Thursday, October 1, 2009

October Reading List

It is the first day of a new month, an event that has always held an odd significance with me and my family. I suppose it is no more odd than many of our holidays, official and unofficial -- I celebrate Christmas and I am not even Christian , and New Years Eve is truly the granddaddy of new-month celebrations -- but it always feels strange to celebrate a day whose only significance is rooted in an arbitrary calendar system. Such thinking brings to mind the modern, Gregorian calendar, which inevitably leads to thoughts of the Julian calendar and then the Romans in general.

Which, naturally, brings me to the topic of this post: what am I gonna read in October?

The Roman-themed intro should furnish some clues - the Goodreads widget on the right should supply even more. Yes, I have been on a little Roman kick since early August, really a rebirth of my enthusiasm for the topic during high school, spurred on by an extremely enthusiastic Latin teacher.

After reading mostly straight history in September (see my recent reads -- I hope to have reviews for all soon), I have set October aside to explore some of the literary side of Rome. The tentative list:
  1. The Aeneid, by Virgil (the Robert Fagles translation) - I am a little surpised I have not read this foundation stone of western literature before. I am not in a position to comment on this translation, but it is a handsome edition, it is generally praised, and it was produced by two very well-known, respectable classicists. I'll take it.
  2. The Letters, Books 1-7, by Pliny the Younger - I have the Loeb edition of this enduring, little look into the lives of the Roman upper crust. Sounds fascinating
  3. Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius - A look into an Emperor's mind -- a Stoic philosopher Emperor at that (don't ask me about proper punctuation; I have no idea)
I may squeeze some more in there. Time will tell.

No comments:

Post a Comment