Chapter V    Claudius, afterwards deified    
    Chapter VI    Nero    
    Chapter VII    Galba    
    Chapter VIII    Otho    
    Chapter IX    Vitellius    
    Chapter X    Vespasian, afterwards deified    
    Chapter XI    Titus, afterwards deified    
    Chapter XII    Domitian    
    Pedigrees of the Julian and Flavian Houses    
    Robert Graves
    Robert Graves (1895-1985), poet, classical scholar, novelist, and critic, was one of the greatest writers of the 20th Century. Athough he produced over 100 books he is perhaps best known for the novel I, Claudius (1934), The White Goddess (1948) and Greek Myths (1955). Robert Graves was born in Wimbledon, South ... read more
    Robert Cummings
    Robert Cummings is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of English Literature at the University of Glasgow. He is co-editor of Volume Two of The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English, with Gordon Braden and Stuart Gillespie (Oxford University Press, 2010) and, with Stuart Gillespie, has edited the journal ... read more
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