The Aeneid

By Virgil, Robert Fitzgerald

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The Aeneid – thrilling, terrifying and poignant in equal measure – has inspired centuries of artists, writers and musicians.Virgil’s epic tale tells the story of Aeneas, a Trojan hero, who flees his city after its fall, with his father Anchises and his young son Ascanius – for Aeneas is destined to found Rome and father the Roman race. As Aeneas journeys closer to his goal The Aeneid – thrilling, terrifying and poignant in equal measure – has inspired centuries of artists, writers

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Book details

Paperback, 442 pages
June 16th 1990 by Vintage

(first published -19)

Original Title
Æneis
ISBN
0679729526 (ISBN13: 9780679729525)
Edition Language
English

Community Reviews

Ahmad Sharabiani

Æneis = Aeneid, Virgil

The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who traveled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans.

The first six of the poem's twelve books tell the story of Aeneas's wanderings from Troy to Italy, and the poem's second half tells of the Trojans' ultimately victorious war upon the Latins, under whose name Aeneas and his Trojan followers are destined to be subsumed.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز نوزدهم ماه نوامبر سال 1991میلادی

عنوان: انه اید؛ اثر: ویرژیل؛ برگردان: میرجلال الدین کزازی؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، نشر مرکز، 1381، در 479ص، شابکها 9643057151؛ 9643051099؛ 9789643057152؛ چاپ دوم 1375، چاپ سوم 1383، چاپ ششم 1387؛ واژه نامه دارد، نمایه دارد؛ موضوع شعر حماسی لاتینی (یونانی) ترجمه شده به فارسی؛ - سده 01پیش از میلاد

منظومه‌ ای حماسی، که «ویرژیل» شاعر «روم» باستان، آن را در پایان سده ی نخست پیش از میلاد، و به زبان لاتین سروده است، «ویرژیل» راهنمای سفر «دانته» در کتابهای دوزخ و برزخ «کمدی الهی» نیز هست؛ «سرودهای شبانی»، و «سرودهای روستایی» را نیز، ایشان سروده است

داستان «انه اید» همان پیآمدهای نبرد «تروا»، پس از تازش «یونانیان» است؛ «ویرژیل» در «انه اید»؛ داستان «انه» را میسراید؛ و آنچه را که او، پس از رهایی از مرگ در «تروا»، در سفرهای پرماجرایش، برای رسیدن به «لاتیوم»، سرزمینی که به او نوید داده شده، میآزماید، و از سر میگذراند؛ سرگذشت «انه» یا «انه اید» «ویرژیل»، در غرب، سومین داستان بزرگ پهلوانی ست، پس از «ایلیاد و اودیسه»ی «هومر» یونانی؛ «انه اید» در ادبیات کلاسیک رومی (رمی)، همان جایگاهی را دارد، که «ایلیاد» و «ادیسه» در ادبیات کلاسیک «یونان» دارد، آن را میتوان دنباله ای بر «ایلیاد هومر» نیز برشمرد، «ویرژیل»، «انه اید» را از آنجا آغاز میکند، که «هومر»، «ایلیاد» را با ویرانی و سوختن «تروا» به پایان میبرد؛ «انه اید» همان حماسه ی ملی «رومی»ها نیز هست؛ «انه» بزرگزاده ای «تروایی» ست، که تبار مادریش به خدایان میرسید، و پس از تباهی «تروا»، او سفری پرماجرا را بر پهنه ی دریاها آغاز میکند، به «کارتاژ»، و سپس به «ایتالیا» میرود، مردمان لاتین را به پیروزی میرساند، و فرمانروای مردمی میشود که شایستگی «ترواییان» را، با توانستنهای لاتینیان در هم آمیخته اند؛ «رومی»ها «انه» را نیای «رومولوس»، بنیادگذار شهر «رم» میشناسند، و میشناختند؛ «ویرژیل» از آن داستان کهن، حماسه ای پرشور ساختند، که در روزگار امپراتوری، پشتوانه ای تاریخی و اسطوره ای برای «رمی»ها شد؛

