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The Aeneid (Penguin Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Virgil , David West
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £10.99
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Book Description

Virgil's Aeneid, inspired by Homer and inspiration for Dante and Milton, is an immortal poem at the heart of Western life and culture. Virgil took as his hero Aeneas, legendary survivor of the fall of Troy and father of the Roman race, and in telling a story of dispossession and defeat, love and war, he portrayed human life in all its nobility and suffering.

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Review

"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 the Author

Virgil (70-19BC) studied rhetoric and philosophy in Rome where he became a court poet. As well as The Aeneid, his Eclogues earned him the reputation as the finest Latin poet.

Before his retirement, David West taught Classics at the University of Newcastle.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1547 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Rev Ed edition (27 Mar. 2003)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI95DG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,581 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More 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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
The great Latin epic, written in the first century BC, follows the adventures of Aeneas, a prince of Troy, and his family and companions as they venture around the Mediterranean, from the destruction of their city to the founding of a settlement in Italy that would eventually become Rome. All the while the hero and his companions are at the mercy of the competing deities of Graeco-Roman myth, as they engage in a heavenly tug-of-war over their eventual fate.

And David West's translation is a really good one.

It's tempting to be a bit sniffy about prose translations of narrative verse - he even admits this in his introduction (p. xlv). But as he there explains, previous attempts to render the Aeneid into English meter have often been weedy and uninteresting. On the other hand, West's prose is beautifully sonorous and rhythmic, at times almost like reading verse; while at the same time being clear and understandable. Take for example this fragment from Book 4 (pp.70-71):

"With these words Anna lit a fire of wild love in her sister's breast. Where there had been doubt she gave hope and Dido's conscience was overcome. First they approached the shrines and went round the altars asking the blessing of the gods. They picked out yearling sheep, as ritual prescribed, and sacrificed them to Ceres the Lawgiver, to Phoebus Apollo, to Bacchus the Releaser and above all to Juno, the guardian of the marriage bond. Dido in all her beauty would hold a sacred dish in her right hand and would pour wine from it between the horns of a white cow or she would walk in state to richly smoking altars before the faces of the gods, renewing her offerings all day long, and when the bellies of the victims were opened she would stare into their breathing entrails to read the signs.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex, ambivalent and very Roman 30 July 2006
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Vergil's epic used to be read as the traditional moral propaganda that justified the Roman empire and Augustus' rule, but it's a far more complex and problematic poem than that. Yes, as a previous reviewer, has stated, he takes Homer as his starting point, but Vergil's intention is not to 'top' Homer but to question and reflect on Rome's self-identity and the values that Roman culture has been built upon.

It is possible to read this is a simple, rousing epic of war and the heroic ethos, but the other 'voices' question the very values that the poem purports to support. Ultimately this is a poem of profound grief and loss and mourning for the past and for the price that has been paid in order to move forward into the future, and in this sense, it is a comment on the fall of the Republic and the emergence of the Principate under Augustus.

Having said that, it's also a good story, picking up from the end of the Iliad and telling the fall of Troy, Aeneas' escape with a group of Trojans and his search for Italy where he will found the city that will become Rome. The most famous incident is the tragic story of Dido (Book 4) which even in Vergil's own day was regarded as the best bit of the whole poem.

Together with the Iliad and the Odyssey, this is one of the foundation stones of European literature, and the Penguin translation is clear, easy and fluent. For a more poetic and rhythmic translation I would recommend the Allen Mandelbaum version which tends to be the one used by academics. Enjoy.
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75 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and easy to read 3 Mar. 2004
Format:Paperback
I am new to the classical works of Greece and Rome, however I've recently challenged myself to become more well acquainted with the works that have shaped story telling.
The fairly recent (mid nineties) Penguin translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey were where I began, and both books artfully represented the behemoths that these particular stories are in the world of literature. It was then with some trepidation that I picked up this volume, clear that this Roman book would not come up to scratch. I am glad to say I was completely wrong. West's translation is rich and readable. I even managed to read this on a busy bus on the way to work!
The accessibility of this work is its strength and I would recommend this story, and in particular this artful translation, to anyone who has no real specialist knowledge, but enjoys a good story and revels in the ancient greatness such tales can evoke.
Recommended
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lively, enjoyable translation 3 May 2012
Format:Paperback
I am not a student of classics, and the only ancient classic I'd read prior to this was Homer's Odyssey which, frankly, was the most boring thing I'd ever read. Needless to say I was not expecting to like this book and was only reading it at all because I thought it would be useful in studying English literature. To my surprise I actually really enjoyed it! It has a lively and engaging style and Virgil's characters are so real you feel you could touch them. I wonder now if it was Homer's or the translator's fault I didn't enjoy The Odyssey... who knows! But I would definitely recommend this copy of The Aeneid!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars thanks for the memories 6 Feb. 2011
By Axeman
Format:Paperback
Not that I was there during the original story...
I bought this for an office mate who wanted to broaded her education. I had studied it at school many years ago, even did some of it in the original Latin. Brought back happy memories. Nice version of the story - seems to flow well from the flick through that I did before handing it on. Can highly recommend it. Written as the Roman equivalent to the Iliad and the Odyssey. Funny that cultures need to find some basis in history to justify themselves.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A level course work
Published 15 days ago by Lesley T.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good
Published 15 days ago by shaun taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars The forwards to the book were very insightful and helpful ...
The forwards to the book were very insightful and helpful into understanding the text and the context further and in depth.
Published 1 month ago by Deepa Visavadia
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
bought as a gift and exactly as expected
Published 1 month ago by Mags
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely disappointed.
I read many reviews and descriptions to make sure this was a prose translation, as i prefer. I then purchased this one on my kindle to find the kindle edition was not strictly... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Anon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent
Published 4 months ago by Paul mccafferty
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book
Fantastic book and it came in amazing condition - very pleased with the quality. It takes a while to come, but they warn you about this and it still came before the deadline so I'm... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Megann
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great thanks
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Book
Bought as a present
Published 7 months ago by Mrs K Thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars Broad canvas makes for literary masterpiece
The Aeneid is thoroughly enjoyable. In fact, it is the kind of book that might be described as swashbuckling. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mr N D Willis
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