The Aeneid

Author Virgil
Introduction by David West
Translated by David West
Notes by David West
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Paperback
$16.00 US
5.09"W x 7.77"H x 0.82"D  
On sale Apr 29, 2003 | 368 Pages | 978-0-14-044932-7
| Grades 9-12 + AP/IB
"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.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Virgil (70–19 BCE) is regarded as the greatest Roman poet, known for his epic, The Aeneid (written about 29 BCE, unfinished). Virgil was born on October 15, 70 BCE, in a small village near Mantua in Northern Italy. He attended school at Cremona and Milan, and then went to Rome, where he studied mathematics, medicine and rhetoric, and completed his studies in Naples. Between 42 and 37 BCE. Virgil composed pastoral poems known as Ecologues, and spent years on the Georgics. At the urging of Augustus Caesar, Virgil began to write The Aeneid, a poem of the glory of Rome under Caesar's rule. Virgil devoted the remaining time of his life, from 30 to 19 BCE, to the composition of The Aeneid, the national epic of Rome and to glory of the Empire. The poet died in 19 BCE of a fever he contracted on his visit to Greece with the Emperor. It is said that the poet had instructed his executor Varius to destroy The Aeneid, but Augustus ordered Varius to ignore this request, and the poem was published. View titles by Virgil
"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

About

"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.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Author

Virgil (70–19 BCE) is regarded as the greatest Roman poet, known for his epic, The Aeneid (written about 29 BCE, unfinished). Virgil was born on October 15, 70 BCE, in a small village near Mantua in Northern Italy. He attended school at Cremona and Milan, and then went to Rome, where he studied mathematics, medicine and rhetoric, and completed his studies in Naples. Between 42 and 37 BCE. Virgil composed pastoral poems known as Ecologues, and spent years on the Georgics. At the urging of Augustus Caesar, Virgil began to write The Aeneid, a poem of the glory of Rome under Caesar's rule. Virgil devoted the remaining time of his life, from 30 to 19 BCE, to the composition of The Aeneid, the national epic of Rome and to glory of the Empire. The poet died in 19 BCE of a fever he contracted on his visit to Greece with the Emperor. It is said that the poet had instructed his executor Varius to destroy The Aeneid, but Augustus ordered Varius to ignore this request, and the poem was published. View titles by Virgil

Praise

"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

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