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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
13,196107166 (3.9)2 / 419
  1. 230
    The Iliad by Homer (inge87, yellville, Hollerama)
  2. 210
    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 Apollonio de Rodas (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. 10
    Voyages and Discoveries: Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques & Discoveries of the English Nation by Richard Hakluyt (KayCliff)
  8. 21
    The Death of Virgil by Hermann Broch (chrisharpe)
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On its own this is perhaps a great work, but it pales in comparison to Homer's surviving pair of epics. Not only did Virgil mimic Homer's style of prose, but many of the events in his epic are heavily based on similar events in The Iliad and The Odyssey, so that many scenes feel like inferior rehashes of Homer's earlier work. You can almost picture Virgil reading Homer and sketching out how he's going to make his book even better. "Oh, Achilles had an ornate shield that is described at length? Well, Aeneas will have a shield too, and it'll be a way cooler one depicting Roman history!" Virgil was a fine writer, but the result of his labor feels far more like a calculated "great work" written on commission than the natural, beautiful works of Homer that came before. It's not as though Virgil has that much to work with, though: compared to the great characters among both the Trojans and the Greeks in The Iliad and The Odyssey, the cast of The Aeneid seems rather weak and sparse. Perhaps the most interesting character that feels original, as opposed to an imitation of one of Homer's subjects, is Dido, but she appears in only the first four books. Compared to The Iliad and The Odyssey, that ended on a strong note, The Aeneid is a front-loaded epic.

Some people will love The Aeneid, and they'll be in good company- no less a writer than Dante thought of Virgil and his Aeneid as the greatest work of the ancient world (though given his description of Odysseus's life in Inferno, it's questionable how much familiarity with Homer Dante truly had). In my opinion, though, The Aeneid can't hold a candle to its predecessors. ( )
  BayardUS | Dec 10, 2014 |
Ah yes - The Aeneid by Virgil - Its the Romans answer to the Greeks Odyssey, written much much later. While the book is a classic, I found it difficult to read, even translated. There are a lot of concepts that don't quite work with modern day. I also found a bit... preachy - always obey the Gods, Free Will vs Prophecy, etc.

Also, this book is problem written at the start of literature, as pleasure (Rather than literature as history or literature as religious text). So at times, it can be quite dense - also, as they say today "It could use a good editor" - there seems to be some pointlessness traveling that could have been cut out with no loss of plot.

Either way, I read it, glad I did so, but I won't be rereading it. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Nov 1, 2014 |
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 |
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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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5 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140440518, 0140449329, 0140455388, 0143105132, 0143106295

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