The Aeneid

The Aeneid

by Virgil

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The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. It comprises 9,896 lines in dactylic hexameter.Virgil, also spelled Vergil, Latin in full Publius Vergilius Maro, (born October 15, 70 bce, Andes, near Mantua [Italy]—died September 21, 19 bce, Brundisium), Roman poet, best known for his national epic, the Aeneid (from c. 30 bce; unfinished at his death).Virgil was regarded by the Romans as their greatest poet, an estimation that subsequent generations have upheld. His fame rests chiefly upon the Aeneid, which tells the story of Rome’s legendary founder and proclaims the Roman mission to civilize the world under divine guidance. His reputation as a poet endures not only for the music and diction of his verse and for his skill in constructing an intricate work on the grand scale but also because he embodied in his poetry aspects of experience and behaviour of permanent significance.Virgil was born of peasant stock, and his love of the Italian countryside and of the people who cultivated it colours all his poetry. He was educated at Cremona, at Milan, and finally at Rome, acquiring a thorough knowledge of Greek and Roman authors, especially of the poets, and receiving a detailed training in rhetoric and philosophy. It is known that one of his teachers was the Epicurean Siro, and the Epicurean philosophy is substantially reflected in his early poetry but gradually gives way to attitudes more akin to Stoicism.During Virgil’s youth, as the Roman Republic neared its end, the political and military situation in Italy was confused and often calamitous. The civil war between Marius and Sulla had been succeeded by conflict between Pompey and Julius Caesar for supreme power. When Virgil was 20, Caesar with his armies swooped south from Gaul, crossed the Rubicon, and began the series of civil wars that were not to end until Augustus’ victory at Actium in 31 bce. Hatred and fear of civil war is powerfully expressed by both Virgil and his contemporary Horace. The key to a proper understanding of the Augustan Age and its poets lies, indeed, in a proper understanding of the turmoil that had preceded the Augustan peace.Virgil’s life was devoted entirely to his poetry and to studies connected with it; his health was never robust, and he played no part in military or political life. It is said that he spoke once in the lawcourts without distinction and that his shy and retiring nature caused him to give up any ideas he might have had of taking part in the world of affairs. He never married, and the first half of his life was that of a scholar and near recluse. But, as his poetry won him fame, he gradually won the friendship of many important men in the Roman world. Gradually, also, he became a Roman as well as a provincial. (The area in which he had spent his youth, the area around the Po River known as the province of Cisalpine Gaul, was not finally incorporated into Italy until 42 bce. Thus Virgil came, as it were, to Rome from the outside. The enthusiasm of a provincial for Rome is seen in the first eclogue, one of his earliest poems, in which the shepherd Tityrus tells of his recent visit to the capital and his amazement at its splendours.)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781467787314
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/01/2015
Series: First Avenue Classics T
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 434
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) was an ancient Roman poet who wrote during the reign of Augustus, the first Roman emperor. In addition to his epic poem Aeneid, Virgil’s Ecolgues (Bucolics) and Georgics are recognized as major works of Latin literature, and have been studied, adapted, imitated, and copied by later poets and scholars. Virgil’s poetry has also had a lasting influence on Western literature, inspiring countless works including Dante’s Divine Comedy, in which Virgil guides Dante through Hell and Purgatory.

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I sing of arms and the man whom fate had sent To exile from the shores of Troy to be The first to come to Lavinium and the coasts Of Italy, and who, because of Juno's Savage implacable rage, was battered by storms At sea, and from the heavens above, and also By tempests of war, until at last he might Bring his household gods to Latium, and build his town,
Can anger like this be, in immortal hearts?

• * *

There was an ancient city known as Carthage
Fearful of this and remembering the old War she had waged at Troy for her dear Greeks,
So formidable the task of founding Rome.

