March 31, 2014 6:25 PM Subscribe
Please recommend some Classical Latin prose works that are fun to read.
posted by zeri to Writing & Language (10 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I have a pretty good grasp of Latin grammar, but I haven't read much Latin literature. What should I read? Requirements: prose not verse; an interesting, enjoyable read, preferably a narrative; Classical in period and not too divergent from Classical norms in style; available in the Loeb Classical Library.
I've read small bits of Caesar and Cicero, a little Tacitus and Suetonius, and some of the letters of Pliny the Younger, but none of them really gripped me. A lot of Latin prose seems pretty dry, formal and humorless compared with Greek, which I'm more familiar with. (Some prose authors I like in Greek: Herodotus, Plato's less abstract dialogues, Plutarch, Lucian, Longus.)
I know of the novels of Apuleius and Petronius, and they're on my reading list, but I get the sense that these are both somewhat peculiar in their style, and I'd rather start with something that isn't too unconventionally written. It doesn't have to be a canonical Major Writer -- I'd rather read an author I've never heard of who's fun to read than a boring Great.
(I know most of the good stuff in Latin is in verse, but I want to keep it to prose for the purposes of this question.)