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The Aeneid Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, CD

4.2 out of 5 stars 258 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“Fitzgerald’s is so decisively the best modern Aeneid that it is unthinkable anyone will want to use any other version for a long time to come.” –New York Review of Books

“A rendering that is both marvelously readable and scrupulously faithful . . . Fitzgerald has managed, by a sensitive use of faintly archaic vocabulary and a keen ear for sound and rhythm, to suggest the solemnity and the movement of Virgil’s poetry as no previous translator has done . . . This is a sustained achievement of beauty and power.” –Boston Globe

“In this Aeneid Fitzgerald is at the top of his form . . . [One would] be a very insensitive reader if, once launched on Aeneas’ fateful journey with Fitzgerald as guide, [one] does not follow it to the end.” –The New Republic

“This is translation as interpretation, Virgil filtered through one of the finest poetic sensibilities of our time . . . Fitzgerald hides his consummate artistry, effaces his own prodigious labor, until the text speaks to us directly, without foreignness of time or place.” –The Boston Review

With an Introduction by Philip Hardie --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: HighBridge Audio; Abridged edition (January 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565119304
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565119307
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 5.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (258 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,966,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
There is no such thing as a "best" translation, only translations that suit one's purpose. If you want to read the Aeneid as a gripping story, Fagles's version does very well. I have just finished reading book 4, and Dido's fury, as set against the implacable higher purpose of Aeneas, has perhaps never been as vividly, even scarily, portrayed.

On the other hand, it could be argued that Fagles's verse does not convey the stately or epic quality of the Latin in the way that, for instance, Fitzgerald's does. A short comparison may suffice:

"sed nullis ille mouetur / fletibus aut uoces ullas tractabilis audit; / fata obstant placidasque uiri deus obstruit auris." (Vergil)

"But no tears move Aeneas now. / He is deaf to all appeals. He won't relent. / The Fates bar the way / and heaven blocks his gentle, human ears." (Fagles)

"But no tears moved him, no one's voice would he / Attend to tractably. The fates opposed it; / God's will blocked the man's once kindly ears." (Fitzgerald)

Fitzgerald's version is closer to the Latin (other than not using the present tense), better reflects its formal nature, and achieves a Vergilian metrical effect with the three successive beats of "God's will blocked." But Fagles's free and fluid rendition is undoubtedly more engaging to the modern reader.

Occasionally Fagles does introduce a modern idiom that is trite or jarring. For instance, when the sea-nymph speeds Aeneas's ship on its way in Book 10, she does so skillfully ("haud ignara modi") because she "knows the ropes".

The book has a useful introduction, a few notes, and a pronouncing glossary. Fagles's postscript is, however, a tedious pastiche of quotations from previous critics and could have been omitted.
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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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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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