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The Aeneid

by Virgil

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
19,963180172 (3.9)4 / 592
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed) In dramatic and narrative power, Virgil's "Aeneid" is the equal of its great Homeric predecessors, "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey." It surpasses them, however, in the intense sympathy it displays for its human actors-a sympathy that makes events such as Aeneas's escape from Troy and search for a new homeland, the passion and the death of Dido, the defeat of Turnus, and the founding of Rome among the most memorable in literature. This celebrated translation by Robert Fitzgerald does full justice to the speed, clarity, and stately grandeur of the Roman Empire's most magnificent literary work of art.… (more)
  1. 280
    The Iliad by Homer (inge87, HollyMS)
  2. 270
    The Odyssey by Homer (inge87, caflores)
  3. 180
    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. 140
    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. 80
    Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin (rarm)
  6. 21
    The Death of Virgil by Hermann Broch (chrisharpe)
  7. 10
    Voyages and Discoveries: Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques & Discoveries of the English Nation by Richard Hakluyt (KayCliff)
  8. 00
    Black Ships by Jo Graham (sturlington)

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English (146)  Spanish (9)  French (7)  Italian (6)  Dutch (3)  Catalan (3)  Vietnamese (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (178)
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
The Aeneid is an epic poem, detailing Aeneas' journey. The first six books of the Aeneid recount the adventures of Aeneas, the future founder of Rome. The last six books tell of the settlement of the Trojans in Italy and the war with the Italians.

After the fall of Troy, a small group of refugees escaped, and Aeneas became their leader. Several prophecies predicted that this group would settle in Italy and become ancestors of the Romans. They suffer many hardships; similar to those suffered by Odysseus (attacks by the Cyclops, Scylla and Charybdis.) After wandering for years, they arrive in Italy, settling in Latium. Before they are accepted, they have to fight a terrible war against the Latins led by Turnus. After Aeneas slays Turnus, he is free to marry Lavinia, the princess of Latium.

Virgil begins the poem as Aeneas is sailing on the last leg of his journey, destined to take him to Italy. When tremendous storms batter his ships they take refuge on the nearest land. Aeneas learns that it is here that Queen Dido is constructing Carthage. The Queen falls in love with Aeneas and begs him to tell her the story of the fall of Troy.

Aeneas relates the tale at the request of the Queen. After the fall, the band of exiled men sailed to Delos where the oracle of Apollo predicted that they would found a great nation. He details his adventures up to the present time for the Queen. Dido and Aeneas' love is ill-fated. He must follow the destiny the Gods have made for him. When he leaves grief-stricken Dido commits suicide.

The ships finally arrive in Italy, near Cumae. Aeneas visits the temple of Apollo to consult a prophetess. She appears to him and tells Aeneas of the war he will fight and of his enemies. He asks to descend into Hades, where he meets his father, Anchises. Anchises shows Aeneas his future heirs and the heroes of Rome. The visit to the underworld in the Aeneid parallels a similar visit made by Ulysses (Odysseus) in Homer's Odyssey.

The Trojans continue on and settle in Latium. Aeneas realizes his prophecy has been fulfilled. A war breaks out and Aeneas is given magical armor by the Gods for protection. Turnus, the leader of Latium's defense, attacks the Trojan camp, and many lives are lost. Turnus announces that the husband of Lavinia will be determined by a duel between Aeneas and himself. Aeneas kills Turnus in battle. The prophecies of the gods have been fulfilled.

The epic by Virgil has inspired great writers ever since his day. Dante knew the story of Ulysses from Ovid who recounts it in his Metamorphoses (like Dante, Ovid suffered the fate of exile and expulsion from the city he loved and died without returning to it). It is this recounting that inspired the tale narrated by Ulysses in Canto 26 of The Inferno. In the twentieth century Hermann Broch began his novel of Virgil's last days, The Death of Virgil, with a similar motif of the ending of a sea-voyage with Virgil lying on his death bed in the entourage of Augustus. Beside Virgil in a small trunk was the manuscript for the Aeneid. And Primo Levi, in his autobiographical Survival in Auschwitz, recounts how he kept himself sane by attempting to reconstruct Ulysses' great speech in the Comedy from memory. These words provided a touchstone of humanity and civilization even that modern version of Dante's hell. ( )
  jwhenderson | May 15, 2022 |
  Genoz | Feb 28, 2022 |
"..Is it that the Gods inspire,
..this fever of the breast?
Or make we gods of but a wild desire?"