کتاب اول: پس از جنگ «ایلیون» و سوختن شهر «تروی»، اهالی آن به هر سوی کوچیدند؛ «انئاس» و یارانش به سوی «ایتالیا» بادبان کشیدند؛ اما ایزدبانو «یونو» که به سبب حسادت دیرین به زیبایی «ونوس» ایزدبانوی زیبایی، دشمن «تروجان‌»ها بود، کشتی ایشان را دستخوش طوفان گردانید، تا غرقشان کند؛ «ونوس» که مادر «انئاس» نیز هست، به یاری پسرش شتافت، و کشتی او را به ساحل «کارتاژ (نام شهری باستانی در شمال آفریقا - کشور تونس ‌امروزی» انداخت؛ «انئاس» و یارانش به نزد «دیدون»، شهبانوی «کارتاژ» رفتند، و از ایشان برای رفتن به «ایتالیا» یاری طلبیدند؛ «ونوس» از بیم آنکه «یونو» باز هم دخالت کند، و جان «انئاس» و یارانش را، به خطر اندازد، پسر دیگر خود «کوپیدو»، ایزد عشق را روانه می‌کند، تا در هیئت کودکی حامل هدایا، در مجلس بزم بر زانوی شهبانوی «کارتاژ» نشسته، عشق «انئاس» را در سینه ی او بدمد؛ شهبانو «دیدون» که اینک عاشق «انئاس» شده، از او درخواست می‌کند که داستان جنگ «تروی» را بازگو کند

کتاب دوم: «انئاس»، داستان واپسین روز جنگ «تروی» را بازمی‌گوید: «یونانیان» اسبی چوبی را، با دلاورترین مردان خود پر می‌کنند، و بر در «تروی» گذاشته، ساحل را ترک می‌کنند؛ جاسوسی «یونانی» در لباس یک فراری، به «تروجان‌»ها می‌گوید، که این اسب پیشکش «یونانیان» به ایزدبانویی است، که به معبدش توهین کرده ‌اند، و خود به سرعت به «یونان» بازگشته ‌اند، تا تندیس خدایان خود را همراه آورند تا مگر به شفاعت آن‌ها از خشم ایزدبانو در امان بمانند؛ و اگر «تروجان»‌ها آن اسب پیشکشی را، وارد شهر خود کنند، خشم ایزدبانو بر «یونانیان» خواهد گرفت؛ «تروجان‌»ها اسب را وارد شهر می‌کنند، و نیمه شب، مردان «یونانی» از آن به بیرون ریخته، «تروی» را به آتش می‌کشند؛ «انئاس» با دلیری می‌جنگد، و در میانه ی نبرد، چشمش به «هلن» زیباروی، که مسبب تمام این فجایع است می‌افتد، و قصد کشتنش را می‌کند، اما مادرش «ونوس» او را بازمی‌دارد، و او را به حفظ خانواده و گریز از شهر می‌خواند؛ «انئاس» با خانواده اش، و کسانی که سپس به او می‌پیوندند، از «تروی» ویران می‌گریزد

کتاب سوم: «انئاس» و یارانش در جستجوی سرزمینی که شهر تازه ی خود را در آن بنا کنند، نخست به «تراس» می‌روند، اما وقتی «انئاس» می‌خواهد، گیاهی خونچکان را بکند، آوازی از بن آن برمی‌آید، و خود را روح یکی از یاران «انئاس» معرفی می‌کند، که به دست «تراسیان» کشته شده‌ است و این گیاه از جسد او رسته است. «انئاس» از ترس خیانت «تراسیان» از «تراس» می‌گریزد، و خدایان او را به «ایتالیا» رهنمون می‌شوند؛ در راه «ایتالیا» در جزیره ‌های گوناگون سرگردان می‌شود، گاه با «هارپی»ها کرکسانی با چهرهٔ دختران، روبرو می‌شود، گاه با «کوکلوپس»ها، غول‌های یک چشم، و گاه از «خاروپیدس» هیولای دریا می‌گریزد؛ سرگذشت‌هایی که پیش از این «اولیس» از سر گذرانده؛ داستان «انئاس» با رسیدن به «کارتاژ» پایان می‌یابد

کتاب چهارم: «انئاس» و «دیدون» شهبانوی «کارتاژ»، سرمست از دلدادگی، با یکدیگر عشق می‌ورزند؛ «انئاس» از ادامه ی سفر منصرف می‌شود، و این خبر به «ژوپیتر» می‌رسد؛ «ژوپیتر»، «انئاس» را باز به سوی «ایتالیا» و پادشاهی موعود می‌خواند؛ «انئاس» بی‌درنگ «کارتاژ» را ترک می‌کند، و «دیدون» شهبانوی «کارتاژ» خود را می‌کشد؛ این چنین دشمنی دیرینه ی «روم» و «کارتاژ» آغاز می‌شود

کتاب پنجم: «انئاس» و یارانش به «سیسیل» می‌رسند، و برای بزرگداشت خدایان، مسابقاتی برگزار می‌کنند؛ در همین حین زنان تروجان خسته از سفر بی پایان، به قصد این که در سیسیل بمانند، و باز سرگردان دریاها نشوند، کشتی‌ها را به آتش می‌کشند؛ «ژوپیتر» بارانی می‌فرستد و بعضی از کشتی‌ها را نجات می‌دهد؛ از آنجا که تعداد کشتی‌ها کاسته شده، «انئاس» ناگزیر پیران و ناتوانان را، در «سیسیل» باقی می‌گذارد و با زبده‌ترین مردان و زنانش راهی «ایتالیا» می‌شود

کتاب ششم: «انئاس» به راهنمایی «سیبیل»، راهبه ی غیبگو، به جهان زیرین سفر می‌کند، تا روح پدرش را ببیند؛ پس از گذر از رودخانه ی ورودی جهان زیرین، از میان ارواح سرگردان (کسانی که خودکشی کرده ‌اند یا بدون گور مانده ‌اند) می‌گذرد، و روح دیدون شهبانوی «کارتاژ» را می‌بیند؛ سپس از برابر دروازه ی دوزخ می‌گذرد، و راهبه که راهنمای اوست، شمه ‌ای از عذاب‌های دوزخیان را باز‌گو میکند؛ سپس به بهشت می‌رسد، و در آنجا با روح پدرش دیدار می‌کند؛ پدرش روح فرزندانی که قرار است از نسل «انئاس» پدید آیند، و «روم» را به بزرگی برسانند به او نشان داده، و او را با مژده ی بزرگی، به ادامه ی سفرش به سوی «ایتالیا» ترغیب می‌کند؛ «انئاس» بازمی‌گردد و بی‌درنگ به سوی «ایتالیا» بادبان می‌کشد

کتاب هفتم: «انئاس» به «ایتالیا» می‌رسد، و قصد آن دارد که با دختر «لاتینوس» پادشاه «لاتین»ها - از اقوام ساکن ایتالیا - ازدواج کند، تا بر توانش در آن دیار افزوده شود؛ اما ایزدبانو «یونو» که از پیروزی «انئاس»، و سازگاری سرنوشت با او، خشمگین است، می‌کوشد که این پیروزی را؛ هرچه بیشتر تیره سازد؛ پس با یاری ایزدبانو «آلکتوی» دوزخی، جنگ و خون‌ریزی را، در بین «ایتالیایی‌»ها و «تروجان‌»ها می‌پراکند؛ از جمله «ترونوس» پادشاه «روتولی»ها - از اقوام ساکن «ایتالیا» - که قرار بود با دختر «لاتینوس» ازدواج کند، خشمگین به جنگ «انئاس» می‌آید

کتاب هشتم: «انئاس» برای رودررویی با «ایتالیایی»ها، با دشمن آن‌ها پادشاه «اواندر» هم پیمان می‌شود؛ «اواندر» برای او تاریخچه سرزمین «ایتالیا» را بازمی‌گوید: از دورانی که «ساتورن» مردمان وحشی آن دیار را قانون بخشید، و بر ایشان حکومت کرد، تا دورانی که «هرکول» دیو هولناک ساکن در آن دیار را کشت؛ پس از «اواندر»، دشمنان دیگر «ایتالیا» نیز با «انئاس» متحد می‌شوند؛ «ونوس» از شوی خود، «ولکان» ایزد آتش و صنعت، می‌خواهد، که برای فرزندش «انئاس»، اسلحه و زره بسازد، و «ولکان» می‌پذیرد، و بر آن‌ها تمام تاریخ آینده «روم» را حکاکی می‌کند، و «انئاس» سرنوشت نسل‌های آینده را بر دوش می‌اندازد

کتاب نهم: «ایتالیایی»ها - «لاتین‌»ها و «روتولی»‌ها - از غیبت «انئاس» استفاده کرده شهر او را محاصره می‌کنند؛ جنگی سخت درمی‌گیرد

کتاب دهم: «انئاس با هم پیمانانش بازمی‌گردد؛ سپاهیان «ایتالیایی» از دوسو محاصره می‌شوند، و نبرد به سود «تروجان»‌ها می‌گردد؛ ایزدبانو «یونو» از «ژوپیتر» می‌خواهد، که لااقل «ترونوس» پادشاه «روتولی»‌ها که از تیره خدایان است، جان به در برد؛ پس ابری را به شکل «انئاس» می‌سازد، و «ترونوس» به خیال اینکه «انئاس» را دنبال می‌کند، ابر را تعقیب کرده، به یک کشتی وارد می‌شود؛ کشتی حرکت کرده از صحنه ی جنگ دور می‌شود

کتاب یازدهم: «تروجان‌»ها به شهر «لاتین»‌ها یورش برده، محاصره کنندگان خود را محاصره می‌کنند؛ جنگ درمی‌گیرد و عاقبت بنا بر آن می‌شود که «انئاس» و «ترونوس» نبرد تن به تن کنند و نتیجه جنگ را تعیین نمایند

کتاب دوازدهم: نبرد تن به تن درمی‌گیرد، و «انئاس»، «ترونوس» را به قتل می‌رساند.

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 04/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

Fergus

TO CARTHAGE THEN I CAME, WHERE A CAULDRON OF UNHOLY LOVES
SANG IN MY EARS!
The Waste Land

THEY CONQUER WHO BELIEVE THEY CAN -
THEY CAN, BECAUSE THEY THINK THEY CAN!
The Aeneid

YOU can Conquer - now, isn’t that a nifty quick analysis of how faith works? That’s Virgil talking!

Faith in oneself... or Faith in a Higher Being?

Let’s take a closer look...

Virgil left off writing this masterpiece a mere twenty years before the Star appeared over ancient Bethlehem.

And, of course, the Aeneid gave the worldly Romans hope for a brighter future at the same time, when their history was beginning its long, slow decline into moral chaos. It inspired them to believe that a semi-divine Trojan named Aeneas had given them ideals worth dying for!

With not much respect due to Troy’s ancient conquerors - the Greeks.

Coincidence?

Sure, it was political propaganda commissioned by Augustus, through Virgil’s noble mentor Maecenas.

But don’t forget that many of the same Roman readers of this runaway bestseller were fathers of the first Italian Christian converts.

The domino effect was about to play its hand.

Early Christian apologists, looking for grist for their mills, would soon see in Virgil’s groundbreaking ideas about a blissful afterlife in the Elysian Fields - for ordinary good people, as well as Homer’s heroes - an announcement of the Lord’s freely-offered - and freely-withheld - salvation.

A salvation for which Aeneas must forsake the fleshpot of Carthage...

And did I say Homer? That’s another thing...

Approximately concurrent with all of this was the disastrous destruction by fire of Alexandria’s priceless library - the last detailed link with the pre-Roman Greek world.

So, now, books like this one were suddenly a prime source for imaginative myth-making.

It is hard to imagine such inspired living as the Knights of the Round Table, or early books of such high-mindedness as Piers Plowman or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight existing without the nobility of the Aeneid.

(But what about the loss of higher mathematics - and calculus - of the Ottoman Empire, against whom Europe Crusaded? Enemies don’t share secrets, alas.)

But how about the late medieval romances... and how much Latin magic is in the Holy Grail?

The Greeks - so sybaritic in their literature and such a springboard in their stories for the imagination - had little or no influence on our serious Medieval European ancestors.

The very dearth of Hellenic playfulness gave our ancestors their dour mindset. Perhaps in an age of starting from scratch again and rebuilding, that grim mindset was best.

So, the popular faith and imagination of the Middle Ages derived largely from books like this!

Even Aeneas’ triumphant victory over Turnus was seen by clerics as a divine allegory of the victory over evil.

And who’s to say they were so WRONG, though?

But, with that, Church censorship was also beginning, and Roman freedoms were eventually going to be curtailed.

But freedom has radically different restrictions as Age progresses to Age, and while we postmodernists seem to have fewer, we in fact have migrated to much less privacy.

Every age has its manner of dealing with anarchy. Ours is surveillance.

But to the Church, MORAL Anarchy was the most perilous type of chaos, thanks to Nero and Caligula. And for the future of European civilization the Church seems in hindsight to have been right.

It’s like your parents weeding out any bad influences on you as you grew up - can THAT be such a bad thing? Most good parents do it - or used to. It’s like pruning back your rose bushes, in the interests of their future health.

Sure, there’ll be some Major adjustments for the kids later on, but if they have an active intelligence, they’ll catch up in plenty of time, though the transition from naïve innocence to cosmic disappointment is vast.

And without the firm foothold of faith well nigh impossible.

And note well the conclusion to Book VI of the Aeneid, in which Virgil shows the only auspicious door out of the Underworld: the Gate of Horn, and NOT the Gate of Ivory... the former symbolizing Cosmic Disappointment.

Now, most people on this planet prefer a life of Ivory (physical riches and spiritual materialism) over a life of Horn (disappointment and penance). That’s our natural and very Fallen nature.

The origin of the ancient symbol of the Horn lies in its roots in the misfortune of being cuckolded. A young buck drives away his rivals with his horn. Ever notice than when a cuckold comes onstage in a Mozart opera, his musical genius symbolized that fact by having the French Horn play a sybaritic riff? His nascent disappointment becomes comic to the audience.

Similarly, could the seed of a great religion of love and compassion have taken root without the concurrent sowing of the nobility that the Aeneid has in men’s minds? And moral nobility is born in cosmic ethical disappointment.

Could Christianity have spread like wildfire throughout the fallen Empire... without it? For that’s what the spoiled, self-indulgent emperors were to believers - a cosmic disappointment. But that disappointment was to Virgil the RIGHT WAY to Heaven.

Sure, I know I’m REACHING a bit to make my points.

But whatever your own views, the Aeneid is the great Medieval Desert Island Book - one of the only great ancient imaginative yarns the serious, and violent, early Middle Ages really had.

A true oasis for the souls of those who were lost and confused in that scattered moral debris before the Fall of the Colossus that was the Roman Empire:

And an ethical bedrock!

All roads lead to ROME?

Not on your life, for this sententious-sounding old guy!

So I’ll just continue to walk the straight & narrow path with my old pal Virgil.

Lisa

“What god can help me tell so dread a story?
Who could describe that carnage in a song - “

Well, the answer of course is Virgil, a poet of the era of Augustus’ Rome. Why does he write it? Many literary critics have condemned the Aeneid for being state propaganda. Of course it is. Openly, proudly so! Many others have condemned it for connecting strongly to other epic poems of the Ancient world, most notably of course Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. Of course it does. Openly, proudly so!

The Aeneid is a perfect example of a change of imperial power and education from one dynasty or area in the world to another, a “translatio imperii et studii”. Whenever empires rise, and are in need of legitimacy, they make sure to incorporate literature, art and other cultural achievements of suppressed or defeated powers, thus creating a fictitious historical connection that justifies their claims to greatness and world dominance.

The Greek culture has been widely exploited to establish a tradition of unbroken rule and lawful power in Europe, and the Aeneid is an early example of fiction supporting the dynastic claims of a whole people.

Constructed as a sequel to the Iliad, and thus taking place at the same time as the Odyssey, it tells the story of Trojan refugee Aeneas and his family, who are on a quest to find a new home for themselves after surviving the destruction of Troy by the Greeks. After many adventures, mirroring Ulysses’ problematic navigation in the tricky waters of the Mediterranean, they land in the country where “fate” tells them to found a new empire based on Aeneas’ descendants. Here they turn from refugees to usurpers of power and fight a bloody war to finally declare themselves victors over the native peoples in the area which will become known as Rome, or Italy.

So far, so good. Translatio imperii, check!

Translatio studii?

Roman culture is in many ways a direct copy and paste of earlier Greek achievements, and their Olympus is mostly identical, just renamed. But there are peculiarities within the Aeneid that give it a specific flavour and make it enjoyable to read.

For example, Aeneas’ visit to the Underworld is hilarious, and he meets both past and future celebrities of his tribe. The modern reader may wonder how life in the Underworld works out practically, with Creusa, Dido, and eventually also Lavinia all joined together in their love for Aeneas? Is polygamy acceptable in the Underworld, if it is only practised as serial monogamy on earth? But those are amusing, theological reflections that the heroes do not dwell on.

Much more interesting are the godly powers that support or oppose Aeneas’ cause, with Venus, his mother, being his most ardent advocate in Olympus, and with Juno being his most hateful enemy. A combination that puts Jupiter in a pickle, of course.

Aeneas manages to have weapons of mass destruction delivered by the joint effort of Venus and Vulcan, and it is of peculiar interest to archaeologists that his shield carries the future of Rome written down for him: a prophetic text! Or a wonderfully amusing way to establish legitimacy through translatio historiae? Rewriting history when needed for political purposes is not an invention of Orwell’s 1984. Dante later added his own journey to the Underworld under the guidance of experienced traveller Virgil - translatio studii - as illustrated in The Divine Comedy, and beautifully painted by Delacroix, in another simultaneous leap forwards and backwards in history, creating connections between times and characters:



What made me read the ancient text, and stick it out until the end, despite being frustrated at times when the war turned into repetitive, graphically described slaughter, involving heads cut open so that brains are split in half, and any other imaginable mutilation of human bodies, over page after page?

There is the interesting question of heroic ideal, alive and terrifyingly deadly still in World War I and II, of “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori”, the famous line from Virgil’s contemporary Horace’s Odes. One young man in the Aeneid puts it quite bluntly: if I win, I will bring home lots of booty, and if I fall, I will be an immortal hero. Either way, my father will be proud.

There are the relationships between men and women, and the role of women in general. Camilla, the warrior virgin modelled on Amazons Hippolyta or Penthesilea, the mighty Carthaginian queen Dido, who has a strong mind of her own, and Lavinia, the booty for the winner in the war, are all different representatives of ancient women’s roles and status in society. For the modern reader, the goddesses in the Olympian council are more amusing types, playing the political advocates of the causes they support, fearlessly, adamantly, and in eternal frustration over the slow pace of the action, and over the cacophony of a polytheistic assembly, all with equal right to speak and lobby - and to which they add incessantly. Quite like international committees nowadays, weighing different claims, needs and justice against each other!

General verdict: if you love mythology, historical processes as mirrored in fiction, graphic war scenes, unhappy love, and stormy seas, as well as the neverending story of human fight for power and legitimacy, then the Aeneid is highly recommended.

I enjoyed it all, and will close with a bow to Dido, my favourite ancient, tragic heroine so far! She did not really get a chance, representing Carthage. Her suicide was a necessary construction to symbolise the wars to come:

Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam, said Cato, and Dido was just one of many to suffer from Roman power play. A mighty queen, nonetheless!

Meredith Holley

I’m a huge fan of propaganda, but I think I may not be a fan of fan fic. I was going into this with the hope that it would be fun, extreme, Latin propaganda, but The Aeneid is really more Trojan War fan fic, IMO. It’s the Phantom Menace to The Iliad’s Empire Strikes Back. It is seriously lame. I think Akira Kurosawa could have made a pretty decent movie of it because he likes to have people frenzy. There’s a lot of frenzying here. The dudes are all chest pound, blooooood, and the chicks are all hair pull, frenzy, waaaaaail. And Aeneas is such a dweeb about the name-dropping. Like, “Oh, did I mention that Venus is my mom? Oh, did I tell you how freaking hot I am? Yeah, I was totally there when Odysseus scammed the Cyclops.” Give me a freaking break. Did you scam the Cyclops? No. Get over yourself.

This is what happens when you start a series, and then someone else wants to capitalize on your story. It’s the fifth season of The West Wing or the seventh season of The Gilmore Girls or all the Jane Austen / Jane Eyre sequels and prequels. It just doesn’t work. Find your own story! I’m looking at you, Virgil. Not that I’m against people using storylines that someone else has used. That’s almost inevitable (and, of course, Shakespeare is a good argument for being okay with stealing). But, there is a line. I’m not positive where it is. This story crossed it. And then don’t even get me started about Dante. WHY?! Virgil’s got his guys running into Homer’s guys, and then Dante’s running into Virgil? It’s just so presumptuous. I guess, it’s like, go ahead and steal a really wonderful storyline if you have something to add to it. But don’t think that your SUPER LAME storyline is going to suddenly turn wonderful because you drop a character from a good story into it.

And there are some seriously weird details to this story. For example, Venus is this guy’s mom, but she doesn’t raise him to know not to pull a George Costanza in running away from the Greeks? Dude. It just takes a second to wait for your wife, you loser. I mean, I’m no great fan of Venus to begin with, but that’s just weird. It seems like she would have taken a minute to say, "Don't trample people running away from your enemies." Maybe it never occurred to her he'd be so lame.

And then the business with Dido was just annoying. She’s the queen of all the land, has been through hell, wherein her eeeevil brother killed her seemingly pretty awesome husband, and then when Aeneas says to Dido, “btw, it was great sleeping with you, but I have a lot of heads to chop off for no particular reason, so I should prolly get going,” she goes all Kathy Bates in Misery all of a sudden. Except lamer because she’s wailing and self-mutilating instead of taking it out on him. It’s just awkward to watch. Girl needs a sassy gay friend. And none of these people are as cool as they think they are.

And the rest of the book is basically one long chest pound. I guess there’s the part where he goes to Hades, and lo, he knows folk there. I’m kind of bitter about the whole thing because Juno’s so funny and great in The Iliad and such a loser here. Again, Akira Kurosawa probably could have turned it into a pretty decent movie. I don’t really get the frenzying thing, but Kurosawa seemed to have liked it. And, if you like people to run around, chopping limbs off and then whining and blustering for a while, you might really click with this book. What I’m saying, though, is if you haven’t read The Iliad, that’s where it’s at. I recommend, for best results, reading it in a hammock.

Libby

There are plenty of reviews here telling you why you should or shouldn't read book X. This review of Virgil's "Aeneid," the largely-completed first century BC nationalist epic poem that recounts the Trojan War and Aeneas's role in the eventual founding of Rome, will tell you instead why you should read a copy of "Aeneid" from a university library. Simply put: student annotations.

Nearly every book in a university catalog has been checked out at one time or another by a student reading it as primary or supplemental material for class. Thus, many books have important passages underlined, major themes listed at the beginnings of chapters, and clarifications written in the margins. The copy of "Aeneid" that I read not only contained thematic annotations from one student, but also a number of unintentionally funny comments from another. This made reading the epic poem, the sort of which spends five pages describing Aeneas's shield, much more entertaining than it might have otherwise been.

For example, beside a section in which the longevity and glory of the Roman Empire was prophesied, the befuddled student wrote, "But Rome fell- did Virgil know this?" Ah yes, Virgil the time-traveling super-poet who cleverly peppered his verse with chronologically ironic statements. The same annotator observed that Dido's downfall is that she's "too nice" (apparently, feuding goddesses had nothing to do with it) and produced a mind-boggling series of rhetorical queries that demonstrate the importance of using context when deciphering pronouns in poetry (hint: the closest noun isn't always the antecedent).

Sadly, the annotator only made it about a third of the way through the poem before either realizing that he/she could glean the crucial bits from lecture/Wikipedia or dropping the class. As a result, I was forced to pencil in similar comments in order to make it through the rest of the poem. The moral of this story is that though you may get the occasional bonehead marking up your book, reading a book that others have commented on previously gives an undeniable sense of camraderie. As in any interaction with strangers, you may be happily surprised, disappointed, or surprised into laughter. I highly recommend the experience to all.

James

Book Review
3 out of 5 stars to The Aeneid, a classic work written in 17 BC by Virgil.

In The Aeneid, Virgil creates two vastly different archetypal heroes named Turnus and Aeneas. Aeneas is a Trojan prince who has hopes of finding a new Troy in the land of Latium, but he runs into an angered Turnus, a Rutulian prince that does not welcome Aeneas. Both men are equally strong, equally determined, and have equal and rightful claim to the land. However, Virgil creates this distinct difference and hatred between the men that leads to the profound greatness of Rome.

Turnus is a Rutulian prince who is planning on marrying Lavinia, the princess of Latium. He is courageous when he defends his people in the war against the Trojans (Book IX and X), brilliant in his plans to attack the Trojan camp (p.207), yet motivated to win for purely personal goals. Turnus sacrifices public welfare and the good of the state just to defeat Aeneas and win the battle and Lavinia. Aeneas is also a prince who is planning on marrying Lavinia. He is caring when he looks back for his late wife Creusa (p.57), respectful and loving when his father dies (p.80), and driven when he continues his journey to find a new Troy (p.103). However, unlike Turnus, Aeneas is truly unselfish in his reasons for wanting Latium. Aeneas wants to settle the land for his people and their families, to find a new Troy. Aeneas does not want the land to be selfish. Both Turnus and Aeneas have determination behind them, physical and mental strength behind them, yet most of all the gods behind them.

