Aeschylus, A verse translation by David Mulroy, with introduction and notes University of Wisconsin Press, 2015 Library of Congress PA3827.A8M75 2016 | Dewey Decimal 882.01
Agamemnon, King of Argos, returns to Greece a victor in the Trojan War. He has brought with him the seer Cassandra as his war-prize and concubine. Awaiting him is his vengeful wife Clytemnestra, who is angry at Agamemnon's sacrifice of their daughter Iphigeneia to the gods, jealous of Cassandra, and guilty of taking a lover herself. The events that unfold catch everyone in a bloody net, including their absent son Orestes.
Aeschylus (525/4–456/5 B.C.E.) was the first of the three great tragic dramatists of ancient Greece, a forerunner of Sophocles and Euripides. His early tragedies were largely choral pageants with minimal plots. In Agamemnon, choral songs still predominate, but Aeschylus infuses them with such dramatic feeling that the spectator or reader is constantly spellbound.
Translator David Mulroy brings this ancient tragedy to life for modern readers and audiences. Using end rhyme and strict metrics, he combines the buoyant lyricism of the Greek text with a faithful rendering of its meaning in lucid English.
Sophocles; A verse translation by David Mulroy, with introduction and notes University of Wisconsin Press, 2013 Library of Congress PA4414.A7M78 2013 | Dewey Decimal 882.01
Sophocles’ Antigone ranks with his Oedipus Rex as one of world literature’s most compelling dramas. The action is taut, and the characters embody universal tensions: the conflict of youth with age, male with female, the state with the family. Plot and character come wrapped in exquisite language. Antagonists trade polished speeches, sardonic jibes and epigrammatic truisms and break into song at the height of passion.
David Mulroy’s translation of Antigone faithfully reproduces the literal meaning of Sophocles’ words while also reflecting his verbal pyrotechnics. Using fluid iambic pentameters for the spoken passages and rhyming stanzas for the songs, it is true to the letter and the spirit of the great Greek original.
The Complete Poetry of Catullus
Catullus; Translated and with commentary by David Mulroy University of Wisconsin Press, 2002 Library of Congress PA6275.E5M85 2002 | Dewey Decimal 874.01
Catullus’ life was akin to pulp fiction. In Julius Caesar’s Rome, he engages in a stormy affair with a consul’s wife. He writes her passionate poems of love, hate, and jealousy. The consul, a vehement opponent of Caesar, dies under suspicious circumstances. The merry widow romances numerous young men. Catullus is drawn into politics and becomes a cocky critic of Caesar, writing poems that dub Julius a low-life pig and a pervert. Not surprisingly, soon after, no more is heard of Catullus.
David Mulroy brings to life the witty, poignant, and brutally direct voice of a flesh-and-blood man, a young provincial in the Eternal City, reacting to real people and events in a Rome full of violent conflict among individuals marked by genius and megalomaniacal passions. Mulroy’s lively, rhythmic translations of the poems are enhanced by an introduction and commentary that provide biographical and bibliographical information about Catullus, a history of his times, a discussion of the translations, and definitions and notes that ease the way for anyone who is not a Latin scholar.
Early Greek Lyric Poetry
Translated with an Introduction and Commentary by David Mulroy University of Michigan Press, 1999 Library of Congress PA3622.M85 1992 | Dewey Decimal 884.0108
The Greek lyric poets composed some of the liveliest, juiciest, most personal lines that the ancient world ever knew. The very personal nature of these poems has made them perennial favorites with a wide variety of readers; it has also meant that they are often difficult to understand.
In Early Greek Lyric Poetry David Mulroy offers an accurate and lively translation of all the important lyric fragments and new papyri, as well as selections from the more fully preserved works of Theognis, Bacchylides, and Pindar. Unlike any other version of these poems, Early Greek Lyric Poetry also provides a translation of the literary context in which each poem survives. This format enables readers to see for themselves why particular lines or phrases happen to be preserved, and it also provides information on how earlier writers understood the poems.
The poems and fragments are accompanied by a comprehensive introduction to the genre and to the individual poets, explanatory notes, and a useful bibliography. Early Greek Lyric Poetry is indispensable for courses on Greek culture and literature in translation or on literary "great books."
David Mulroy is Associate Professor of Classics, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. He is also the author of Horace's Odes and Epodes: Translated with an Introduction and Commentary.
Lysistrata: A New Verse Translation
Aristophanes, Translated by David Mulroy, with Introduction and Notes University of Wisconsin Press, 2020 Library of Congress PA3877.L8 2020 | Dewey Decimal 882.01
Aristophanes, a native Athenian and the leading exponent of Greek comedy, was born c. 450 BCE. Today forty-three of his plays are known by title; eleven survive. The most famous of these is the whimsical fantasy Lysistrata.
A perennial classroom and stage favorite as well as the basis of Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, the play is as relevant today as it was 2,500 years ago. The premise is simplicity itself: to end the Peloponnesian War, women decide to withhold sex from their husbands until the fighting stops.
