Poetry

Horace: Satires

Fedor_Bronnikov_014The Satires (Latin: Sermones) of Horace, are a series of poems written in the 30s BCE, collected in two books. They were Horace's first published work, and by the time the second volume appeared, he had been introduced by his friend Virgil into the literary circle around Augustus' advisor Maecenas.

Roman satire was an original Latin genre with no direct Greek precedent, and Horace's work represents the oldest fully extant example.

The Satires at online book stores
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Free online texts
Bilingual texts
Loebulus: L194 - Horace - Satires. Epistles. Ars Poetica. Public domain Loeb edition. PDF format.
English translations
Gutenberg: The Satires, Epistles & Art of Poetry of Horace, translated by John Conington. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats.
Internet Archive: The Satires of Horace in Rhythmic Prose, translated by R. M. Millington. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
Perseus: The Works of Horace, translated into English Prose by C. Smart. HTML and XML formats.
Poetry in Translation: The Satires, Epistles and Ars Poetica, translated by A.S. Kline (2003-05). Multiple formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The Works of Horace, translated into English Prose by C. Smart. EPUB, MOBI and HTML formats.
Wikisource: The Satires, Epistles & Art of Poetry of Horace, translated by John Conington. HTML and other formats.
Latin texts
Bibliotheca Augustana: Sermonum Libri II. HTML format.
Gutenberg: The Works of Horace. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats.
Intratext: Sermones. HTML format.
Latin Library: Sermones. HTML format.
Perseus: Satyrarum Libri. HTML and XML formats.
Wikisource: Sermones. HTML and other formats.

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Virgil: The Eclogues

1024px-RomanVirgilFolio001rEcloguesThe Eclogues (Latin: Eclogae or Bucolica)  are a collection of ten pastoral poems by the Roman poet Virgil. Though modelled on the Greek Idylls of Theocritus, they are innovative in their use of the form for social commentary, contrasting the Arcadian ideal with the troubled society of late republican Rome.

Some of the rural conflicts portrayed may reflect Virgil's own possible eviction from his farm during the Civil Wars. Eclogue 4, which prophesied the birth of a child who would initiate a new era, may have been intended in praise of Octavian. During the Middle Ages, it was widely interpreted in Christian terms.

The Eclogues at online book stores
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Free online texts
Bilingual editions

Loebulus. L063N - Virgil -- Eclogues. Georgics. Aeneid, Books 1-6. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.
English translations
Gutenberg: The Bucolics and Eclogues. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats.
Internet Archive: The Eclogues of Virgil, translated by Samuel Palmer. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
Poetry in Translation: The Eclogues, translated by A.S. Kline (2001). Multiple formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The Eclogues of Virgil, translated by J.B. Greenough. EPUB, MOBI and HTML formats.
Wikisource: Eclogues (Virgil). Multiple translations. HTML and other formats.
Latin texts
Gutenberg: The Bucolics and Eclogues. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats. 
Wikisource: Eclogae vel Bucolica. HTML and other formats.

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Chaucer: Troilus and Criseyde

Chaucer_Troilus_frontispieceTroilus and Criseyde is a Middle English epic poem composed by Geoffrey Chaucer in the late fourteenth century.

It belongs to the medieval literature known as the Matter of Rome, which embroidered on the classical myths. While Troilus, the son of Priam was known to the ancients primarily for his murder by Achilles, medieval traditions of courtly romance endowed him with a lover, who became Criseida in Boccaccio, the most immediate inspiration for Chaucer's own version of the tale.

Troilus and Criseyde at online book stores
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Free online texts

Gutenberg: Troilus and Criseyde. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats. 
Internet Archive: Troilus and Criseyde. 1888 edtion. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
Online Medieval and Classical Library: Troilus and Criseyde. HTML format
Wikisource: Troilus and Criseyde. HTML and other formats.

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Theognis: Elegies

Tanagra _5th_century_kylix_a_symposiast_sings_Theognis_o_paidon_kallisteThe Elegies (Greek: ἐλεγείων) are a body of short poems written some time in the sixth century BCE by Theognis of Megara, although some later poems are thought to have found their way into the collection. His authentic work is often seen as exemplary of the conservative values of the aristocratic symposia which emerged in response to the development of the Greek polis.

The Elegies at online book stores
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Free online texts
English translations

Perseus: The Elegiac Poems of Theognis, translated by J. M Edmonds. HTML and XML format.
Wikisource: Theognis of Megara, multiple external scans.
Greek texts
Perseus: ἐλεγείων. HTML and XML format.
Wikisource: Ελεγείαι Θεόγνιδος
Bilingual texts
Internet Archive: Elegy and Iambus, Vol I. Bilingual Loeb edition.

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Horace: Odes

345Horace_and_Lydia_by_Albert_Edelfelt_(1854-1905)The Odes (Latin: Carmina) are a collection of lyric poems by the Roman poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus (known in English as Horace). Modelled on the Greek odes of Sappho and Alcaeus, they address a range of public and private subjects, and reflect the reconcilitation of Horace, a republican soldier during the Civil War, with the regime of Augustus.

