The Aeneid of Virgil

The Aeneid of Virgil

3.8 24
by Virgil

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"Written by the Roman poet Virgil more than two thousand years ago, the story of Aeneas' seven-year journey from the ruins of Troy to Italy, where he becomes the founding ancestor of Rome, is a narrative on an epic scale: Aeneas and his companions contend not only with human enemies but with the whim of the gods. His destiny preordained by Jupiter, Aeneas is…  See more details below


"Written by the Roman poet Virgil more than two thousand years ago, the story of Aeneas' seven-year journey from the ruins of Troy to Italy, where he becomes the founding ancestor of Rome, is a narrative on an epic scale: Aeneas and his companions contend not only with human enemies but with the whim of the gods. His destiny preordained by Jupiter, Aeneas is nevertheless assailed by dangers invoked by the goddess Juno, and by the torments of love, loyalty, and despair. Virgil's supreme achievement is not only to reveal Rome's imperial future for his patron Augustus, but to invest it with both passion and suffering for all those caught up in the fates of others." Frederick Ahl's new translation captures the excitement, poetic energy, and intellectual force of the original in a way that has never been done before. Echoing the Virgilian hexameter the verse stays almost line for line with the original in an accurate style.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Allen Mandelbaum has produced a living Aeneid, a version that is unmistakably poetry." — Erich Segal, The New York Times Book Review

"A brilliant translation; the only one since Dryden which reads like English verse and conveys some of the majesty and pathos of the original." — Bernard M. W. Knox

"Mandelbaum has... given us a contemporary experience of the masterpiece, at last." — David Ignatow

Erich Segal
Allen Mandelbaum has produced a living Aeneid, a version that is unmistakably poetry." -- The New York Times Book Review
Bernard M. W. Knox
A brilliant translation; the only one since Dryden which reads like English verse and conveys some of the majesty and pathos of the original.
David Ignatow
Mandelbaum has... given us a contemporary experience of the masterpiece, at last.
The New Yorker
Fagles's new version of Virgil's epic delicately melds the stately rhythms of the original to a contemporary cadence. . . . He illuminates the poem's Homeric echoes while remaining faithful to Virgil's distinctive voice.
The New York Times Book Review
A new and noble standard bearer . . . There's a capriciousness to Fagles's line well suited to this vast story's ebb and flow.
Library Journal

Ahl (classics & comparative literature, Cornell Univ.) has previously published translations of Seneca's and Lucan's works and has written books on Sophocles, Lucan, and Ovid. His new translation of this great Latin classic, Virgil's tale of Aeneas's seven-year journey from Troy to Italy, joins recent efforts by Stanley Lombardo (Hackett, 2005) and Robert Fagles (Penguin, 2006). Here, Ahl employs a version of Virgil's hexameter verse, in which the first syllable is accented. Unlike previous translators, he tries to capture some of Virgil's wordplay, puns, and anagrams, aiming to remain true to the original Latin. The overall results are accurate but not as fluent or vigorous as the translations by Lombardo and Fagles. While those translations remain the first choice for general readers interested mainly in The Aeneid's narrative aspects, Ahl's translation is good for those wanting a fuller sense of Virgil's language and poetic artistry. In addition to an indexed glossary of names, Ahl includes notes explaining references; classicist Elaine Fantham offers a substantial introduction discussing Virgil, Aeneas, and The Aeneid. Recommended for all public and academic libraries.
—T.L. Cooksey

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Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Bantam Classics Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.19(w) x 6.84(h) x 0.91(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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Book I

I sing of arms and of a man: his fate had made him fugitive; he was the first

to journey from the coasts of Troy as far

as Italy and the Lavinian shores.

Across the lands and waters he was battered     5

beneath the violence of High Ones, for

the savage Juno's unforgetting anger;

and many sufferings were his in war-

until he brought a city into being

and carried in his gods to Latium;      10

from this have come the Latin race, the lords

of Alba, and the ramparts of high Rome.

