Which prose Classical Latin author do/did you find most difficult?

Which prose Classical Latin author do/did you find most difficult?

  • Apuleius

    Votes: 3 27.3%
  • Caesar

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Cicero

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • Livy

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • Petronius

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pliny (either one)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Seneca Minor

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • Tacitus

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • Other (comment below)

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • All about the same/I didn't really find any of them difficult ;)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    11

AoM

nulli numeri
Which book is that from?
Book I.
Can anyone who's read a fair amount of Livy recommend a good place to start? I've done a few excerpts here and there (mostly Romulus & Remus and their immediate successors) but am not familiar with anything beyond that.
Just read all of the first book. He continues to discuss the remaining kings and ends with the election of the first consuls. Or are you looking to read about a specific historical event?
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Book I.

Just read all of the first book. He continues to discuss the remaining kings and ends with the election of the first consuls. Or are you looking to read about a specific historical event?
I'd rather read something from a later time, since I know the historicity of the regal period is fuzzy, to say the least.
 

Araneus

Umbraticus Lector
I know! It's truly tragic to my mind how much has been lost, both from Livy and other authors. :(
All too true... The Satyricon was probably more than 1000 pages long originally. I for one consider that among the greatest losses in the history of literature. Along with the huge gaps in the Epic of Gilgamesh.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
All too true... The Satyricon was probably more than 1000 pages long originally. I for one consider that among the greatest losses in the history of literature.
Given the general tone of what survives, I'm afraid I can't really concur with you on that one. ;)
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
The Satyricon is precious if only for its samples of colloquial Latin, which are all too rare. It would be great if some long-hidden complete MS of it could be found... but, alas, it's probably unlikely to happen.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
The one I can't get over is Varro, an extremely prolific author who wrote more than 74 works (620 books total) on a large variety of topics. Of this vast and sweeping output we have today a sum total of...one.

Now THAT'S tragic. :(
 

Araneus

Umbraticus Lector
If a full MS of the Satyricon were found, we would be able to know what's the point with it. As much as I love it, I must confess that's quite unclear. Sure it's satirical, but a possible 1000 + pages of satire on indecent Roman people? Or perhaps it's basically a wild adventure novel.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Yes. It's definitely a pity, given that ancient Latin novels are so rare, that one of the only two we have is so mutilated. :(
 

Lucius Aelius

Linguistics Hippie
Cool, thanks!

Glancing through a bit of the text, it just hit me how utterly massive this thing is. And we have less than 25% of the total work!! :eek:

Anyway, I think I might give Book XXI a try. I do like Hannibal and his elephants. :D
Do keep going through to Book XXII --the account of the Battle of Trasimene is absolutely some of the best Latin prose I have ever read. The lead-up feels like some big, epic movie: the sheer things the man does with language should be illegal, they're so good. Gosh, I need to read it again because I get chills just thinking about it -- there's a bit, the line just before the battle starts, and I won't spoil it for you, but when you get there, pay attention to the meter in your reading because what he does with the clausulae there is utter perfection. If ever an author's style was inspired by the divines, it must be Livy.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Do keep going through to Book XXII --the account of the Battle of Trasimene is absolutely some of the best Latin prose I have ever read. The lead-up feels like some big, epic movie: the sheer things the man does with language should be illegal, they're so good. Gosh, I need to read it again because I get chills just thinking about it -- there's a bit, the line just before the battle starts, and I won't spoil it for you, but when you get there, pay attention to the meter in your reading because what he does with the clausulae there is utter perfection. If ever an author's style was inspired by the divines, it must be Livy.
Thanks! In that case perhaps I'll skip ahead to Book XXII (I studied this period in history, so I already know the context.)

Also,

clausulae
I now feel terribly ignorant, but I hadn't even really heard of this (as a prose technique) until now. Can you recommend a book/article (or other resource) where I can read up on it (since Google only reveals some very vague descriptions of how these are used)?
 

Araneus

Umbraticus Lector
Do keep going through to Book XXII --the account of the Battle of Trasimene is absolutely some of the best Latin prose I have ever read. The lead-up feels like some big, epic movie: the sheer things the man does with language should be illegal, they're so good. Gosh, I need to read it again because I get chills just thinking about it -- there's a bit, the line just before the battle starts, and I won't spoil it for you, but when you get there, pay attention to the meter in your reading because what he does with the clausulae there is utter perfection. If ever an author's style was inspired by the divines, it must be Livy.


OK, now I want to read this :D Awesome teaser!
 
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