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Ancient, Classical & Medieval

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  • Medea and Other Playsby Euripides; Philip Vellacott

    Penguin Books Ltd 1973; US$ 11.27

    Medea, in which a spurned woman takes revenge upon her lover by killing her children, is one of the most shocking and horrific of all the Greek tragedies. Dominating the play is Medea herself, a towering and powerful figure who demonstrates Euripides' unusual willingness to give voice to a woman's case. Alcestis, a tragicomedy, is based on a magical... more...

  • The Aeneidby Virgil; David West; David West

    Penguin Books Ltd 2003; US$ 15.50

    Virgil's Aeneid, inspired by Homer and inspiration for Dante and Milton, is an immortal poem at the heart of Western life and culture. Virgil took as his hero Aeneas, legendary survivor of the fall of Troy and father of the Roman race, and in telling a story of dispossession and defeat, love and war, he portrayed human life in all its nobility and... more...

  • Chattering Courtesans and Other Sardonic Sketchesby Lucian; Keith Sidwell

    Penguin Books Ltd 2004; US$ 18.32

    Described by a later Greek historian as "a man seriously committed to raising a laugh", Lucian exulted in the exposure of absurdity and the puncturing of pretension, and was capable of finding a comic angle on almost any subject. In this selection we see him conversing with his literary enemies, railing against hypocrisy and the vanity of human wealth... more...

  • In Defence of the Republicby Cicero

    Penguin Books Ltd 2011; US$ 15.50

    Cicero (106-43BC) was the most brilliant orator in Classical history. Even one of the men who authorized his assassination, the Emperor Octavian, admitted to his grandson that Cicero was: 'an eloquent man, my boy, eloquent and a lover of his country'. This new selection of speeches illustrates Cicero's fierce loyalty to the Roman Republic, giving... more...

  • Lysistrata and Other Playsby Aristophanes; Alan H. Sommerstein

    Penguin Books Ltd 2003; US$ 14.09

    Writing at a time when Athens was undergoing a crisis in its social attitudes, Aristophanes was an eloquent opponent of the demagogue and the sophist. This collection includes Lysistrata, the hilariously bawdy anti-war fantasy; The Acharnians, a plea for peace set against the background of the long war with Sparta; and The Clouds, a satire on contemporary... more...

  • Fastiby Ovid; Anthony Boyle; Roger Woodard; Anthony Boyle; Roger Woodard

    Penguin Books Ltd 2004; US$ 18.32

    Written after he had been banished to the Black Sea city of Tomis by Emperor Augustus, the Fasti is Ovid's last major poetic work. Both a calendar of daily rituals and a witty sequence of stories recounted in a variety of styles, it weaves together tales of gods and citizens together to explore Rome's history, religious beliefs and traditions. It may... more...

  • The Birds and Other Playsby Aristophanes; Alan H. Sommerstein; David Barrett

    Penguin Books Ltd 2003; US$ 15.50

    The plays in this volume all contain Aristophanes' trademark bawdy comedy and dazzling verbal agility. In THE BIRDS, two frustrated Athenians join the birds to build the utopian city of 'Much Cuckoo in the Clouds'. THE KNIGHTS is a venomous satire on Cleon, a prominent Athenian demagogue, while THE ASSEMBLY WOMEN deals with the battle of the sexes... more...

  • Frogs and Other Playsby Aristophanes; Shomit Dutta

    Penguin Books Ltd 2007; US$ 14.09

    The master of ancient Greek comic drama, Aristophanes combined slapstick, humour and cheerful vulgarity with acute political observations. In The Frogs , written during the Peloponnesian War, Dionysus descends to the Underworld to bring back a poet who can help Athens in its darkest hour, and stages a great debate to help him decide between the traditional... more...

  • The Comediesby Terence; Betty Radice; Betty Radice

    Penguin Books Ltd 2004; US$ 21.14

    The Roman dramatist Terence (c. 186-159 BC) adapted many of his comedies from Greek sources, rendering them suitable for audiences of his own time by introducing subtler characterization and more complex plots. In his romantic play, The Girl from Andros, Terence portrays a love affair saved by a startling discovery. The Self-Tormentor focusses on a... more...

  • Plays and Fragmentsby Menander; Norma Miller; Norma Miller

    Penguin Books Ltd 2004; US$ 18.32

    Menander (c. 341-291 BC) was the foremost innovator of Greek New Comedy, a dramatic style that moved away from the fantastical to focus upon the problems of ordinary Athenians. This collection contains the full text of 'Old Cantankerous' (Dyskolos), the only surviving complete example of New Comedy, as well as fragments from works including 'The Girl... more...