Tell me the reason, Muse: what was the wound

to her divinity, so hurting her

that she, the queen of gods, compelled a man    15

remarkable for goodness to endure

so many crises, meet so many trials?

Can such resentment hold the minds of gods?

There was an ancient city they called Carthage-

a colony of refugees from Tyre- 20

a city facing Italy, but far

away from Tiber's mouth: extremely rich

and, when it came to waging war, most fierce.

This land was Juno's favorite-it is said-

more dear than her own Samos; here she kept     25

her chariot and armor; even then

the goddess had this hope and tender plan:

for Carthage to become the capital

of nations, if the Fates would just consent.

But she had heard that, from the blood of Troy, 30

a race had come that some day would destroy

the citadels of Tyre; from it, a people

would spring, wide-ruling kings, men proud in battle

and destined to annihilate her Libya.

The Fates had so decreed. And Saturn's daughter-        35

in fear of this, remembering the old war

that she had long since carried on at Troy

for her beloved Argos (and, indeed,

the causes of her bitterness, her sharp

and savage hurt, had not yet left her spirit;   40

for deep within her mind lie stored the judgment

of Paris and the wrong done to her scorned

beauty, the breed she hated, and the honors

that had been given ravished Ganymede)-

was angered even more; for this, she kept       45

far off from Latium the Trojan remnant

left by the Greeks and pitiless Achilles.

For long years they were cast across all waters,

fate-driven, wandering from sea to sea.

It was so hard to found the race of Rome.       50

With Sicily scarce out of sight, the Trojans

had gladly spread their canvas on the sea,

turning the salt foam with their brazen prows,

when Juno, holding fast within her heart

the everlasting insult, asked herself:  55

"Am I, defeated, simply to stop trying,

unable to turn back the Trojan king

from Italy? No doubt, the Fates won't have it.

But Pallas-was she powerful enough

to set the Argive fleet on fire, to drown       60

the crewmen in the deep, for an outrage done

by only one infuriated man,

Ajax, Oileus' son? And she herself

could fling Jove's racing lightning from the clouds

and smash their galleys, sweep the sea with tempests.   65

Then Ajax' breath was flame from his pierced chest;

she caught him up within a whirlwind; she

impaled him on a pointed rock. But I,

the queen of gods, who stride along as both

the sister and the wife of Jove, have warred    70

so many years against a single nation.

For after this, will anyone adore

the majesty of Juno or, before

her altars, pay her honor, pray to her?"

Then-burning, pondering-the goddess reaches     75

Aeolia, the motherland of storms,

a womb that always teems with raving south winds.

In his enormous cave King Aeolus

restrains the wrestling winds, loud hurricanes;

he tames and sways them with his chains and prison.     80

They rage in indignation at their cages;

the mountain answers with a mighty roar.

Lord Aeolus sits in his high citadel;

he holds his scepter, and he soothes their souls

and calms their madness. Were it not for this,  85

then surely they would carry off the sea

and lands and steepest heaven, sweeping them

across the emptiness. But fearing that,

the all-able Father hid the winds within

dark caverns, heaping over them high mountains; 90

and he assigned to them a king who should,

by Jove's sure edict, understand just when

to jail and when, commanded, to set free.

Then Juno, suppliant, appealed to him:

"You, Aeolus-to whom the king of men    95

and father of the gods has given this:

to pacify the waves or, with the wind,

to incite them-over the Tyrrhenian

now sails my enemy, a race that carries

the beaten household gods of Ilium      100

to Italy. Hammer your winds to fury

and ruin their swamped ships, or scatter them

and fling their crews piecemeal across the seas.

I have twice-seven nymphs with splendid bodies;

the loveliest of them is Deiopea,       105

and I shall join her to you in sure marriage

and name her as your own, that she may spend

all of her years with you, to make you father

of fair sons. For such service, such return."

And Aeolus replied: "O Queen, your task 110

is to discover what you wish; and mine,

to act at your command. For you have won

this modest kingdom for me, and my scepter,

and Jove's goodwill. You gave me leave to lean

beside the banquets of the gods, and you        115

have made me lord of tempests and of clouds."

His words were done. He turned his lance head, struck

the hollow mountain on its side. The winds,

as in a column, hurry through the breach;

they blow across the earth in a tornado.        120

Together, Eurus, Notus, and-with tempest

on tempest-Africus attack the sea;

they churn the very bottom of the deep

and roll vast breakers toward the beaches; cries

of men, the creaking of the cables rise.        125

Then, suddenly, the cloud banks snatch away

the sky and daylight from the Trojans' eyes.

Black night hangs on the waters, heavens thunder,

and frequent lightning glitters in the air;

everything intends quick death to men.  130

At once Aeneas' limbs fall slack with chill.

He groans and stretches both hands to the stars.

He calls aloud: "O, three and four times blessed

were those who died before their fathers' eyes

beneath the walls of Troy. Strongest of all     135

the Danaans, o Diomedes, why

did your right hand not spill my lifeblood, why

did I not fall upon the Ilian fields,

there where ferocious Hector lies, pierced by

Achilles' javelin, where the enormous   140

Sarpedon now is still, and Simois

has seized and sweeps beneath its waves so many

helmets and shields and bodies of the brave!"

*  *  *

Aeneas hurled these words. The hurricane

is howling from the north; it hammers full      145

against his sails. The seas are heaved to heaven.

The oars are cracked; the prow sheers off; the waves

attack broadside; against his hull the swell

now shatters in a heap, mountainous, steep.

Some sailors hang upon a wave crest; others     150

stare out at gaping waters, land that lies

below the waters, surge that seethes with sand.

And then the south wind snatches up three ships

and spins their keels against the hidden rocks-

those rocks that, rising in midsea, are called  155

by the Italians "Altars"-like a monstrous

spine stretched along the surface of the sea.

Meanwhile the east wind wheels another three

off from the deep and, terrible to see,

against the shoals and shifting silt, against   160

the shallows, girding them with mounds of sand.

Before Aeneas' eyes a massive breaker

smashes upon its stern the ship that carries

the Lycian crewmen led by true Orontes.

The helmsman is beaten down; he is whirled headlong.    165

Three times at that same spot the waters twist

and wheel the ship around until a swift

whirlpool has swallowed it beneath the swell.

And here and there upon the wide abyss,

among the waves, are swimmers, weapons, planks, 170

and Trojan treasure. Now the tempest takes

the sturdy galleys of Ilioneus

and brave Achates, now the ships of Abas

and many-yeared Aletes; all receive

their enemy, the sea, through loosened joints   175

along their sides and through their gaping seams.

But Neptune felt the fracas and the frenzy;

and shaken by the unleashed winds, the wrenching

of the still currents from the deep seabed,

he raised his tranquil head above the surface.  180

And he can see the galleys of Aeneas

scattered across the waters, with the Trojans

dismembered by the waves and fallen heavens.

Her brother did not miss the craft and wrath

of Juno. Catching that, he calls up both        185

the east wind and the west. His words are these:

"Has pride of birth made you so insolent?

So, Winds, you dare to mingle sky and land,

heave high such masses, without my command?

Whom I-? But no, let me first calm the restless 190

swell; you shall yet atone-another time-

with different penalties for these your crimes.

But now be off, and tell your king these things:

that not to him, but me, has destiny

allotted the dominion of the sea        195

and my fierce trident. The enormous rocks

are his-your home, East Wind. Let Aeolus

be lord of all that lies within that hall

and rule in that pent prison of the winds."

So Neptune speaks and, quicker than his tongue, 200

brings quiet to the swollen waters, sets

the gathered clouds to flight, calls back the sun.

Together, then, Cymothoë and Triton,

thrusting, dislodge the ships from jagged crags.

But now the god himself takes up his trident    205

to lift the galleys, and he clears a channel

across the vast sandbank. He stills the sea

and glides along the waters on light wheels.

And just as, often, when a crowd of people

is rocked by a rebellion, and the rabble        210

rage in their minds, and firebrands and stones

fly fast-for fury finds its weapons-if,

by chance, they see a man remarkable

for righteousness and service, they are silent

and stand attentively; and he controls  215

their passion by his words and cools their spirits:

so all the clamor of the sea subsided

after the Father, gazing on the waters

and riding under cloudless skies, had guided

his horses, let his willing chariot run.        220

And now Aeneas' weary crewmen hurry

to find the nearest land along their way.

They turn toward Libya's coast. There is a cove

within a long, retiring bay; and there

an island's jutting arms have formed a harbor   225

where every breaker off the high sea shatters

and parts into the shoreline's winding shelters.

Along this side and that there towers, vast,

a line of cliffs, each ending in like crags;

beneath the ledges tranquil water lies  230

silent and wide; the backdrop-glistening

forests and, beetling from above, a black

grove, thick with bristling shadows. Underneath

the facing brow: a cave with hanging rocks,

sweet waters, seats of living stone, the home   235

of nymphs. And here no cable holds tired ships,

no anchor grips them fast with curving bit.

Aeneas shelters here with seven ships-

all he can muster, all the storm has left.

The Trojans, longing so to touch the land,      240

now disembark to gain the wished-for sands.

They stretch their salt-soaked limbs along the beach.

Achates was the first to strike a spark

from flint and catch the fire up with leaves.

He spread dry fuel about, and then he waved     245

the tinder into flame. Tired of their trials,

the Trojan crewmen carry out the tools

of Ceres and the sea-drenched corn of Ceres.

And they prepare to parch the salvaged grain

by fire and, next, to crush it under stone.     250

Meanwhile Aeneas climbs a crag to seek

a prospect far and wide across the deep,

if he can only make out anything

of Antheus and his Phrygian galleys, or

of Capys, or the armor of Caicus        255

on his high stern. There is no ship in sight;

all he can see are three stags wandering

along the shore, with whole herds following

behind, a long line grazing through the valley.

He halted, snatched his bow and racing arrows,  260

the weapons carried by the true Achates.

And first he lays the leaders low, their heads

held high with tree-like antlers; then he drives

the herds headlong into the leafy groves;

they panic, like a rabble, at his arrows.       265

He does not stay his hand until he stretches,

victoriously, seven giant bodies

along the ground, in number like his galleys.

This done, he seeks the harbor and divides

the meat among his comrades. And he shares      270

the wine that had been stowed by kind Acestes

in casks along the shores of Sicily:

the wine that, like a hero, the Sicilian

had given to the Trojans when they left.

Aeneas soothes their melancholy hearts: 275

"O comrades-surely we're not ignorant

of earlier disasters, we who have suffered

things heavier than this-our god will give

an end to this as well. You have neared the rage

of Scylla and her caves' resounding rocks;      280

and you have known the Cyclops' crags; call back

your courage, send away your grieving fear.

Perhaps one day you will remember even

these our adversities with pleasure. Through

so many crises and calamities   285

we make for Latium, where fates have promised

a peaceful settlement. It is decreed

that there the realm of Troy will rise again.

Hold out, and save yourselves for kinder days."

These are his words; though sick with heavy cares,      290

he counterfeits hope in his face; his pain

is held within, hidden. His men make ready

the game that is to be their feast; they flay

the deer hide off the ribs; the flesh lies naked.

Some slice off quivering strips and pierce them with    295

sharp spits, while on the beach the others set

caldrons of brass and tend the flame. With food

their strength comes back again. Along the grass

they stretch and fill their bellies full of fat

venison meat and well-aged wine. That done-     300

their hunger banished by their feasting and

the tables cleared-their talk is long, uncertain

between their hope and fear, as they ask after

their lost companions, wondering if their comrades

are still alive or if they have undergone       305

the final change and can no longer hear

when called upon. Especially the pious

Aeneas moans within himself the loss

now of the vigorous Orontes, now

of Amycus, the cruel end of Lycus,      310

the doom of brave Cloanthus, of brave Gyas.

