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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Leucippe and Clitophon by Achilles Tatius. Leucippe and Clitophon by Achilles Tatius.
Achilles Tatius' Leucippe and Clitophon is the most bizarre and risque of the five "Greek novels" of idealized love between boy and girl that survive from the time of the Roman empire. Stretching the capacity of the genre to its limits, Achilles' narrative covers adultery, violence, disembowelment, pederasty, virginity-testing, and a conveniently happy ending. Ingenious an Achilles Tatius' Leucippe and Clitophon is the most bizarre and risque of the five "Greek novels" of idealized love between boy and girl that survive from the time of the Roman empire.
Ingenious and sophisticated in conception, Leucippe and Clitophon is at once subtle, stylish, moving, brash, tasteless, and obscene. This new translation aims to capture Achilles' writing in all its exuberant variety. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews.
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Leucippe and Clitophon , please sign up. Is this very violent? See 1 question about Leucippe and Clitophon…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Leucippe and Clitophon. Sep 10, Steve rated it really liked it Shelves: greek. To tell you the truth, it doesn't matter to me if one classifies this as a novel, or romance, or something else altogether.
Those are, in any case, categories invented long after this text was written. Let's call it a novel, for convenience. Unlike the Satyr To tell you the truth, it doesn't matter to me if one classifies this as a novel, or romance, or something else altogether. Unlike the Satyricon , Leucippe and Clitophon has come down to us apparently intact, as have the other 4 Greek novels of this canon. In light of the fragments we have of many other fictional works from the same period, it seems evident that there was an very rich and variegated output of fiction in the early centuries of the Common Era.
I was told nothing of this when I was in school. Apparently, at that time, barely more recent than the time these novels were inked onto papyrus, the classicists frowned upon these novels as lowbrow rubbish written for the consummation of women?!
So they were kept out of the hands of impressionable youngsters like myself. More recently, a new generation of classicists has tried to rehabilitate these works in academica, resulting in some new translations, of which this quite enjoyable translation by Tim Whitmarsh is one.
Though, thankfully, I can remain blithely indifferent to the turmoil in academic fashion, at least now there are fresh translations of these works available in mass market editions, instead of stodgy versions in obscenely expensive editions which have been cleansed of all naughtinesses. And naughtinesses abound here.
The text is narrated by Clitophon to a stranger met in Sidon and includes, roughly, Clitophon falling in love with Leucippe, their flight from discovery, their being parted again and again, and their various adventures through most of the eastern Mediterranean Sea while trying to be reunited, which is finally accomplished in marriage.
However, along this trajectory the real pleasures of this text are met. First, this is the ancient Greek world au vif - youthful, energetic, surrounded by gods and perils, deaths of all kinds, and still hungry for life. One gets an authentic sense of a world full of slaves and pirates, where for a woman rape is preferable to premarital sex and is not a rare occurrence.
The lengthy description of a ferocious Mediterranean storm harrying and then wrecking the typical small craft of the day is outstanding. Second, Tatius runs his text through the gamut of ancient Greek literature, giving us stories of metamorphosis, fables, amazing and doubtful natural history, gods and heroes, orations at trials, and detailed descriptions of marvelous paintings.
Digressing, diverting, horrifying, the stories flow, tripping over one another in their haste to be heard. And, of course, there is the obligatory argument about which form of love, for boys or for women, is better.
Not to be missed, whichever your own position may be. Another amusing aspect of this text is that it can be partially read as a parody of Platonic thought. Clitophon is the name of a dialogue attributed to Plato. Aristophanes' mad myth from Plato's Symposium appears early in nightmarish form; many of the ideas expressed in Phaedrus are repeated and parodied.
Though there are plenty of realistic elements, as I indicated above, one will not find realism, but instead deus ex machina , coincidences and miracles; one will not find character development, but instead "cardboard" characters behaving as their stereotypes demand. At the center of this text one finds instead humor, melodrama and wide-eyed wonder at marvelous stories. The introduction by Helen Morales and the notes by the translator are informative.
They inform the reader that Tatius wrote the book mostly in Attic Greek, the Greek of classics written 5 or 6 centuries earlier, and that he mixed in other styles, puns and wordplay.