• * *

Sicily was still in sight behind them As, with joyous sails spread out, their brazen prows Sped through the foaming waters, and Juno said,
Thus, burning with resentment, in her mind Turning these matters over and over, the goddess Made her way to the spawning place of storms,
• * *

So Juno said to Aeolus, entreating,
• * *

Having said this, Aeolus takes his spear And with its blunt end bashes open a hole In the hollow mountain's side, and then, at once,
As Aeneas cries out thus, a sudden violent Burst of wind comes crashing against the sails,
• * *

Then Neptune, god of the sea, became aware Of the loud commotion of the waves upsurging From the still foundations down below; and deeply Troubled within raised up his placid face Above the roiling waters and looked across And saw Aeneas's scattered ships and saw The Trojans overpowered by the waves,
• * *

Exhausted by the terrible storm at sea,
There is a long deep inlet there that is A port and shelter in whose mouth an island Breakwater pacifies incoming waves,
His followers get themselves onto the welcome beach,
• * *

Meanwhile Aeneas climbs to a high cliff, so He can look far out, over the open ocean,
"O my companions, O you who have undergone,
The others ready the prizes for the feast to come:
• * *

And now the day was coming to its end.
The father smiled upon her with the look That clears the sky of storms and brings fair weather.
• * *

It is thus he speaks, and sends the son of Maia Down from the place of the gods to make it so That Carthage, with its streets and towers, should open To let the Teucrians in, and so that Dido Would grant them gracious welcome to her lands,


Excerpted from "The Æneid"
by .
Copyright © 2017 The University of Chicago.
Excerpted by permission of The University of Chicago Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

The AeneidAcknowledgements

The Aeneid

One: The Trojans reach Carthage
Two: Aeneas' Narration—The Sack of Troy
Three: Aeneas' Narration continued—His Travels
Four: The Tragedy of Dido
Five: The Funeral Games
Six: The Visit to the Underworld
Seven: War in Latium
Eight: The Site of the Future Rome
Nine: Siege of the Trojan Camp
Ten: The Relief and Pitched Battle
Eleven: Councils of War: Pitched Battle Again
Twelve: Decision: the Death of Turnus

List of Variations from the Oxford Text
Glossary of Names
Select Bibliography
Genealogical Table of the Royal House of Troy and Greece

