Author Archives: Steven J. Willett

Horace Ode II.14 on Indomitable Death

Translated by Steven J. Willett Hades and Cerebus 2nd-century AD, Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, Crete Note: Hades was the eldest male child of Cronus and Rhea. His brothers were Zeus and Poseidon. He was later known to the Greeks as … Continue reading

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Hölderlin “Go Down, Beautiful Sun” (Geh unter, schöne Sonne…

Translated by Steven J. Willett Jadwiga Łuszcenska portrayed as lecturing Diotima in the 1855 painting by Józef Simmler A 1st-century bronze plaque that depicts Diotima, Eros and Socrates Note: Diotima (stressed in English Diotíma from Greek Διοτίμα) was the pseudonym Plato … Continue reading

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Horace Ode II.1 on Pollio’s History of Civil War

Horace Ode II.1 Translated by Steven J. Willett A Roman bust of C. Asinius Pollio 76BC~4AD Note: Pollio fought with Caesar during the Civil War 49 to 45BC serving as his legate in Africa and Spain. After Caesar’s assassination in … Continue reading

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Hölderlin Ode An die Parzen (To the Fates)

Hölderlin’s Ode An die Parzen (To the Fates) Translated by Steven J. Willett One summer only grant me you mighty Fates, And just one autumn mellow for songs to me,    So that my heart more willingly, sweet     … Continue reading

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Horace in Ode I.16: A Master of Burlesque

Horace Ode I.16 Translated by Steven J. Willett This is a possible Roman portrait of Horace with his drinking cup and balding head. Note: The relationship between the mother and daughter in the ode is unclear. It’s possible that Horace … Continue reading

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Hölderlin Fragments of Hymns 1800~1805

These four strange and beautiful fragments were written not long before his mental collapse and are virtually the last poetry of any quality that he wrote. Translated by Steven J. Willett Plaque at Hölderlinturm am Neckarufer in Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg „1807–1843.Hier … Continue reading

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Pindar Isthmian 7 for Strepsiadas, Winner of Pancratium

Pindar Isthmian 7 for Strepsiadas of Thebes, winner pancratium Translated by Steven J. Willett This is a c.500BC black-figure vase that depicts a pancratium bout with the umpire on the right. Note 1: Isthmian 7 is a widely admired ode … Continue reading

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Tibullus Elegy I.8 on Marathus’ Love of Pholoe

Tibullus Elegy I.8: Marathus returns from Elegy I.4 but is now in love with a young girl named Pholoe. Translated by Steven J. Willett The Venus Callipyge also called the Aphrodite Kallipygos (Ἀφροδίτη Καλλίπυγος) is a Roman copy of a … Continue reading

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Tibullus Elegy I.4 Asks Priapus Help in Love of Boys

Tibullus Elegy I.4 Asks Priapus Help in Gaining Love of Boys Translated by Steven J. Willett Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Tibullus reciting his elegies at Delia’s home. We have no Roman busts or statues of Tibullus, c55~19BC. Note 1: Ovid wrote an … Continue reading

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Sappho Faces Old Age in the Tithonus Poem

A Late Poem of Sappho Lamenting the Realities of Old Age Translated by Steven J. Willett The red-figure vase c. 470~460BC shows Dawn pursuing Tithonus. Note 1: This poem has a complex history, and I recommend reading the Wikipedia account … Continue reading

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