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At Rome too Selvaggi made a Latin distich in honor of Milton , and Salfilsi a Latin
tetrastich , celebrating him for his Greek and Latin and Italian poetry ; and he in
return presented to Saltilli in his fickness those fine Scazons , or Iambic verses ...
... so far as to make a Latin distich in his praise , which is printed before our
author ' s Latin poems , as is likewise the other of Selvaggi , and the Latin
tetrastich of Salfilli together with the Italian ode and the Latin eulogium before
While he was abroad , he heard it reported that he was dead ; and upon his
coming home he found it but too true , and lamented his death in an excellent
Latin eclogue intitled Epitaphium Damonis . This Deodati had a father originally
of Lucca ...
One of his nephews has given us an account of the many authors both Latin and
Greek , which ( besides those usually read in the schools ) thro his excellent
judgment and way of teaching were run over within no greater compafs of time ,
... of writing in the presence of several persons , and that Salmasius was very
angry , and very busy in preparing his answer , wherein he abused Milton as if he
had been one of the vileft catamites in Italy , and also criticized his Latin poems .
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Chronicles the rise and fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. Begins with the crowning of the Son of God, moves to Lucifer's rebellion and fall, the beginning of the Earth, the birth of Adam and Eve, and how they fell prey to Satan's fraud.
Written in 10 syllable per line prose, which must have been very difficult. Milton was blind, which makes the accomplishment even more amazing. Parts of the book were wonderfully written (the battles with Satan, Eden, the creation of the Earth, the coming events as Adam and Eve are escorted from Eden by Archangel Michael), but others are difficult with many references to Greek characters. I'm sure Milton was brilliant, but those parts don't add much for me and make it seem as though he's being pretentious. I also disliked the way all the characters addressed each other: "Lo, great angel from Heaven, graceful and true of spirit." The pictures of the story in the book, while they received vast praise in the preface, were forgettable.
Still, I can't get away from the amazing work that Milton put here. My only real compliant was the blatant sexism that Adam had for Eve, assuming she was always inferior to him. That is no longer the way of the world, and I doubt Adam would have treated Eve thusly. Sin, Death. Satan, Michael and Raphael were my favorite characters, all providing memorable lines.