The first three books, published in 23 BCE, are dedicated to the emperor's literary adviser, Maecenas, who was introduced to Horace by Virgil. A fourth volume was added a decade later.

The Odes at online book stores
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Free online texts
Bilingual texts
Internet Archive: Odes and Epodes, translated by C.E Bennett. Loeb edition. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
English translations

Gutenberg: The Odes and Carmen Saeculare. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats.
Perseus: Odes, translated by John Conington. HTML and XML formats.
Poetry in Translation: The Odes, translated by A.S. Kline (2003). Multiple formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The Works of Horace, translated into English Prose by C. Smart. EPUB, MOBI and HTML formats.
Wikisource: Odes, translated by Wikisource (incomplete). HTML and other formats.
Wikisource: The  Odes and Carmen Saeculare, translated by John Conington (incomplete). HTML and other formats.
Latin texts
Gutenberg: Odes and Epodes, edited by Gordon Jennings Laing and Paul Shorey. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats.
Perseus: Carmina, HTML and XML formats.
Wikisource: Carmina. HTML and other formats.

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Pindar: Odes

800px-Pindar_Musei_Capitolini_MC586The Odes (Greek: επινίκιες ωδές), in four books, are the only works of of the Archaic Greek poet Pindar c. 518 – 438 BC) to survive in complete form. Each book is named after one of the major panhellenic festivals, and collects poems dedicated to various victors at their associated games.

Widley admired for his elevated style, Pindar was considered one of the nine canonical lyric poets by Alexandrian scholars of the Hellenistic period.

The Odes at online book stores
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Free online texts
English translations
Gutenberg: The Extant Odes of Pindar, translated by Ernest Myers. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT format.
Internet Archive: The Odes of Pindar, translated by Richmond Lattimore. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
Perseus: Olympian, Pythian, Nemean and Isthmean Odes, translated by Diane Arnson Svarlien. HTML and XML formats.
Wikisource: Odes of Pindar. Multiple translations. HTML and other formats.
Greek texts
Loebulus: L056 - Pindar -- Odes of Pindar, including the Principal Fragments, translated by Sir John Sandys. Bilingual Loeb edition. PDF format.
Perseus: Olympian, Pythian, Nemean and Isthmean Odes. HTML and XML formats.
Wikisource: Πίνδαρος. HTML and other formats.

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Turold: The Song of Roland

SimonMarmionWikipedia-Grandes_chroniques_RolandThe Song of Roland (French: Chanson de Roland) is an old French epic poem, probably written in the late eleventh or early twelfth century. Traditionally attributed to a poet named Turoldus or Turold, it is the most famous example of the chanson de geste genre and the earliest surviving major work of French literature.

Its subject is very loosely inspired by the death of the Frankish commander Roland at the historical battle of Roncevaux in 778, during Charlemagne's campaign against Islamic Spain. Although the actual battle was fought against the Basques, it was romanticised in the song into a tale of Muslim perfidy and Christian revenge.

The milieu of the Carolingian court and heroes such as Roland and his companion Oliver would form the core of the Matter of France, a distinct corpus of medieval poetic material contrasted with that based on classical myth, understood as the Matter of Rome, and the Arthurian legends of the Matter of Britain.

The Song of Roland at online book stores
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Free online texts

English translations

Gutenberg: The Song of Roland, translated by C.K. Scott-Moncrieff. HTML, EPUB, MOBI and TXT formats.
Gutenberg: La Chanson de Roland, translated by Léonce Rabillon. HTML, EPUB, MOBI and TXT formats.
Gutenberg: The Harvard Classics, Volume 49, Epic and Saga - The Song of Roland/The Destruction of Dá Derga's Hostel. HTML, EPUB, MOBI and TXT formats.
Internet Archive: The Song of Roland, translated by C.K. Scott-Moncrieff, with an introduction by G.K. Chesterton. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
Internet Archive: The Song of Roland, translated by Richard Bacon. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The Song of Roland, translated by C.K. Scott-Moncrieff. HTML, EPUB, and MOBI formats.
Wikisource: The Song of Roland, translated by C.K. Scott-Moncrieff (incomplete). HTML and other formats.

French texts
Wikisource: La Chanson de Roland. Multiple texts. HTML and other formats.

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The Nibelungenlied

Nibelungenlied_manuscript-kThe Nibelungenlied (German: Das Nibelungenlied) or Song of the Nibelungs is a middle high German epic poem whose anonymous author may have written in the early 13th century. It draws on much older oral traditions which are paralleled in Scandinavian literature, and which dimly reflects events from the 5th and 6th century.

The first half of the poem is centred on the hero Siegfried,  his wooing of the the princess Kriemhild at the court of the Burgundians, and his eventual murder. The second part takes place at the court of King Etzel, the historical Attila the Hun, where Kriemhild takes her revenge against Siegfried's killers.