The play is by turns raucous, bawdy, frantic, and funny. David Mulroy’s exciting new translation retains the original’s verse format, racy jokes, and vibrancy—setting it apart from previous efforts, which are typically reproduced as prose or depart from meaning and meter. His introduction offers a concise summary of Aristophanes’ life and social milieu, including a brief overview of the Peloponnesian War, which took place during the playwright’s lifetime. The appendices include guides on translating meter and Greek pronunciation for aspiring thespians.
Oedipus at Colonus
Sophocles, A verse translation by David Mulroy, with introduction and notes University of Wisconsin Press, 2014 Library of Congress PA4414.O5M85 2014 | Dewey Decimal 882.01
Oedipus at Colonus is the third in Sophocles' trilogy of plays about the famous king of Thebes and his unhappy family. It dramatizes the mysterious death of Oedipus, by which he is transformed into an immortal hero protecting Athens. This was Sophocles' final play, written in his mid-eighties and produced posthumously. Translator David Mulroy's introduction and notes deepen the reader's understanding of Oedipus' character and the real political tumult that was shaking Athens at the time that Sophocles wrote the play. Oedipus at Colonus is at once a complex study of a tragic character, an indictment of Athenian democracy, and a subtle endorsement of hope for personal immortality.
As in his previous translations of Oedipus Rex and Antigone, Mulroy combines scrupulous scholarship and textual accuracy with a fresh poetic style. He uses iambic pentameter for spoken passages and short rhymed stanzas for choral songs, resulting in a text that is accessible and fun to read and perform.
David Sophocles University of Wisconsin Press, 2011 Library of Congress PA4414.O7M75 2011 | Dewey Decimal 882.01
Oedipus Rex is the greatest of the Greek tragedies, a profound meditation on the human condition. The story of the mythological king, who is doomed to kill his father and marry his mother, has resonated in world culture for almost 2,500 years. But Sophocles’ drama as originally performed was much more than a great story—it was a superb poetic script and exciting theatrical experience. The actors spoke in pulsing rhythms with hypnotic forward momentum, making it hard for audiences to look away. Interspersed among the verbal rants and duels were energetic songs performed by the chorus.
David Mulroy’s brilliant verse translation of Oedipus Rex recaptures the aesthetic power of Sophocles’ masterpiece while also achieving a highly accurate translation in clear, contemporary English. Speeches are rendered with the same kind of regular iambic rhythm that gave the Sophoclean originals their drive. The choral parts are translated as fluid rhymed songs. Mulroy also supplies an introduction, notes, and appendixes to provide helpful context for general readers and students.
First presented in the spring of 458 B.C.E. at the festival of Dionysus in Athens, Aeschylus' trilogy Oresteia won the first prize. Comprised of three plays—Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, and The Furies—it is the only surviving example of the ancient trilogy form for Greek tragedies.
This drama of the House of Atreus catches everyone in a bloody net. Queen Clytaemestra of Argos murders her husband Agamemnon. Their son Orestes avenges his father by killing his mother. The Furies, hideous deities who punish the murder of blood kin, pursue Orestes. Into this horrific cycle steps Athena, goddess of wisdom, who establishes the rule of law to replace fatal vengeance. Orestes is tried in court before a jury of Athenians and found not guilty. Athena transforms the Furies into benevolent goddesses and extols the virtue of mercy.
An important historical document as well as gripping entertainment, the Oresteia conveys beliefs and values of the ancient Athenians as they established the world's first great democracy. Aeschylus (525/4–456/5 B.C.E.) was the first of the three great tragic dramatists of ancient Greece, forerunner of Sophocles and Euripides. In this trilogy he created a new dramatic form with characters and plot, infused with spellbinding emotion. David Mulroy's fluid, accessible English translation with its rhyming choral songs does full justice to the meaning and theatricality of the ancient Greek. In an introduction and appendixes, he provides cultural background for modern readers, actors, and students.
"The first translation from the Greek that I ever did was the apple orchard of Sappho in my fifteenth year. It left me so excited with accomplishment that I couldn't sleep well for nights. Since that time, on the freight trains of my youthful years of wandering, in starlit camps on desert and mountain ranges, in snow-covered cabins, on shipboard, in bed, in the bath, in love, in time of loneliness and despair, in jail, while employed as an attendant of the insane, and on many other jobs and in many other places, the Anthology and the lyric poets of Greece have been my constant companions." --Kenneth Rexroth from the Foreword
Friend to the Beats, organizer of the Six Gallery poetry reading in 1955, and iconoclastic poet extraordinare, Kenneth Rexroth here turns his imagination to a selection of verses from the Greek Anthology. In his lively style he successfully captures the spirit of the originals by such poets as Sappho, Anyte, Glykon, Antipatros, Leonidas, Askelpiades, and Ammianos. Students of the classics as well as poets and translators will welcome this collection for the insight and dexterity of its unconventional editor.
Kenneth Rexroth (1905-1982), poet, critic, and translator, is also noted for his translations from the Chinese and Japanese. Widely prolific, he helped usher in the Beat movement in the 1950s and is widely considered to have invented the idea of San Francisco as a center of literary innovation. David Mulroy is Associate Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He is the translator of Early Greek Lyric Poetry and Horace's Odes and Epodes.