Maffeo Vegio (1407-1458) was the outstanding Latin poet of the first half of the fifteenth century. This volume includes Book XIII of Vergil's Aeneid, Vegio's famous continuation of the Roman epic, which was extremely popular in the later Renaissance, printed many times and translated into every major European language (and even into Scottish). It also contains three other epic works: Astyanax, based on an episode in the Iliad; The Golden Fleece (Vellus Aureum); and Antonias, a short epic based on the life of Saint Anthony of Egypt. Antonias is the first Christian epic of the Renaissance, a precursor of Milton's Paradise Lost. This volume contains the first modern editions of the Latin text of Antonias and Astyanax.
Putnam's agile translation is a pleasure to read and a revelation to study.
I found Putnam's translation to be accurate and lively and Vegio to be an exciting author with a clear Latin style. This book was truly a delight to read...This well-executed edition will certainly help scholars to form and offer interpretations to these and other questions concerning the writings of Maffeo Vegio. Through making Latin editions of these poems more widely available, this volume will help inspire research on the rich but understudied Latin poetry of the fifteenth century. Of equal importance, the lively English translation will rightly make Vegio's poetry accessible to a much larger audience.
By meticulous comparisons between Vegio's book 13, Vergil's books 1-12, and the work of Ovid, on which Vegio also drew, Putnam teases out the ways in which Vegio transformed the mood of the work as a whole--how he made Turnus, rather than Aeneas, the one who rages, and managed to stage the hero's stellification, in Ovidian terms, not as a Christian rebirth to salvation but as the proper reward for a pagan's supremely virtuous life on earth. Vegio's scenes of festival and feasting have a nice Virgilian feel to them, as Aeneas and Latinus recall the struggles of the past in present tranquility--as well as a vivid period sense of the ways in which public ritual could seal and solidity a new community's identity...Putnam teaches us to appreciate Vegio's artistry--and his ability to reweave a troubling work of art until it clearly embodied the best pagan, but not Christian, morality. In his own way, Vegio glimpsed the incompleteness, the broken arch, that is a prominent feature of the epic's architecture.
- 256 pages
- 5-1/4 x 8 inches
- Harvard University Press
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