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The Aeneid 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 213 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am rereading this edition after a lapse of 20 years since my first reading as a student of literature in college. I picked it up again out of curiosity, and found myself enthralled after a couple of pages. I didn't think I would want to keep this book, but it deserves a permanent place in my library. If you have any curiosity at all about The Aeneid, try this translation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Dover Edition of -The Aeneid- by Publius Vergilius Maro (Virgil or Vergil) is a 1995 reprint of the English verse trans lation by Charles J. Billson, published in London in 1906. To try to render, or match, Virgil's Latin verse, into an English verse 'equivalent' is a tough job indeed. Though, there ARE several English verse translations available in paperback format. As one reviewer already noted, there are no notes or annotations for this 'thrift edition.' This poses problems for those who lack knowledge of Roman history, knowledge of Virgil and his times, and Roman/Greek mythology. On the other hand, it can be a refreshing 'break' for those who want to simply enjoy the work itself (though not in its original language and verse format) in a readable, if somewhat stilted English verse form. The original Latin (from the Loeb Classical Library, Vol. 63) begins: 'Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris/ Italiam fato profugus Lavinaque venit/ litora--' [the prose translation by H.R. Fairclough (Revised by G.P. Goold) renders this as: 'Arms and the man I sing, who first from the coasts of Troy, exiled by fate, came to Italy and Lavine shores--'.] This English verse translation by Billson presents this same opening as: 'Arms and the Man I sing, who first from Troy,/A Doom-led exile, on Lavinian shores/ Reached Italy; long tossed on sea and land/ By Heaven's rude arm--'. This particular verse rendering, I believe, rates 4 stars, while the epic itself rates 5 stars as one of the world's great works of creative art and literature. The poem also became the ancient Roman empire's national epic (celebrating Rome's legendary ancient ancestors and her 'destined' purpose) from the time of the 1st Emperor Augustus onward.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I didn't quite understand this when I read it at 10 years old, but then I read it again at 14, and since then I've asked all of my friends to read it. Now I'm reading this great adventure to my kids, and they love every sentence. Read this, and the Odyssey.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dover Thrift has long been a great resource for those of us who want to read the classics without breaking our budgets. For students like myself, it could even be referred to as a 'godsend.' Dover Thrift's version of Aeneid is a great copy to introduce one's self to the text with. It's poetic, but reasonably easy to follow. The downside is that there is no introductory commentary or footnote material, but it's still a great place to start your journey with Aeneas. The Aeneid itself is a seminal text. One way to think of it is as the text that linked together Homer and Dante: it utilizes epic conventions, but it also has an original narrative voice that would inspire Dante to follow Virgil--the character--through a fantastic, fictional hell, but also to follow Vergil--the writer's--literary example. A must-read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pretty good translation, not as good as some I've read. Wish it had reference numbers.
Log-IC More than 1 year ago
A translation on par with the best of Fagles and Kaufmann's works.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A classic in the utmost form of the Greek warriors who began Rome and the Roman Empire.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fitzgerald's translation captures what Virgil's vision must have been. Aeneas possesses all the qualities of a true hero. I wept when I read the king's prayer as his son left for battle with Aeneas. The love felt for this son was one of the most beautiful passages I've ever read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Aeneid by Virgil was excellently translated by Fitzgerald in this classic epic/adventure. I am a Latin student, and I have read the Latin version and Fitzgerald did an excellent job with this. If you like Latin/Roman culture, this is a MUST read. Its a classic, and one of the best books ever written. I don't think there has ever been another legendary epic as good as this!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fitzgerald's translation of The Aeneid is considered by experts to be the best English version of Virgil's timeless epic. This is a must read for ambitious students and literature buffs. Were it not for good, dependable translations of classical works, the modern reader who knows no Latin could not explore the ideas of antiquity through the writings of its participants.
kaboomcju on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A bit slow, but it certainly follows the whole "odyssey" thing.
