Anthony M. Esolen

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Anthony M. Esolen is a professor of English at Providence College and translator of classic works, as well as writer for magazines including the Claremont Review of Books and Touchstone Magazine, of which he is a senior editor. He has translated Dante's Divine Comedy, Lucretius' On the Nature of Things, and Torquato Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered. He also writes a column for the Inside Catholic website.


Esolen graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1981. He pursued graduate work from the University of North Carolina, receiving his M.A. in 1981 and his Ph.D. in 1987. His dissertation was titled "A Rhetoric of Spenserian Irony" and was directed by S.K. Heninger.[1]

He taught at the University of North Carolina from 1985 to 1988 and then at Furman University from 1988 to 1990. He began teaching at Providence College in 1990, becoming a full professor in 1995.[1]

Along with teaching, Esolen has published articles and books on a regular basis.[1] He has also served as an editor with Touchstone Magazine.[2]

On 18 September 2009, Esolen was the keynote speaker for Massachusetts Citizens for Life.[3] He argues that the middle ages were actually an enlightened time, so that the term "Dark Ages" is a misnomer.[4]

Esolen studies languages, and reads several, including Italian, Latin, Anglo-Saxon, German, and Welsh.[5] [6]

Translation work[edit]

Esolen's translation of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy was published by Modern Library. His translation of the Inferno appeared in 2002, the Purgatory in 2003, and the Paradise in 2005.[7] Esolen's translations are unique for their deliberate choice not to attempt a "preservation of Dante's rhyme in any systematic form".[8] In lieu of Dante's famous terza rima, Esolen's Inferno depends on the use of blank verse, or unrhymed poetry written in iambic pentameter (first notable for its use in Milton's Paradise Lost). Esolen writes that the use of blank verse allows him to retain both the "meaning [and the] music" of Dante's original. The works also feature, alongside the English translation, the original Italian text. Esolen notes that this text "is based on the editions of Giorgio Petrocchi (1965) and Umberto Bosco and Giovanni Reggio" (1979)". Finally, the translations include Esolen's notes and commentary on the text, as well as illustrations by Gustave Doré.[8]

Esolen has also published translations of other classical texts, including Torquato Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered (reviewed in Translation and Literature, Sixteenth-Century Journal, and International Journal of the Classical Tradition) and Lucretius' De Rerum Natura (both published by Johns Hopkins University Press).[7]




Articles in peer-reviewed journals[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Anthony Esolen's personal web page
  2. ^ "Anthony Esolen". Department of English. Providence College. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  3. ^ MFCL News (17 July 2009). "Annual Dinner, Speaker, Coming in September: Professor Anthony Esolen to speak on society, children". 
  4. ^ "How Dark Were the Dark Ages? – PragerUniversity". YouTube. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b "Anthony Esolen". Publications – Books. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Esolen, Anthony (2002). "Note on the Translation". Inferno. Modern Library Classics. p. xxviii. 
  9. ^ "On the Nature of Things: De rerum natura (9780801850554): Lucretius, Anthony M. Esolen: Books". Retrieved 2015-01-28. 
  10. ^ "Inferno (Modern Library Classics): Dante, Gustave Dore, Anthony Esolen: 9780812970067: Books". 2003-12-09. Retrieved 2015-01-28. 
  11. ^ "Purgatory (Modern Library Classics) (9780812971255): Dante, Gustave Dore, Anthony Esolen: Books". 2004-03-09. Retrieved 2015-01-28. 
  12. ^ "Paradise (Modern Library Classics): Dante, Gustave Dore, Anthony Esolen: 9780812977264: Books". 2007-02-13. Retrieved 2015-01-28. 
  13. ^ Anthony Esolen (2014-02-13). "Sophia Institute: Reflections on the Christian Life". Retrieved 2015-01-28. 

External links[edit]