Giovanni Boccaccio is famous for his masterpiece The Decameron, but his Latin Eclogues are relatively unknown. David R. Slavitt’s English translation makes these important pieces accessible to a new audience of readers.
Elegant and engaging, these pastoral poems address the great issues of Boccaccio’s Italy, including the political and military intrigues of the day. Boccaccio modeled his poems on Petrarch’s eclogues and, before him, those of Virgil and Theocritus. Slavitt’s impeccable translations are highly readable, while his editorial interjections both elucidate the poet’s intended meaning and frame the poems for the reader.
These charming works offer wonderful insight into daily life in Renaissance Italy. A prolific and award-winning translator, Slavitt turns the Eclogues into vibrant modern English, capturing not only the words of Boccaccio but the flavor of the original language.
The availability of The Latin Eclogues in English is a major contribution to the study of the literature and history of the Italian Renaissance.
David R. Slavitt—poet, novelist, critic, and journalist—has published more than fifty books. His translations include the Metamorphoses of Ovid; The Fables of Avianus; The Eclogues and Georgics of Virgil; The Book of Lamentations: A Meditation and Translation; and Seneca: The Tragedies, all published by Johns Hopkins.