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The Aeneid (Penguin Classics) Paperback – April 29, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Revised edition (April 29, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140449329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140449327
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Hardie successfully incorporates the most valuable ancient and contemporary materials on Vergil to produce a more literary approach reflecting the insights and biases of critical work of recent decades. This edition will br appreciated by students and scholars alike." Classical World

About the Author

Publius Vergilius Maro (70-19 B.C.), known as Virgil, was born near Mantua in the last days of the Roman Republic. In his comparatively short life he became the supreme poet of his age, whose Aeneid gave the Romans a great national epic equal to the Greeks’, celebrating their city’s origins and the creation of their empire. Virgil is also credited  with authoring two other major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues and the Georgics. 

David West was a leading classical scholar and a professor at Newcastle University. The Guardian stated that his translation of the Aeneid is "remarkably true to the Latin, and has brought Virgil’s epic to life for a generation of modern English readers." A leading figure in the resurence of interest in the ancient world, he was President of the Classical Association in 1995, and a Vice-President of the Association for Latin Teaching. He died in 2013.

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Customer Reviews

This translation by Fitzgerald is excellent.
bixodoido
Also, it is HIGHLY recommended that one read the Iliad & the Odyssey before embarking on Virgil's work.
D. Roberts
I read the Aeneid as a requirement for school.
Daniel M Busse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

154 of 159 people found the following review helpful By D. Roberts VINE VOICE on February 20, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Publius Vergilius Maro was commisioned by Caesar Augustus to author a national epic for Rome. The work which Virgil composed for this purpose was the Aeneid. It is an epic poem that tells the story of a minor character from Homer's Iliad who leads a rag-tag band from the smouldering ruins of Troy in order to found a "New Troy" to the west: Rome. It is in the Aeneid, not the Iliad (as most people who have not read the works tend to believe) that we see the spectacle of the Trojan Horse & the famous line "I do not trust Greeks bearing gifts." The Iliad ends with the death of Hektor - before the plan of the Trojan Horse is devised by Odysseus. The Odyssey picks up after the sack of Troy. The Aeneid fills in the gaps & narrates the story of the few Trojans who escape the wrath of the Greeks. According to legend, Romulus & Remes (the two brothers who eventually founded the city itself) were descendents of Aeneas. As is usual, Fitzgerald's translation is top notch. I have read Mandelbaum's rendition as well & much prefer Mr. Fitzgerald. The book also contains a useful glossary & postscript which help elucidate the allusions to Hannibal & Cleopatra which the Romans of Virgil's day would have picked up right away, but which might be unfamiliar to modern day readers. Also, it is HIGHLY recommended that one read the Iliad & the Odyssey before embarking on Virgil's work. [...] But, for a quick answer: the reason that Juno (Hera in the Greek) has a vendetta against Aeneas is due to the fact that he is Trojan. This all derives from the judgment of Paris when Juno was "jilted" by the bribe that Aphrodite offered Paris (also a Trojan).Read more ›
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89 of 93 people found the following review helpful By M. H. Bayliss on June 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
Although Virgil spent years writing the Aeneid, by his death, he felt that it was imperfect and asked that it be burned. Luckily for all concerned, his request was denied or we'd never have this epic. If you are new to Greek and Roman epics, I'd recommend starting with the Iliad and the Odyssey first. Not only will most novices find them more readable (especially the Odyssey), any reader will pick up important background information that will help immeasurably in following the Aeneid. Although I'm a huge fan of the Aeneid and have read many of the books in the original Latin, I'd suggest to most readers just to read books 1,2,4 and 6 unless you are really drawn in. It's not that the other books are not great (they are), it's just that unless you are a specialist, you won't want to read all about the battles and extra stuff -- book 4 is the love story of Dido and Aeneus and for many is the highlight of the poem. Book 6 is the trip to to the underworld which is so important to later writers and poets like Dante, TS Eliot, etc.... The fall of Troy is contained in books 1 and 2. I enjoy Fitzgerald's translation, but as an amateur Latinist, I prefer Allan Mandelbaum's translation with Moser's illustrations. When I was translating from the Latin, only Mandelbaum was so close to the original that he could help a student. I think Mandelbaum is a genius for rendering the poem so close to the original. It's unfair to call him wooden -- Virgil wrote the whole thing in Dacytlic hexameter which is hardly wooden in Latin, although it can be repetitive at times. Not to worry -- he used a lot of spondaic substititions (altering a long, short short with a long, long) to vary the meter.
So, if you just want a taste, read books 1,2,4 and 6 and if you love it, by all means read the whole epic.
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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful By B. Nicholas Clifton Childers Webb, on February 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
David West's translation of this epic (actually rather manageably sized when compared with the Odyssey) pulls away from the tradition of the translations from the first half or so of the 20th century, in which great works of grand Greek and Latin poetry were forced unyieldingly into affected (and often stilted) English verse (think Fitzgerald's beautiful but distractingly florid renditions). West charts a different course, reflecting more modern trends in scholarship. He chooses not to match verse with verse and recreate the epic in English in an attempt to draw the contemporary reader into it as deeply as the original reader. Instead, he conveys as much of the original epic's meaning and nuance as possible in simple, clear, surprisingly elegant prose, allowing Vergil himself to draw the reader in once more.

This is a lucid, graceful delivery of the Aeneid. It's an enjoyable read that moves quickly and offers more of the original than any other translation. I've read several, and this mature, well-presented work is the most useful, satisfying, and accessible of all. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Billyjack D'Urberville on March 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
The editorial reviews shoud be heeded: this is, and remains, the best Aeneid in English. Fitzgerald's rendition is hard as a diamond and as crystal clear and brilliant, stately and spell-binding as watching a tall ship move across the bay.

For many years there was no satisfactory Virgil in modern English, and this was the first. There are now several, and many interesting, but this one should remain paramount because acquaintence with this poem is absolutely essential. It is often overlooked in world lit survey courses which go no farther than the Greeks. There is a lingering prejudice that Roman literature is inferior. That may well be generally true, but Virgil towers above all his Roman peers -- no one approaches him. He is the necessary link and pivot between the ancient understanding of man and civilization and ours; he is our ground, as Dante well recognized by honoring him as guide in the the Divine Comedy.

Love the Greeks as one must, the added dimension of heterosexual passion brought into classical literature by Virgil is breath-taking. Hopefully, you will never be the same after reading the great Aeneas-Dido affair -- to date there is really nothing like it in world literature. Oh yes, the Greeks were interested in women, even intelligent ones, especially honorouble ones, frequently devilish and playful and meddling ones. But Woman was first conveyed in all wholeness, dimensionality and grandeur by this poet -- perhaps something your teacher or mum failed to mention -- but no excuse for missing it now. Makes that business about Helen and Troy seem like bad comix . . . .
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