gbill on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿m torn on the concept of Virgil continuing the Homeric tradition, which was at least 800 years old by the time he came around. On the one hand, it was an homage and The Aeneid is a classic in its own right, telling the tale of Aeneas¿ wanderings from Troy to Italy after the Trojan War, and his victories in battle there over the Latins, essentially making it foundation mythology for the Romans. One thing I didn¿t like is a fact of the culture, that the Romans converted all the Greek Gods and mythology to their own names, which I have a perhaps silly philosophical objection to. Worse is the less than straightforward way of referring to people or places in the narrative, it makes reading the book harder; I was regularly going into Fitzgerald¿s glossary (e.g. Orcus = underworld/Hades; Pelides=Achilles; Ausonia=Italy; Elissa=Dido, etc etc).The first six books of The Aeneid are along the lines of the Odyssey, and contain my favorite parts: Book II, ¿How They Took the City¿, which tells of the use of the Trojan horse, Book IV, ¿The Passion of the Queen¿, which has Aeneas breaking Dido¿s heart leading to her suicide, and Book VI, ¿The World Below¿, which has Aeneas descending into the Underworld (but does this last one sound familiar?). The last six book are along the lines of the Iliad, and get a little nationalistic, with allusions to Augustus Caesar, Antonius (Marc Antony), and others ¿ and this was of less interest to me.Certainly readable but can¿t touch The Odyssey.
selfcallednowhere on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this easier to get through than [book: The Iliad], I think because at least for the first half there was stuff going on besides warfare. But I think I'm kind of epiced out after those two and [book: Paradise Lost] all this semester.
literarilyspeaking1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Aeneid is one of those staples of an education in Latin with which I was acquainted during my high school and college years, but only from a translation standpoint. In other words, I would be assigned to translate passages from The Aeneid as homework, but never really read the epic in its entirety until now.I love poetry, but epic poetry is something I've never quite been able to wrap my head around. I think it's because, with epic poetry, it's so much about the story and so little (In many cases) about the symbolism that I run into trouble. The conventions of the poetic form make it difficult to follow what would be, in prose, a normal sentence over several lines. By the time I get to the end of a "sentence" in an epic, I've lost the entire meaning of the thought because of the twists and turns of the poetic dialogue.So, basically, this was a bit of a slog for me.Keeping in mind that, in both Greek and Roman mythology, the gods and goddesses are petty and vengeful and really, really like to indulge their whims, I really thought Juno was spot-on. She was upset that Paris chose Venus as the best goddess (That's such a reductive way to state this, but there you have it), so she decided to take it out on Aeneas. However, she didn't really take into account that Aeneas would be protected by some other gods and goddesses, so she just ended up killing a bunch of people close to Aeneas without ever really being able to touch him. I guess that's the "Hurting those closest to your target hurts more than actually hurting your target" theory of vengeance.Aeneas is one of those characters that ran kind of hot and cold with me. At times, he seemed to be the heroic, noble founder of Rome from legends. At other times, he was kind of boring. For being the title character of this epic, I found him pretty blah.I did find myself, during battle scenes, grimacing quite often whenever someone was slashed/impaled/beheaded/what-have-you, as Vergil was quite fond of the term "gore" and all that went with it ("Thick gore," "thick black gore," "clotted gore" -- You get the idea). Much more effective than a lengthy description of blood spurting several feet from a decapitated trunk, if you ask me.Overall, I liked The Aeneid well enough to see why it's a classic in higher education. However, for those of you squeamish of epic poetry, I'd suggest finding either a prose version (I'm sure they exist somewhere) or a version that offers summaries of each of the books.My rating: 7/10
jpsnow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sometimes you just enjoy the book.
janemarieprice on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a classic of course. This translation in particular is quite well done. It has excellent notes and references. I love this work particularly because of the context in which it was written which gives depth to many of the events and/or the way in which they are portrayed.
dianaleez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this in Latin and survived the experience only because I was young and stubborn. In truth, the Odyssey is a much better written tale.
MeditationesMartini on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In what you'll recognize as a classic "reading group review" (if you've been paying attention . . . and why would you be?), some thoughts from The Aeneid Week 1:-I haven't been this excited about a reread in a long time.-Indeed, what is fate here? That which must be? The desultorily enforced whim of Zeus? Its own proof, because if you just did something awesome, some god or other must have been on your side?-I read that Virgil studied under Sino the Epicurean. I'd always thought of V. as more of a Stoic. Will read with that in mind.-What is all this about them braving Scylla and the cyclops? Like, Aeneas did everything Odysseus did, only offscreen? Burn!
Xeph93 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A bit of a slog. Much harder to get through than Odyssey, less poignant than Illiad. Still, the section on Dido was moving and the bit in Book 6 (?) about the Queen of the Latins was worth the price of admission.
