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The Aeneid by Virgil
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The Aeneid

by Virgil (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,983105176 (3.91)2 / 402
  1. 220
    The Iliad by Homer (inge87, yellville, Hollerama)
  2. 200
    The Odyssey by Homer (inge87, caflores)
  3. 140
    The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (lisanicholas)
    lisanicholas: Dante, whose poetical muse was Virgil, makes himself the "hero" of this epic journey through not only Hell, but also Purgatory and Heaven -- a journey modeled to a certain extent on Aeneas's visit to the Underworld in the Aeneid. Dante's poem gives an imaginative depiction of the afterlife, which has both similarities and significant contrasts to Virgil's depiction of the pagan conception of what happens to the soul after death, and how that is related to the life that has been lived.… (more)
  4. 110
    The Argonautica by Apollonius of Rhodes (andejons)
    andejons: Both epics connects to the Iliad and the Odyssey, even if the Argonautica is a prequel of sorts and the Aeneid is a sequel. Also, both Jason and Aeneas as well as Medea and Dido shows similar traits.
  5. 70
    Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin (rarm)
  6. 30
    Paradise Lost by John Milton (Torikton)
  7. 21
    The Death of Virgil by Hermann Broch (chrisharpe)
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I so disliked this translation that I stopped reading it at Line 620 of Book II and finished it in another. I think I reacted so strongly against it because I had just read The Iliad in Richmond Latimore's magnificent version. While that style was ringing in my head and heart, I just could not buy into this so different version. ( )
  Kathleen828 | Jul 6, 2014 |
I remember Joy de Menil telling me that the first six chapters of the Aeneid were great but the last six were unreadable and merited skipping. It took me another twenty years to get around to reading it and I largely agree with Joy -- although I found some parts to like in the second half.

The first six books are Odyssey-like and recount Aeneas' travels from the fall of Troy, through a variety of islands, to Carthage. It begins in media res (not sure of the Latin of this) with the gods fighting about the treatment of Aeneas. Within the first pages the narrator rushes to inform us that the book will culminate in the triumph of Rome, a theme it returns to somewhat didactically throughout.

Following the opening book, is a second book with an extraordinary and largely self-contained flashback to the fall of Troy, including Aeneas' bitter recriminations about the decision to bring the wooden horse into the city walls and some moving scenes with the ghost of his wife who got separated from him in the shuffle. The tragedy of Dido and Aeneas is another largely self-contained book in the first half.

The journey's forward momentum begins with Aeneas' trip to the underworld to see his dead father (not quite as dramatic as one might have hoped). This is followed by the second half of the epic, which is an Iliad-like accounting of the Trojans' war with the Latins, a conflict that is even more pointless than the Trojan War because the leaders of both sides both see the same peaceful solution but repeatedly get driven apart by Juno and her minions.

Unlike the Iliad and the Odyssey, most of the stories and characters in the second half of the Aeneid were completely unfamiliar to me. I don't think I had ever heard of Latinus, Turnus, Amata, Lavinia or Evander -- all characters that loom large in the epic war that Virgil describes. That is in stark contrast to Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Paris, Helen, Priam, Hector, Odysseus, Patrcolus, the Ajaxes, Achilles, and the many other familiar characters that populate The Iliad. I think it is largely because of this that the second half is so much less engaging and dramatic (or it could be that all of these figures are less familiar because the second half is less engaging and dramatic).

Regardless, certainly not something anyone should miss reading, even if you wait another twenty years from now. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
"I would advise you to undertake a regular course of history & poetry in both languages ... in Latin read Livy, Caesar, Sallust Tacitus, Cicero’s Philosophies, and some of his Orations, in prose; and Virgil, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Horace, Terence & Juvenal for poetry." - Thomas Jefferson to Francis Eppes, 6 Oct. 1820

"[so much] has my relish for poetry deserted me that at present I cannot read Virgil with pleasure." - Thomas Jefferson to John Daly Burk, 21 Jun. 1801 [PTJ 34:400-401]
  ThomasJefferson | Jun 5, 2014 |
I do think it is a commendable effort by Fagles to translate another lengthy epic but I do think my on-going ennui while reading through this epic poetry even with the help of Simon Callow's narration was the result of Virgil's prose and storytelling itself. The Aeneid is a continuation after the fall of Troy and it set around the adventures of Aeneas and his role in the founding of Rome. However, this doesn't mean Virgil is ripping off Homer although obviously he did base his work around Iliad but Mediterranean culture often derive from the same geographical source, much like how there's some similarity between food cultures around South East Asia.

