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... this is truly a painstaking work of great scholarship and will be the authoritative commentary on the Epodes for the foreseeable future ... it will be a treasure house for readers of a very wide range of classical authors whose work impinges, however tangentially, on the Epodes ... Oxford University Press should be congratulated on the beautiful appearance of this work with generous margins and clear text. (Greece & Rome)
... one of the many joys of this work is that in those places where one feels reservations about Watson's literary judgement, he supplies, via meticulous referencing and generously full summaries of rival interpretations, an excellent starting point for dissenting readings. (Bryn Mawr Classical Review)
... as a display of classical scholarship the work is formidable and it will remain the point of departure for all serious work on the Epodes for decades to come. (Bryn Mawr Classical Review)
... indispensable for the mature student of Latin poetry. (The Journal of Classics Teaching)
[The book] offers an impressively wide-ranging display of classical scholarship. (Emily Gowers, Times Literary Supplement)
Watson is excellent on up-to-date discussion of the specifically magical poems in the light of recent research. (Emily Gowers, Times Literary Supplement)
This is by far the most detailed commentary yet on Horace's Epodes. The line-by-line commentary on each epode is prefaced by a substantial interpretative essay which offers a reading of that poem and synthesises existing scholarship. These essays, the first of their kind, will provide essential critical orientation to undergraduates approaching the Epode-book for the first time. Moreover, the scale and density of the commentary will make it an invaluable resource for scholars of Latin poetry. A particular feature is the first in-depth treatment of the two lengthy magical Epodes 5 and 17. The author draws extensively on ancient magical texts preserved on papyrus and lead, as well as the recent flood of publications on Greek and Roman magic, to cast light on countless details in these epodes which reveal a marked familiarity on Horace's part with authentic magical belief and practice.
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