With the help of Juno, Turnus fights till the end avoiding several near deaths such as Pallas’ arrow and his jump into the Tiber River fully armored. Similar to Turnus, Aeneas’ mother helps Aeneas by giving him protection with the creation of the shield (p.198), and when she heals Aeneas’ wound with the special potion (p. 302). Turnus and Aeneas up until this point have no differences. They are identical in their strengths, weaknesses, and support. However, the one major difference between them is that Aeneas has destiny behind him. He is fated to take care of his Trojan people, find a new Troy, marry Lavinia, and bear descendants to establish the great city of Rome. Aeneas has no choice but to win the war and Lavinia’s hand in marriage. Turnus must lose and somehow suffer; He cannot escape his fate. Virgil makes use of the difference between the two heroes using antagonism, hatred and most of all the superiority of Aeneas to show the greatness of Rome.

At the time The Aeneid was written Augustus Caesar was in power and the Pax Romana was beginning. Rome was in a state of absolute reign and greatness. Virgil makes use of the character Aeneas to show the greatness of his friend Octavian or Augustus Caesar. He uses the difference between the two heroes to show that by destiny via Aeneas (an ancestor of Octavian Caesar) Rome will lead the world in philosophy, art, and intelligence, etc. Turnus is good, but Aeneas is better and so is the new emperor Caesar. With Octavian Caesar in control, Rome will become even greater than it is. Virgil accomplishes his goal of glorifying Rome and its leader Augustus Caesar.

Virgil creates a strong similarity between Turnus and Aeneas, however the major characteristic of these two heroes is that Aeneas is destined to win and Turnus to lose. This difference greatly surpasses the likeness between the two men and leads to the exaltation and glorification of Rome. If Augustus Caesar is anywhere similar to Aeneas, which he is as Virgil points out, he will lead Rome to the tops. And that is just what happens!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

Madeline

"I sing of warfare and a man at war.
From the sea-coast of Troy in early days
He came to Italy by destiny,
To our Lavinian western shore,
A fugitive, this captain, buffeted
Cruelly on land as on the sea
By blows from powers of the air - behind them
Baleful Juno in her sleepless rage.
And cruel losses were his lot in war,
Till he could found a city and bring home
His gods to Latium, land of the Latin race,
The Alban lords, and the high walls of Rome.
Tell me the cause now, O Muse, how galled
In her divine pride, and how sore at heart
From her old wound, the queen of gods compelled him-
A man apart, devoted to his mission-
To undergo so many perilous days
And enter on so many trials."

Years after finally reading The Illiad and The Odyssey (one of my high school classes went over the important bits of The Odyssey, but that was pretty much the beginning and end of my classical education), I got around to reading the Roman side of the story, at last.

Is it blasphemy to say that I like Virgil's version more? Granted, Odysseus is probably a more compelling character, since he's at least morally complex in comparison to Aeneas's bland nobility and piety, but I kind of preferred reading the adventures of a guy who manages to be a hero without also having to be a self-centered, cheating dickbag. Even though I prefer the Greeks to the Romans overall, I'm Team Aeneas on this one, because man, Odysseus sucks. (I have this whole theory that everything that happens in the Odyssey is actually one huge lie concocted by Odysseus to explain why he didn't come home for ten years after the Trojan War)

As in Homer's epics, some of the best parts of this book are the battle descriptions, which are exciting, detailed, and appropriately gory. There's also a lengthy description of the armor that the gods give one of the characters, and even though that sounds boring, it's actually beautiful. And I liked the supporting characters a lot more than I liked Homer's, especially Queen Dido and Camilla the warrior girl. Also Aeneas travels to the Underworld, which is always a fun time.

Elle (ellexamines)

some funny reviews as to my opinions on this

1) this is filled with purple prose and instalove, complete with a hot sexy bad boy for the main character

2) hello my name is Aeneas Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way. I have long ebony black hair and some people say I look like Aphrodite (AN: if u don’t know who she is get da hell out of here!) I was sailing through the ever-mindful anger of the savage Juno. It was raining so there was no sun, which I was very happy about. A lot of gods stared at me. I put up my middle finger at them.

3) this doesn't really deserve one star but my latin class definitely does

Charlotte May

Read as part of my A Levels.Thoroughly enjoyed the first half of The Aeneid (mainly because its the half influenced by The Odyssey and so more mythological and fantastical) less enthralled by the second half (more influenced by The Iliad - with war and politics.)Will go back for a reread at some point I imagine.

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