The Nibelungenlied at online book stores

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Free online texts

English translations
Gutenberg: The Nibelungenlied, translated by Daniel Bussier Shumway. HTML, EPUB, MOBI and TXT formats.
Gutenberg: The Lay of the Nibelung Men, translated by Arthur S. Way. HTML, EPUB, MOBI and TXT formats.
Gutenberg: The Nibelungenlied, translated by G.H. Needler. HTML, EPUB, MOBI and TXT formats.
Internet Archive: The Lay of the Nibelings, translated by Alice Horton, with an essay by Thomas Carlyle.  PDF, MOBI, EPUB and TCT formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The Nibelungenlied, translated by Daniel Bussier Shumway. HTML, EPUB, and MOBI  formats.
Wikisource: Nibelungenlied, translated by Daniel Bussier Shumway (incomplete). HTML and other formats.

German texts
Bibliotheca Augustana: Das Nibelungenlied. Multiple texts. HTML format.
Gutenberg: Das Nibelungenlied. HTML, EPUB, MOBI and TXT formats.

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Wolfram von Eschenbach: Parzival

Hermann_Hendrich_ParsifalParzival by Wolfram Von Eschenbach is a Middle High German Romance completed in the early thirteenth century. Reworking material from Chrétien de Troyes earlier Perceval, Von Eschenbach recounts Parzival's adventures at the court of King Arthur, and his pursuit of the Holy Grail, inspired by his love for Queen Condwiramurs.

Parzival was an important influence on Richard Wagner, inspiring not only his opera Parsifal, but also Lohengrin, whose title character first appears in Von Eschenbach.

Parzival at online book stores
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Free online texts

English translations
Gutenberg: Parzival - a Knightly Epic - Vol 1 | Vol 2, translated by Jessie L. Weston. HTML, EPUB, MOBI and TXT formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): Parzival - a Knightly Epic, translated by Jessie L. Weston. HTML, EPUB and MOBI formats.

German texts
Bibliotheca Augustana: Parzival. HTML format.
University of Heidelberg: Parzival. Digitised manuscript from the Bibliotheca Palatina.

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Chrétien de Troyes: Yvain, the Knight of the Lion

Yvain-dragonYvain, the Knight of the Lion (French: Yvain ou le Chevalier au Lion) is an Old French romance, composed by Chrétien de Troyes in the late twelfth century. Widely considered the greatest of his Arthurian romances, it is the only one based on a historical figure, Owain mab Urien, son of the ruler of the sixth century Welsh kingdom of Rheged. How much de Troyes drew from earlier Celtic traditions is a matter of some controversy.

De Troyes' tale begins with Owain's struggle to avenge his brother Calogrenant, against the mysterious knight, Esclados the Red. After defeating Esclados, he marries his widow Laudine, but is persuaded to return to adventuring by Gawain. Laudine extracts a promise that he will return in a year. Owain is unable to keep this pledge, and his efforts to win back Laudine, with the help of her maid Lunette, drive the latter part of the narrative.

Yvain has been interpreted as an attempt to reconcile the virtues of love and chivalry. Its early popularity is attested by the existence of several medieval adaptations into other languages.

Yvain, the Knight of the Lion at online book stores
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Free online texts

English translations
Gutenberg: Four Arthurian Romances - Erec et Enide, Cliges, Yvain, Lancelot, translated by W.W. Comfort.
Poetry in Translation: Yvain, translated by A.S. Klein (2018). HTML, EPUB, MOBI, PDF and WORD formats.
Wikisource: Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, translated by W.W. Comfort. HTML and other formats.

French texts
Internet Archive: Yvain (der Löwenritter), edited by Wendelin Foerster (1902). Romanische Bibliothek edition. Old French text with German commentary. TXT, EPUB, MOBI, PDF and other formats.
Wikisource: Yvain ou le Chevalier au Lion. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources
Librivox: Yvain, or the Knight with the Lion. Public domain audiobook.
Myths and Legends PodcastYvainglory - You're so Yvain - The Lion Knight Rises. Three episodes on the romance with transcripts and audio narrated by Jason Weiser.
University of Rochester: The Legend of Yvain, by Dongdong Han (2010).
Wikipedia: Chrétien de Troyes - Yvain, the Knight of the Lion

Further reading

The Book of Taliesin - A possible early source for poetry about Owain.
Geoffrey of Monmouth: History of the Kings of Britain.
Wace: Roman De Brut.
The Mabinogion - Owain features in the relatively late Dream of Rhonabwy.
Jocelyn of Furness: Life of St Mungo -a work contemporary with de Troyes containing similar traditions about Owain.
Owain, the Knight of the Fountain - a medieval Welsh romance whose relationship to de Troyes' version is much debated.
De Troyes: Lancelot, The Knight of the Cart - an Arthurian romance written at the same time as Yvain.
De Troyes: Percival - his final unfinished Arthurian romance.
Hartmann von Aue: Iwein - A medieval German adaptation.
Yvain and Gawain - A Middle English version of the poem.
Ívens Saga - An Old Norwegian version
Herr Ivan - Old Swedish version.
Bloom's Western Canon: Yvain is listed.