James Jope, independent scholar in Classics


For my profile, click here. For my complete bibliography, click here.

Scholarly Publishing: Peer Review and Open Access: This site offers two kinds of papers: those published in peer-reviewed journals and those posted only here. For a statement of my position on scholarly publishing, click here.

Translating Strato.   It is common knowledge that something is always lost in a translation. In this paper, originally published in 2005, I draw on professional translators’ methodology to explore the difficulties of translating Strato’s witty homoerotic poems. Comparison of Daryl Hines’ English verse translation with the more conservative French version by Roger Peyrefitte shows how both can fail to convey a cultural understanding of the humour in an effective modern poem, and I suggest some new approaches. Click here.
Review of Kelly Olson, Masculinity and Dress in Roman Antiquity, Routledge 2017: Click here

Review of Donncha O'Rourke, Approaches to Lucretius (2020): Click here.

Review of Philip R. Bosman, ed., Intellectual and Empire in Greco-Roman Antiquity, Routledge 2019: Click here.

Eros in Anacreontea 1:

The first poem of the Anacreontic collection is generally interpreted as the poet's induction into the Anacreontic tradition. But the erotic aspects of the poem, which have been neglected, cast new light on its meaning. Read about it here.

Mary Beard and translational ethics:

Scholars commonly translate Greek and Latin texts in a way that favours their own interpretation of the author. Today, with the growing importance of popularizing Classics, there should be some concern for what I would propose to call standards of ‘translational ethics’.What better source of examples could we desire than a work by the leading British popularizer Mary Beard? Click here.

Comment on an engaging brief account of the ancient philosophical tradition
“The Transmission of Ancient wisdom: Texts, Doxographies, Libraries” by Gabor Betegh, chapter 2 in The Cambridge History of Philosophy in Late Antiquity vol. 1, ed. Lloyd Gerson 2010, 225 ff. -- Click here.

Comment on Phillip Mitsis on Hellenistic philosophical schools. click here.

Comment on Katharina Vogt on Roman philosophy: click here.

A sourcebook for Roman civilisation?

A retrospective review of Henri Bardon, Le génie latin, Latomus Collection vol. LXV Revue d’Études latines, 1963
This erudite popularization of Roman civilization offers an interpretation of the Roman mentality and values: love of the land, patriotism, fluctuation between Reason and the irrational, humanitas, and a melancholic obsession with death. The shift of focus from political history to more serious matters was progressive, but it is not the book’s most important feature today. Read my review here.

A series relating science and Classics:

Ancient Botany: review of the book by Hardy and Totelin. Click here.

Climate change, DNA, and the Roman Empire—these are the subjects of two works: I review Walter Scheidel, The Science of Roman History (2018) and post the complete text of M. Eleanor Irwin, The olive as an indicator of climate change in the Roman agricultural writers, a paper submitted to the 2018 annual meeting of the CAC. Read them both here.

I've reviewed Richard Carrier's The Scientist in the Early Roman Empire for classicists here.

"Aristotle's Biology: Philosophy or Science?" is a comparative review of two very different recent publications on this subject, one by philosophers and the other by a biologist.. See it here.   

Review of Lucrezio, la Natura e la Scienzia, ed. Marco Beretta and Francesco Citti.  See it here.

Featured papers

My contribution on ancient philosophy, Platonic and Roman Influence on Stoic and Epicurean Sexual Ethics, appears in Blackwell's Companion to Greek and Roman Sexualities

Authenticity of the Lucianic Erotes: This paper, which began with a presentation at a conference on the Second Sophistic at Laval University in 2007, argues for the authenticity of the work by Lucian. It is published in the Spring 2011 issue of Helios. You can also read it here.

My Helios article on "Lucian's Triumphant Cinaedus and Rogue Lovers" is here.

 "A Latinist looks at Botanical Latin": Text of a paper read at the APA annual meeting in 2005. To read this, please click here.

“Lucretius’ Psychoanalytic insight: his notion of Unconscious Motivation”, Phoenix 37 (1983) 224-238: A special version of this article with translations of the Latin is posted on this site. Click here.

Featured Book Reviews

The review of James Davidson "The Greeks and Greek Love" published under my name in Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide May 2008 was so badly distorted by editorial interference that it does not reflect my view and I disavow it. To read my actual review of Davidson, click here.

My review of Werner Krenkel’s collected papers, Naturalia non turpia, is published in Mouseion Series III, vol. 7, 2007, no. 3, 277-282. It is available at “Project Muse”, but can also be seen here.

My review of Arnold A. Lelis, William A. Percy, and Beert C. Verstraete, The Age of Marriage in Ancient Rome, (here). 

My review of G.E.R. Lloyd, The Delusions of Invulnerability: Wisdom and Morality in Ancient Greece, China and Today, is published online in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review. This review was written in collaboration with sinologist H. Lyman Miller. To read it, click here.

My review of Geert Roskam, Live Unnoticed (Lathe biosas): On the Vicissitudes of an Epicurean Doctrine, is published in Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews. To read it, click here.

My review of Adam Bartley, A Lucian for Our Times, is published in Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews. To read it, click here.

My review of Wolfgang Kullmann, Naturgesetz in der Vorstellung der Antike, besonders der Stoa: eine Begriffsuntersuchung. Philosophie der Antike can be read here.

Donald Lateiner et al., Roman Literature, Gender and Reception (Festschrift for Judith Hallett) is reviewed here.

Rosario Moreno Soldevila, Juan Martos (ed.), Amor y sexo en la literatura latina. Suplementos de Exemplaria Classica, 4. is reviewed here
Here's an interesting diversion from my activity as a modern-language translator: Latin American idiomatic expressions.

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