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Classical Love Poetry

  • Edited, and with an introduction, by Jonathan Williams
    Contributions by Clive Cheesman

    This volume pairs elections of translated Greek and Roman verse from Homer, Sappho, Virgil, Horace, and Ovid, among others, with fine examples of paintings, sculpture, vases, and decorative objects. The excerpts, which cover the period from the eighth century B.C. to the early Middle Ages, were chosen from famous works, such as Homer's Iliad, as well as less well-known pieces, such as the writings of the Greek poet Ibycus.

    The book demonstrates that the human preoccupation with love in all its forms has inspired writers for millennia: from the expression of enduring faithfulness and familial affection in Homer's description of Hector and Andromache, to the passionate intensity portrayed by the later Greek lyric poets and the lighthearted depiction of love as a lost little boy by the anonymous authors of the Anacreontea.

    Included are a brief introduction to Greek and Roman views on love and marriage, a short biographical note on each of the major poets, and a glossary of mythical and geographical names.

    Jonathan Williams is curator of Iron Age and Roman coins at the British Museum and has published widely on Roman history and numismatics. Clive Cheesman is a former curator in the Department of Coins and Medals in the British Museum.

    96 pages
    5 7/8 x 7 1/4 inches
    40 color illustrations
    ISBN 978-0-89236-786-3

    Getty Publications
    Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum