The Aeneid (Paperback)
"I sing of arms and of the man"
After a century of civil strife in Rome and Italy, Virgil wrote The Aeneid to honour the emperor Augustus by praising Aeneas – Augustus’ legendary ancestor. As a patriotic epic imitating Homer, The Aeneid also provided Rome with a literature equal to the Greek. It tells of Aeneas, survivor of the sack of Troy, and of his seven year journey – to Carthage, falling tragically in love with Queen Dido; then to the underworld, in the company of the Sibyl of Cumae; and finally to Italy, where he founded Rome. It is a story of defeat and exile, of love and war, hailed by Tennyson as ‘the stateliest measure ever moulded by the lips of man’.
David West’s acclaimed prose translation is accompanied by his revised introduction and individual prefaces to the twelve books of The Aeneid.
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About the Author
Virgil, born in 70 B.C., is best remembered for his masterpiece, The Aeneid. He earned great favor by portraying Augustus as a descendant of the half-god, half-man Aeneas. Although Virgil swore on his deathbed that The Aeneid was incomplete and unworthy, it has been considered one of the greatest works of Western literature for more than two thousand years.
David West (1926-2013) 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.
"Fitzgerald's is so decisively the best modern Aeneid that it is unthinkable that anyone will want to use any other version for a long time to come."--New York Review of Books
"From the beginning to the end of this English poem...the reader will find the same sure control of English rhythms, the same deft phrasing, and an energy which urges the eye onward."--The New Republic
"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 (including Dryden).... This is a sustained achievement of beauty and power."--Boston Globe