Favorite Roman author?

By Dantius, in 'General Latin Chat (English)', Dec 24, 2016.

  1. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    What Roman author did you like the most?

    I didn't put a poll because there are too many authors, and only 10 options available in a poll.


    From what I've read, my favorite author is Sallust, with Livy at a close second.

    I really like Sallust's fast-paced narration, especially in the Bellum Iugurthinum, and his characterization/exploration of motivations rather than just the facts. I also love the historical infinitive, which Sallust uses extensively. He also has some interesting, if unsubtle, digressions and comments on the corruption of Rome at his time. (As well as some digressions that have absolutely nothing to do with the main story, such as a paragraph about two Carthaginian brothers who sacrificed their life to increase Carthage's size. Other than a moral lesson about patriotism, this story has no connection to Rome, Jugurtha, or anything else in the Bellum Iugurthinum).
    Here are some of my favorite sentences:
    Tum spectaculum horribile in campis patentibus: sequi fugere, occidi capi; equi atque viri afflicti, ac multi vulneribus acceptis neque fugere posse neque quietem pati, niti modo ac statim concidere; postremo omnia, qua visus erat, constrata telis armis cadaveribus, et inter ea humus infecta sanguine.

    Romani, pro ingenio quisque, pars eminus glande aut lapidibus pugnare, alii succedere ac murum modo subfodere modo scalis aggredi, cupere proelium in manibus facere. Contra ea oppidani in proximos saxa volvere, sudis, pila, praeterea picem sulphure et taeda mixtam ardentia mittere. Sed ne illos quidem, qui procul manserant, timor animi satis muniverat; nam plerosque iacula tormentis aut manu emissa vulnerabant, parique periculo, sed fama impari boni atque ignavi erant.


    Regarding Livy, although he is a bit less excitingly written (in my opinion), and is certainly more difficult, I still really like his style and his work does have a greater variety of emotion than Sallust.
  2. Aurifex Aedilis

    • Aedilis
    Location:
    England
    Virgil.
    Among the historians, I'd put Sallust second to Tacitus.
  3. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    A lot of people seem to like Tacitus, I'm looking forward to reading his works. Same with Virgil/Vergil.
  4. AoM nulli numeri

    • Civis Illustris
    Virgil for me as well. Some of my favorite bits from the first two books of the Aeneid:

    I.
    Talia voce refert, curisque ingentibus aeger
    spem voltu simulat, premit altum corde dolorem.

    'Nascetur pulchra Troianus origine Caesar,
    imperium oceano, famam qui terminet astris,—'

    Tum vero ingentem gemitum dat pectore ab imo,
    ut spolia, ut currus, utque ipsum corpus amici,
    tendentemque manus Priamum conspexit inermis.

    'non ea vis animo, nec tanta superbia victis.'

    Restitit Aeneas claraque in luce refulsit,
    os umerosque deo similis;

    'In freta dum fluvii current, dum montibus umbrae
    lustrabunt convexa, polus dum sidera pascet,
    semper honos nomenque tuum laudesque manebunt,
    quae me cumque vocant terrae.'

    omnis in Ascanio cari stat cura parentis.

    II.
    'quem falsa sub proditione Pelasgi
    insontem infando indicio, quia bella vetabat,
    demisere neci, nunc cassum lumine lugent:'

    'venit summa dies et ineluctabile tempus
    Dardaniae. fuimus Troes, fuit Ilium et ingens
    gloria Teucrorum;'

    'moriamur et in media arma ruamus.
    una salus victis nullam sperare salutem.'

    plurima perque vias sternuntur inertia passim
    corpora perque domos et religiosa deorum
    limina.

    _____________________crudelis ubique
    luctus, ubique pavor et plurima mortis imago.

    ut tandem ante oculos evasit et ora parentum,
    concidit ac multo vitam cum sanguine fudit.

    horror ubique animo, simul ipsa silentia terrent.

    ter conatus ibi collo dare bracchia circum;
    ter frustra comprensa manus effugit imago,
    par levibus ventis volucrique simillima somno.
    Last edited by AoM, Dec 25, 2016
    LVXORD likes this.
  5. Cinefactus Censor

    • Censor
    Location:
    litore aureo
    Vergil and Cicero, although I did like Sallust too.
  6. Den Lee New Member

    Location:
    Calofornia, USA
    My favorite is Virgil. But also I like some writings of Seneca, Arrian.
  7. Matthaeus Vemortuicida strenuus

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Varsovia
    Cicero, Seneca, Caesar.
  8. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    Tacitus/Sallust, Vergil; I'm also really liking Lucan (finished book 7 last weekend).

    EDIT: just realized I was the one who made this thread. I've read a bit more since I made the thread though so my opinions have changed a bit.
  9. Cinefactus Censor

    • Censor
    Location:
    litore aureo
    I am really enjoying Petronius, mostly because it is about the most outrageous thing I have ever read ;)
    LVXORD and Araneus like this.
  10. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    In Latin or in any language?

    I'm not sure I have favourite authors, and less in Latin than other languages. But perhaps Tacitus for prose and Catullus for poetry.
  11. Araneus Umbraticus Lector

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Norvegia
    Tacitus for prose, Virgil for poetry. Going with the flow it seems.

    Otherwise Petronius is great for both (granted, a good deal of the poetry outside the Satyricon might be falsely attributed to him), and so is Boethius. I find myself rereading poems and passages from De consolatione philosophiae almost every day.
  12. LVXORD Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Australia
    From what I have read so far, Virgil is probably the most enjoyable poet have read (and the one I find to be the easiest to read). Cicero's speeches are quite clever too. Where many school students see confusion and impossibly long sentences, I see eloquence in his works.

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