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    Augustan Art of Poetry: Augustan Translation of the Classics

    By: Robin Sowerby

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    While previous studies have concentrated largely upon political concerns, The Augustan Art of Poetry is an exploration of the influence of the Roman Augustan aesthetic on English neo-classical poets of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. At the conclusion of his translation of Virgil, Dryden claims implicitly to have given English poetry the kind of refinement in language and style that Virgil had given the Latin. In this timely new study Robin Sowerbyoffers a strong apologia for the fine artistry of the Augustans, concentrating in particular on the period's translations, a topic and method not hitherto ventured in any full-length comparative study. The mediation of the Augustan aesthetic is explored through the De Arte Poetica of Vida represented in theAugustan version of Pitt, and its culmination is represented by examination of Dryden's Virgil in relation to predecessors. The effect of the Augustan aesthetic upon versions of silver Latin poets and upon Pope's Homer is also assessed and comparisons are drawn with modern translations.

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