So i read the Taylor translation except for a few chapters on audio from Librivox which was the Dryden version. I also looked in every so often on the PoetryinTranslation version because they use classical paintings as illustrations which is pretty cool.
The Taylor translation came with a full set of annotations which were very useful.

The poem overall is a bit awkward, some of that might be the translation but most of it is because Virgil likes to use these elaborate little stories for metaphors and by the time he's finished i often had no idea what point he was trying to make :lol.
Large portions of the story are also fairly redundant and there are various asides to stroke the roman ego. There are also a lot of characters but you never really get to know any of them very well. Most of them being introduced only a few lines before they die ;) .

On the upside many of the battle scenes are good, it really shows the fog of war and costs. Dido, Juno and everyone really, gets a chance to show their side of the issues, its a surprisingly evenhanded tale.
I also like that Aeneas is so average, he's not particularly brave or cowardly, smart or stupid, good or bad he's just in charge because people know his mom, like a slightly less effective Sterling Archer :) .

Anyway not my favourite epic some boredom, some parts of interest. ( )
  wreade1872 | Nov 28, 2021 |
The Aentid comprises 12 large sections, referred to as “books.” In book 1, we meet the Trojan leader Aeneas, son of Prince Anchises and the goddess Venus. Having escaped the final slaughter in Troy, Aeneas and his seafaring band encounter a storm stirred up by the queen of the gods, Juno, to prevent them from reaching Italy. Worried about Aeneas, Venus confronts Jupiter, king of the gods, who reassures her by revealing the future glory of Aeneas’s descendants, the Romans. Venus nonetheless comes to Aeneas’s aid. He and his Trojan companions land near the newfound city of Carthage on the northern coast of Africa. In disguise, Venus advises Aeneas to seek help from Carthage’s queen, Dido. With the help of Venus’s son, Cupid, who also appears in disguise, Dido falls in love with Aeneas. The book ends on a loverstruck Dido asking Aeneas to speak of his travels. ( )
  Marcos_Augusto | Nov 4, 2021 |
Of the Odyssey, Iliad, and Aeneid, The Aeneid is my favorite. It's amazing the difference that a few centuries can make in terms of character and plot development and literary conventions like, you know, not having the gods spoil the plot right before it happens.

Ruden's introduction provides the basic info about how and why Vergil shaped the Aeneid to sort out the founding myths of Rome, praise its (relatively) new Emperor Augustus, and tout the benefits of an empire after the fall of the Roman Republic. In an explanation that gave me flashbacks to my first-semester class on the New Testament, way back in 2008, she explained that Vergil, like many ancient poets, found legitimacy by calling back to respected older works--in this case, the first part of the Aeneid reflects the beats and themes of the Odyssey, while the second part reflects the Iliad. Ruden also prepared me for the incredibly abrupt ending by explaining that Vergil died before he had a chance to finish the Aeneid, and that Augustus saved the unfinished work from the fate requested by the author: burning.

Ruden's translation also has some key elements that I would have sorely liked to see in Wilson's Odyssey and Alexander's Iliad: footnotes! They provided mythological and, sometimes, historical context (I would have liked more of the latter) to some of the many name-dropped families and mythological figures that would have been otherwise just been, well, ancient Greek or Latin to me. I'm a huge fan of footnotes. Gimme gimmie.

Finally, the language. Alexander's Iliad felt very functional, Wilson's Odyssey flowed with the beat of iambic pentameter, but Ruden's Aeneid, to me, seemed to find the best balance between clarity and poetry.

Alas, to my shame I was epic poetry-d out and took a pretty long break in the middle. That loss of momentum has kind of fizzled my enthusiasm for writing a long review. On top of that, I've discovered that some of my past reviews on Goodreads have disappeared. I can't be sure since I didn't receive any warnings or notice from Goodreads, but I suspect that my Quote Roundups--despite my efforts to only quote portions insignificant in comparison to the books as a whole--may have had something to do with it. So I did keep notes, and I'll include them, but again, not feeling particularly inspired to do anything long and involved.

Quote/Thought Round-up

2:310) So apparently Paris died after the Iliad. Why the heck didn't the Trojans just give Helen up and call it a day after that?

2:402) "No one should trust the gods against their will."
No kidding, considering what they get up to.

In general, I find it amusing that Paris got so much flak for being the pretty son of Aphrodite/Venus when Aeneas never gets teased about it.