Morales assures us that Whitmarsh does a fine job transmitting some of this to the English reader. There is also a nice bibliography to follow up on. View all 16 comments. On ne voyage pas non plus autant que dans Les Ethiopiques. Une lecture fort distrayante en somme. View all 13 comments.
It didn't quite make it up there with Longus' Daphnis and Chloe to be one of my favourite books of all time, but definitely one of the most entertaining pieces of classical literature I've read. It had absolutely everything that you want and expect from this genre: young love, sexual encounters, pirates, kidnapping, sacrifices, the list goes on.
It was so entertaining and the ending so ridiculously and improbably happy. Achilles Tatius knew how to write a good novel. View 2 comments. This wild ancient novel has almost everything- homosexuality, pirates, cannibalism, adultery, prostitutes, true love, magic, torture.
The list is too long. However, despite all the cruelty, immoral acts let me clarify, I mean attempted murder and rape , and the sorrow Clinias's loss is heartbreaking , the author manages to convey a simple theme masked behind clever puns and thick clouds of sophist and platonic philosophy- that the desire, love, whatever the heck you want to call it, between tw This wild ancient novel has almost everything- homosexuality, pirates, cannibalism, adultery, prostitutes, true love, magic, torture.
However, despite all the cruelty, immoral acts let me clarify, I mean attempted murder and rape , and the sorrow Clinias's loss is heartbreaking , the author manages to convey a simple theme masked behind clever puns and thick clouds of sophist and platonic philosophy- that the desire, love, whatever the heck you want to call it, between two human beings is powerful and without limits.
The language itself is beautifully crafted upon the elements of desire and love. You see, when two pairs of eyes reflect in each other, they forge images of each other's body, as in a mirror. The effluxion of beauty floods down through the eyes to the soul, and effects a kind of union without contact. Dec 10, Arthur Sperry rated it really liked it.
I wanted to read this because even as a Latin and Greek Major in College, it is one that I was not familiar with. I really agree with the description writeup. I enjoy reading and re-reading Greek and Roman Literature. Dec 17, Tony Gualtieri rated it it was amazing. A piece of Greco-Roman popular culture: The plot is inevitable, the characters are unnuanced, and the story is filled with unlikely coincidences and loose ends.
But the novel is well-paced and it provides priceless glimpses of everyday life in the 2nd century. There is a marvelous description of Alexandria, which makes it sound like the Los Angeles of the eastern Mediterranean. There are also court scenes, pirates in the Nile Delta, shipwrecks on rocky shores, candid debates about sexual practic A piece of Greco-Roman popular culture: The plot is inevitable, the characters are unnuanced, and the story is filled with unlikely coincidences and loose ends.
There are also court scenes, pirates in the Nile Delta, shipwrecks on rocky shores, candid debates about sexual practices, and remarkable examples of the role of pagan religion in everyday life.
Long underrated by Greek scholars, this work has recently been studied more, and rightfully so. A novel rich with intertext and allusion, while also parodying other novels of its genre. Highly recommend and if you can read it in Greek, all the better!
The perfect romance novel of the ancient world. So good I wrote a thesis on it. Oct 27, Emma rated it it was ok Shelves: achilles-tatius.
Leucippe and Clitophon
The digital Loeb Classical Library extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature. Of his life nothing is known, though the Suidas says he became a Christian and a bishop and wrote a work on etymology, one on the sphere, and an account of great men. He is famous however for his surviving novel in eight books, The Adventures of Leucippe and Clitophon , one of the best Greek love stories. Clitophon relates to a friend the various difficulties which he and Leucippe had to overcome before they are happily united. The story is full of incident and readers are kept in suspense.
Bryn Mawr Classical Review
He seeks the advice of another cousin Kleinias , already experienced in love this latter's young male lover dies shortly after. Following a number of attempts to woo her, Clitophon wins Leucippe's love, but his marriage to Calligone is fast approaching. However, the marriage is averted when Kallisthenes, a young man from Byzantium who has heard of Leucippe's beauty, comes to Tyre to kidnap her, but by mistake kidnaps Calligone. Clitophon attempts to visit Leucippe at night in her room, but her mother is awakened by an ominous dream. Fearing reprisals, Clitophon and Leucippe elope and leave Tyre on a ship where they meet another unhappy lover, Menelaos, responsible for his own boyfriend's death. Unfortunately, their ship is wrecked during a storm. They come to Egypt and are captured by Nile delta bandits.