lyzadanger on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Unlike Homer, to whome I can lose long nights bound by his captivating cadence, Virgil's Aeneid took me a full season--nearly six months--to finish. The tricks of the trade that were novel when I saw them in Homer lost some of their luster in Virgil's derived forms, though there were some passages and stories here that provide almost universal archetypes to the lineage of western literature.The first remarkable thing is how little has changed in Mediterranean cultures' sense of heroicism in the many hundreds of years that elapsed between the Homeric epics and Virgil's lifetime in the first century CE. Without an academic familiarity with Imperial Roman culture, it's hard to determine how much of the poem's epic content is supposed to reflect ideals that are still relevant to its contemporary audience versus how much--and knowing Romans' captivation with the-good-old-days-had-real-heroes, we-are-only-sad-imitations, I sense that this might be closer to the mark--the glories of the past and the founding of Rome are a legacy of god-like men and endeavors that cannot or even should not be emulated. If one were to prune out the portions of the poem that are weak echoes of Homer's mastery, those pieces that are hackneyed homages to Caesar Augustus, and perhaps pare down some of the martial descriptiveness, one would have something very close to perfect. When Virgil allows himself to be narrative--maybe at slight expense to the propagandistic tack--wonderful things happen. Pious, predictable Aeneas is no crafty Odysseus, and besides performing the prescribed role of establishing Roman history, seems to be less dimensional than some of the epic's other notable characters. Where Homer's women are mostly reduced to submissive pale sketches unless deities (Athena, for example, is always inspirational no matter who writes about her), Virgil gives us a couple of plausible inspirations. Dido pulls of tragic without simpering, and even in the underworld refuses to be a doormat. Camilla is nothing short of fantastic.But in the end, there is a lot of poring over gory and repetitive battle scenes. Important to the epic genre and the symbolic completeness of the story? Likey. But to the modern reader or at least one disinterested in military history, not terrifically impactful. A required read in the Western Canon. But a touch too much work to be enjoyable.
TybaltCapulet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Aeneas is the son of a goddess. His wife is dead. His home is destroyed because someone decided to run away with the wife of a Greek King named Helena. A prophecy is guiding him to Latium, an area of Italy where his descendants will become the greatest empire of mankind. But first, there is an epic that has to happen.The story is not entirely unlike The Odyssey. There are some parallels, and there are some things that are put in to place to basically say, "This is happening at the same time" because it is.Suicidal queens, vengeful royalty, and large sea voyages are abound in this epic tale.
Unreachableshelf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, the greatest of the Classical epics. The Aeneid does not merely praise the glory of Rome and Augustus by exhalting Aeneas; it conveys a melancholy for everything that Aeneas, the Trojans, and even their enemies underwent in order to bring about fate. Rome's enemy Carthage, and even Hannibal who lead the invading army, is here depicted as the eventual avengers of a woman abandoned by her lover not for any fault of her own, but merely because the gods required him to be elsewhere. The Italians are shown as glorious warriors, whose necessary deaths in battle may not be worth it. Finally there is the end, not with the joy of triumph, but with the death moan of the Italian leader. The translation by David West perfectly captures the tone of the original.
slumberjack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The rating (3 stars) and review refer more to Patric Dickinson's translation than to the epic itself - which is at least 6 stars out of 5.Dickinson's translation suffers many of the same problems that plague other verse tranlations of Vergil and Homer: an inability to translate the prosody of an inflected language into the prosody of an uninflected one. Much of the prosody of the Aeneid relies on syntactical figures, such as chiasmus or interlocking word order. Those are simply unable to be replicated into English. This lack is in addition to the inability to translate puns and other audio affects from any language to any other. And, since contemporary English poetics does not value meter, even the near approximation of moving Vergil's hexameters into English pentameters is lost in this translation.This is not to say that the translation is without merit or is a particularly poor one. It is quite serviceable, quite readable, and quite faithful (as much as possible without the full range of poetic effects at its disposal) at preserving the original's sweep.But, to be honest, a good prose translation is probably better at conveying the content and the sentiment. The purpose of a verse translation ought to be to translate into English not only the content but also, as much as possible, the form - either through mimicry or through adaptation. Dickinson's translation, like so many others, does not do enough of either.
mcgooglykins on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The fact that this is unfinished makes me want to gnaw on my own liver - because it ends right when things start (finally) getting interesting. Still an interesting read, however, if only to get glimpses into the way the ancient Greeks thought.
selfnoise on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy Fitzgerald's translation... I think he hit a home run on this one, although I'm not as hot on his Homeric translations. The Everyman's Library edition is quite an attractive one as well. As for the Aeneid, it's a fine tale of love and war, an interesting bit of propaganda, and some nice poetry. Those interested in Vergil as alchemist, rather than as author, should check out Avram Davidson's novels (particularly The Phoenix and the Mirror).