Chapter 4
Dang, Dido. Dang, Venus.

5:333) Nice to know austere ancient Greeks and Romans liked slapstick and scatalogical humor. Aiyah...

Chapter 6
Aeneas's journey to the underworld was awesome.

7:340-542) "Allecto, steeped in Gorgon poisons, rushed / and lurked there, at the threshold of Amata [Latinus's queen] / ... Dark snakes made up the Fury's hair: she tossed one / to glide - maddening, hellish - through the dress / into the heart, and rattled all the house. / Beneath her clothes it coiled, around her smooth breasts. / She couldn't feel it as it breathed its poison - / her frenzy.
The language of the fury Allecto's spreading poison of hate and war is so well done, not just here but as it spreads to first to other Latins and then to the Trojans. Props to Vergil and to Ruden.

8:314) "The native fauns and nymphs once shared this forest / with many a tribe born out of flinty oak trunks."
Kind of odd to read a once-upon-a-time line in a narrative that still includes nymphs and gods as key characters who interact with mortals.

9:178) Nisus and Euryalus--oh la la.

10:650) "You sailed here seeking land: I'll lay you on it."
The Romans have some killer lines. I mean, they tend to die after saying them, no matter how awesome they supposedly were up to that point in their lives, but still...epic last words even if they'd be better off in the mouths of the person who lives.

11:498-830) They may not have the best, most contemporary feminist storylines, but dang Dido and Camilla are awesome. Camilla's here, riding into war for the Latins. Too bad she was yet another woman warrior virgin sworn to Diana or Turnus might have been happier with her than with Lavinia.

11:891-895) "The very mothers on the walls, who'd witnessed / Camilla's love of country, tried to match her. / In their alarm, they hurled down posts of oak wood / and stakes singed hard in place of iron weapons. / They longed to die first in the town's defense."
I would, too, considering all they said they'd do to conquered cities, both in Latium and in Troy. ( )
  books-n-pickles | Oct 29, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
added by AngelsAngladaLibrary | edit9 País, juny 1978, Maria Àngels Anglada

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Virgilprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ahl, FrederickTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Albini, GiuseppeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Allinson, Anne C. E.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Allinson, Francis GreenleafEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arnold, EdwinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Aulicino, RobertCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ģiezens, AugustsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bartsch, ShadiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beck, Marcosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bellès i Sallent, JoanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bellessort, AndréTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Calzecchi Onesti, RosaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Canali, LucaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cleyn, FrancisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Conington, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Copley, Frank O.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cranch, Christopher PearseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dickinson, PatricTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dryden, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Durand, René L.F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elers, GunvaldisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eliot, Charles WilliamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Espinosa Pólit, AurelioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fagles, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Feldhūns, ĀbramsForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fitzgerald, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fo, AlessandroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giannotti, FilomenaContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goelzer, HenriEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, MandyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hane-Scheltema, M. d'Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Humphries, RolfeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knight, W. F. JacksonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knox, BernardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Levi, PeterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lewis, C. DayTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mandelbaum, AllenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marzari Chiesa, FrancescoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mussini, CesareEditorsecondary 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
Paratore, E.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Ravenscroft, ChristopherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rijser, DavidAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruden, Dr. SarahTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruden, SarahTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sabbadini, RemigioEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schoonhoven, HenkTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwartz, M.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Sisson, C. H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ungaretti, GiuseppeForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vaňorný, OtmarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vivaldi, CesareTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vondel, J. van denTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vretska, KarlTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warren, Henry ClarkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
West, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Aeternum dictis da diva leporem.
For Penny
First words
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Aeneid in translation.
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(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed) In dramatic and narrative power, Virgil's "Aeneid" is the equal of its great Homeric predecessors, "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey." It surpasses them, however, in the intense sympathy it displays for its human actors-a sympathy that makes events such as Aeneas's escape from Troy and search for a new homeland, the passion and the death of Dido, the defeat of Turnus, and the founding of Rome among the most memorable in literature. This celebrated translation by Robert Fitzgerald does full justice to the speed, clarity, and stately grandeur of the Roman Empire's most magnificent literary work of art.

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Haiku summary
A man leaves his home
and wanders with his people
and finds a new home.
Long search for new home
Old one ru'ned by Greek Gift Horse
Future lies with wolves

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Penguin Australia

5 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140440518, 0140449329, 0140455388, 0143105132, 0143106295

Yale University Press

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

Editions: 0300119046, 0300151411

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