John G. Fitch's new Latin text of Seneca's play, Hercules Furens, is based on a collation of the chief manuscripts, including the Paris manuscript T. In his introduction, Fitch traces the conflicting classical portrayals of Hercules-a figure embodying altruism and aggrandizement, restraint and wildness-and argues that in the play, the untamed side of his nature ultimately turns against him and destroys him.
In introductory notes to individual acts and choral odes, Fitch addresses the play's thematic development and discusses probably influences, including the Greek tragedies of the fifth century B.C., the tragedies of the Hellenistic and Roman Republican periods, and the writings of the Augustan poets, particularly Ovid. His line-by-line commentary focuses on such stylistic matters as wordplay, soundplay, meter, diction, and rhetoric, and he also looks closely at line divisions and at characteristic metrical patterns and anapestic odes. Fitch's assessment of the figure of Hercules in ancient literature, popular religion, and literary/moral tradition will be of compelling interest to classicists and students of later periods.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 492
Weight: 737 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 30 mm
"A valuable contribution to Senecan studies this fully annotated edition of Seneca's Hercules Furens . . . gives advanced students access to a drama which they might not otherwise have contact. . . . An excellent introduction lays out all basic information concerning the play, including the relationship between the Roman play and its Greek models (Euripides' Heracles). Text and commentary follow; the notes are lucid and address all issues pertinent to the text-Senecan dramaturgy is explicated especially well. The rich mythological content of the play will interest teachers. Thorough bibliography, general index, index of Latin words, and four appendixes on special matters (meter, grammar, and manuscripts). Overall, an outstanding edition of a fascinating drama, highly recommended to all institutions with upper-level Latin."-Choice
"Fitch is not only accurate and learned (and this commentary represents an immense range of learning) but he has good judgment, and his introduction and more extended comments on separate scenes and choral odes show him to be a sensitive interpreter."-Elaine Fantham, Giger Professor of Latin Emerita, Princeton University