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Theocritus Bion and Moschus Rendered into English Prose   By:

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Theocritus, Bion, and Moschus are names long revered in the realm of pastoral poetry. In this remarkable translation by an author credited as "of Phlossa near Smyrna Bion," their works are elegantly rendered into English prose, enabling readers to fully immerse themselves in the vivid imagery and timeless themes of these ancient poets.

The collection opens with Theocritus, often hailed as the father of pastoral poetry. His verses transport us to the idyllic countryside of ancient Greece, where shepherds tend their flocks, nymphs dance among flowers, and love blossoms against the backdrop of nature's beauty. Through the skillful translation, the joys and sorrows, the triumphs and tragedies of these rustic characters come alive, captivating readers with their lyrical simplicity and profound depth.

Bion, a student of Theocritus, follows in his mentor's footsteps, masterfully weaving stories of love, lament, and longing. The translation remarkably captures the tenderness and melancholy of his verses, evoking a range of emotions as we become entangled in the bittersweet affairs of shepherds and maidens. Bion's poetic talent shines through, even in prose, as he explores the complexities of desire, loss, and the yearning for something beyond the pastoral idyll.

Finally, Moschus, another disciple of Theocritus, brings his own unique voice to this collection. His works, elegiac in nature, explore themes of longing, loss, and the inevitable passage of time. His portrayal of love's transience is both poignant and reflective, leaving a deep imprint on the reader's heart. The translation does justice to his evocative language and captures the delicate balance between ecstasy and grief that permeates his verses.

What sets this translation apart is the evident skill and dedication of the author, "of Phlossa near Smyrna Bion." The prose flows smoothly and effortlessly, mirroring the rhythms and aesthetic beauty of the original poetry. While some readers might lament the absence of the verse format, the prose translation allows for a deeper understanding and appreciation of the linguistic nuances and emotional resonance present in the works of Theocritus, Bion, and Moschus.

"Theocritus, Bion, and Moschus Rendered into English Prose" is a magnificent offering, inviting readers on a journey through time to a world imbued with the pastoral ideal. Whether one is familiar with the original Greek texts or approaching them for the first time, this translation serves as a loving homage to the genius of these ancient poets. It opens a window into their world, where love, nature, and human emotion intermingle, resonating with readers across centuries. By deftly capturing the spirit and essence of these seminal works, the author breathes new life into their timeless themes, ensuring their influence endures for generations to come.

First Page:

Transcribed by David Price, email, from the 1889 Macmillan and Co. edition.



Theocritus, the Chian. But there is another Theocritus, the son of Praxagoras and Philinna (see Epigram XXIII), or as some say of Simichus. (This is plainly derived from the assumed name Simichidas in Idyl VII.) He was a Syracusan, or, as others say, a Coan settled in Syracuse. He wrote the so called Bucolics in the Dorian dialect. Some attribute to him the following works: The Proetidae, The Pleasures of Hope ([Greek]), Hymns, The Heroines, Dirges, Ditties, Elegies, Iambics, Epigrams. But it known that there are three Bucolic poets: this Theocritus, Moschus of Sicily, and Bion of Smyrna, from a village called Phlossa.

LIFE OF THEOCRITUS [Greek] (Usually prefixed to the Idyls)

Theocritus the Bucolic poet was a Syracusan by extraction, and the son of Simichidas, as he says himself, Simichidas, pray whither through the noon dost thou dray thy feet? (Idyl VII). Some say that this was an assumed name, for he seems to have been snub nosed ([Greek]), and that his father was Praxagoras, and his mother Philinna. He became the pupil of Philetas and Asclepiades, of whom he speaks (Idyl VII), and flourished about the time of Ptolemy Lagus... Continue reading book >>

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