*Includes Table of Contents
*Includes both Latin and English versions
Virgil (70-19 B.C.) needs no formal introduction, as he has long been considered Ancient Rome’s greatest poet and is globally renowned for The Aeneid, one of the most famous epic poems in history. Virgil’s other greatest works are considered to be the Eclogues (or Bucolics), and the Georgics, although several minor poems collected in the Appendix Vergiliana are also attributed to him.
Similar to Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid was considered Rome’s national epic and legend, and it was immediately popular within the empire. It is said Virgil recited parts of it to Caesar Augustus, and it’s believed the epic poem was unfinished when Virgil died in 19 B.C. The works of Virgil also had a dramatic effect on other Latin poetry. The Eclogues, Georgics, and above all the Aeneid became standard texts in school curricula with which all educated Romans were familiar. In the millennium following Virgil, poets often cited his work. For example, Ovid parodies the opening lines of the Aeneid in Book 14 of the Metamorphoses, and Lucan's epic, the Bellum Civile, has been considered an anti-Virgilian epic, disposing with the divine mechanism, treating historical events, and diverging drastically from Virgilian epic practice. Even Gregory of Tours, who admired Virgil, quotes Rome’s poet, and Virgil famously guides Dante through Hell in the Italian’s great work.
This edition of Virgil’s The Aeneid includes both the original Latin version and the English version. It is also specially formatted with a Table of Contents and illustrated with depictions of Virgil, his life and work.
Princeton scholar Fagles follows up his celebrated Iliad and Odyssey with a new, fast-moving, readable rendition of the national epic of ancient Rome. Virgil's long-renowned narrative follows the Trojan warrior Aeneas as he carries his family from his besieged, fallen home, stops in Carthage for a doomed love affair, visits the underworld and founds in Italy, through difficult combat, the settlements that will become, first the Roman republic, and then the empire Virgil knew. Recent translators (such as Allen Mandelbaum) put Virgil's meters into English blank verse. Fagles chooses to forgo meter entirely, which lets him stay literal when he wishes, and grow eloquent when he wants: "Aeneas flies ahead, spurring his dark ranks on and storming/ over the open fields like a cloudburst wiping out the sun." A substantial preface from the eminent classicist Bernard Knox discusses Virgil's place in history, while Fagles himself appends a postscript and notes. Scholars still debate whether Virgil supported or critiqued the empire's expansion; Aeneas' story might prompt new reflection now, when Americans are already thinking about international conflict and the unexpected costs of war.