Their food and talk were done when Jupiter,

while gazing from the peaks of upper air

across the waters winged with canvas and

low-lying lands and shores and widespread people,       315

stood high upon the pinnacle of heaven

until he set his sight on Libya's kingdom.

And as he ponders this, the saddened Venus,

her bright eyes dimmed and tearful, speaks to him:

"O you who, with eternal rule, command  320

and govern the events of gods and men,

and terrify them with your thunderbolt,

what great offense has my Aeneas given,

what is his crime, what have the Trojans done

that, having undergone so many deaths,  325

the circle of all lands is shut against them-

and just because of Italy? Surely

— PrePress Department Westchester Book 4 Old Newtown Road Danbury CT 06810 Voice: 1-203-791-0080 Fax:   1-203-791-9286 e-mail:

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What People are saying about this

J. M. Coetzee
Robert Fagles gives the full range of Virgil's drama, grandeur, and pathos in vigorous, supple modern English. It is fitting that one of the great translators of The Iliad and The Odyssey in our times should also emerge as a surpassing translator of The Aeneid.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
A thousand books to a thousand persons.

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The Aeneid of Virgil 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
ShelaghAZ More than 1 year ago
...and I mean literally not logically. This particular book is a photocopy of a paperback book so the writing is very small even when put to extra, extra large. The full text is there so I am not disappointed with the material.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This review relates to Allen Mandelbaum's English verse translation of Virgil's -Aeneid-. (Bantam Books; 1961/1981). This edition is excellent for the opening 'life' of Virgil, for Mandelbaum's 'Introduction,' and for his verse translation of Virgil's epic (poem) as well. Mandelbaum's explanation for his own overlooking of Virgil's greatness in his youth because of a tendency to listen to the critical perspectives of others who compared him unfavorably to Homer or because the critic saw the heroes depicted as figures who 'live the cool and limited existence of shadows, nourished by the blood of noble zeal, blood that has been sacrificed in the attempt to recall what has forever disappeared,' all mislead (as Mandelbaum now believes) the reader from truly appreciating the depth and fully human awarenesses that Virgil puts into his epic. Some of the 'Introduction,' is too academic and studied in its inspective fussiness, but then Mandelbaum will come up with something enlivening and satisfying like this: 'Virgil does not have Plato's humor; but he does have Platonic tolerance (and more compassion than Plato). And if the relative weights of the Epicurean, the Stoic, the Pythagorean in him are often hard to assess, his humanity is constant -- and vital, not lumbering, not marmoreal. And not shrill; and when, with the goad of public despair, my own poetic voice has had to struggle often with shrillness, the work on this translation has been most welcome.' Wondrous and insightful. Mandelbaum's verse translation: 'Their minds and hearts were one;/in war they charged together; and now, too,/they shared a sentry station at one gate./ And Nisus says: 'Euryalus, is it/the gods who put this fire in our minds,/or is it that each man's relentless longing becomes a god to him?''
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Manirul More than 1 year ago
Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....! 
manirul01 More than 1 year ago
Amazing.....!Excellent......!Just enjoy it.....!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Find The Fitzgerald and Fagles translations of Virgil's AENEID to be the best readable copies of this classical work- but Mandelbaum's version is a close second in readability & enjoyment. The Nook version of this Bantam Classics paperback is surprisingly clear and easy to read(in the "publisher's default" section of the Nook's font menu). A previous reviewer stated the type/scanning was poor- but I found no typos or anything negative with the eBook. 3 stars.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
What a wondeful translation of Vergil's Aeneid. As a student of the classics, I found Mandelbaum's translation pleasant to read in English, as the verse, which I dislike in most English translations from Latin, flowed smoothly and kept up a lively pace. As a 3rd year Latin student translating the Aenead, it made a perfect reference for checking my translations because it stayed so true to the original Latin without becoming dry to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Aeneid is a great book for an itelligent teenager or interested adult. The book is very detailed and in depth. I would suggest foot notes for this book. It introduces many characters and in depth ideas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okkk I &hearts Hunger Games not this &#9786