Lectiones Memorabiles (vol. 3): Selections from Caesar, Catullus, Horace, Livy, Ovid and Vergil

by Marianthe Colakis, Yasuko Taoka, Paperback, 375 pages, Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, USA (2018) $29 978-0865168589

Colakis and Taoka’s reader is the third instalment of a four-part series of unabridged texts compiled by Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers. The book contains unmodified and unabridged selections from works by the title authors divided into three chapters: Vergil, History and Love Poetry. Each author’s work is preceded by a sizeable introduction concerning the author and his life, and the work and its socio-historical context. In the case of the history and love-letter chapters, the introduction also contains additional notes on classical historiography and poetry in general.

The Vergil section contains two selections from the author’s works, the first from Book 12 of the Aeneid (lines 614-952) and the other being Eclogues 1.6. The History chapter is composed of two brief selections from the seventh book of Caesar’s De Bello Gallico (7.68-74, 76-90) and one excerpt from Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita (22.3-7). Lastly, the Love Poems contain 13 poems by Catullus, five by Horace and four by Ovid.

Each selection is accompanied by additional grammar, syntax and cultural context annotations, while an extensive but curated vocabulary can be found at the end of the book. The book also contains a number of maps and illustrations, as well as appendices containing a general historical timeless. explanatory notes on metre and a glossary of rhetorical terms, figures of speech and metrical devices. A brief list of commentaries for further reading on each author and their work is also suggested.

Although this series and book are primarily intended for students preparing to sit for their International Baccalaureate in Latin at both Standard and Higher Level, they would be equally relevant to students who have already gained a thorough and intermediate knowledge of Latin, although teachers and guardians ought to note that some of the love poems are particularly sexually explicit.

Samuel Azzopardi

Malta Classics Association