Unlike Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil's Aeneid is highly political and almost devoid of storytelling until usual good parts. Most of the time the poems constantly surrounded itself with 'prophetic' grandeur of the future Roman empire and its people and there's a lot of brown nosing in this book that it became unbearable. That made more sense why Virgil wanted his manuscript destroyed. Its not just a story of Aeneus, its also a 19 BC product placement story about how the then-Roman families and rulers being placed inside the mythology with stories of their grandeur.

The role of various women in Aeneid is by far the most troublesome element I had with this book. I could blame it on my modern bias but there are prevalent amount of misogyny in this book that made the process of reading as discomforting. This whole story seem to assert itself that a woman couldn't hold a position of power and always in danger of irrationality and on the verge of hysteria and suicidal at the whims of men. First we see them with Juno and Venus then Dido and Queen Amata. I do admire Dido at first but due to a deus ex machina, her characterization was tarnished and she became an even more caricatured version of Homer's Penelope and Calypso.

There are some good parts with war and fight scenes and occasional description of gore but overall the narrative seem to jump around characters. But unlike Greek's thematic Xenia where hospitality is one of the most important values, Aeneid focus more on Pietas which was piety toward the gods, the prophecy and responsibility which was prevalent throughout the book. It show Aeneus in varied position where he was pushed to his destiny and held back from his goal by people or divine stalker entity. It is laughably distracting that in a way it is a classic way to teach its listener about being pious but all I want was some coherent storytelling instead of a propaganda and a story within a story. Aeneid have its historical significance but it certainly doesn't give me much entertainment without being distracted by all the allegories. ( )
  aoibhealfae | Jun 2, 2014 |
I prefer Homer. ( )
  pussreboots | May 29, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (237 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
VirgilAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ahl, FrederickTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arnold, EdwinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Aulicino, RobertCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Copley, Frank OlinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cranch, Christopher PearseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dickenson, PatricTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dryden, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eliot, Charles WilliamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Espinosa Pólit, AurelioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fagles, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fitzgerald, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, MandyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hane-Scheltema, M. d'Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Humphries, RolfeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knight, W. F. JacksonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lewis, Cecil DayTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mandelbaum, AllenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neuffer, LudwigTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oakley, Michael J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oksala, PäivöTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oksala, TeivasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Page, T. E.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palmer, E. H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pattist, M.J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Plankl, WilhelmTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Radice, BettyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ravenscroft, ChristopherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rijser, DavidAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruden, SarahTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schoonhoven, HenkTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sisson, C. H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vaňorný, OtmarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vretska, KarlTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warren, Henry ClarkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
West, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Wars and man I sing—an exile driven on by Fate, he was the first to flee the coast of Troy, destined to reach Lavinian shores and Italian soil, yet many blows he took on land and sea from the gods above—thanks to cruel Juno's relentless rage—and many losses he bore in battle too, beofe he could found a city, bring his gods to Latium, source of the Latin race, the Alban lords and the high walls of Rome.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679729526, Paperback)

Arma virumque cano: "I sing of warfare and a man at war." Long the bane of second-year Latin students thrust into a rhetoric of sweeping, seemingly endless sentences full of difficult verb forms and obscure words, Virgil's Aeneid finds a helpful translator in Robert Fitzgerald, who turns the lines into beautiful, accessible American English. Full of betrayal, heartache, seduction, elation, and violence, the Aeneid is the great founding epic of the Roman empire. Its pages sing of the Roman vision of self, the Roman ideal of what it meant to be a citizen of the world's greatest power. The epic's force carries across the centuries, and remains essential reading.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:46 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

A new edition of Virgil's epic work is presented in modern language and endeavors to retain the original work's humanity, as well as its influential blend of poetry and verse.

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Audible.com

Seven editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Five editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140440518, 0140449329, 0140455388, 0143105132, 0143106295

Yale University Press

Two editions of this book were published by Yale University Press.

Editions: 0300119046, 0300151411

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