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The Aeneid

The Aeneid

4.2 190
by Virgil

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Virgil's sweeping epic of Trojan warrior Aeneas and the founding of Rome — a stirring tale of exile, heroism, and combat, and of a man caught between love, duty, and fate.


  • A concise introduction that
  • Overview


    Virgil's sweeping epic of Trojan warrior Aeneas and the founding of Rome — a stirring tale of exile, heroism, and combat, and of a man caught between love, duty, and fate.


  • A concise introduction that gives the reader important background information
  • A chronology of the author's life and work
  • A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context
  • An outline of key themes and plot points to guide the reader's own interpretations
  • Detailed explanatory notes
  • Critical analysis and modern perspectives on the work
  • Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction
  • A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience
  • Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential.

    Editorial Reviews

    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

    From the Publisher

    "Readers of Ahl's well-crafted lines will come face-to-face with the excitement and energy of Virgil's moving original. Fantham's 40-page introduction will enlighten both new readers and old fans; also helpful are the maps of the Roman world, the select bibliography, extensive glossary, index of proper names, and--especially-- Ahl's 100 pages of explanatory notes. Highly recommended." --CHOICE

    Product Details

    Simon & Schuster
    Publication date:
    Enriched Classics Series
    Edition description:
    Enriched Classic
    Product dimensions:
    4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.00(d)
    Age Range:
    18 - 17 Years

    Read an Excerpt

    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 toannihilate 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: prepress@wbrt.com

    From the Paperback edition.

    Copyright© 1981 by Virgil

    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.

    Meet the Author

    Virgil (70 BCE-19 BCE), considered one of Rome's greatest poets, is best known for three major works: the Eclogues (or Bucolics), the Georgics, and the Aeneid.

    Michael Page has been recording audiobooks since 1984 and has over two hundred audiobooks to his credit. He has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. A professional actor, Michael is currently a professor of theater at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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    The Aeneid 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 190 reviews.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    I didn't quite understand this when I read it at 10 years old, but then I read it again at 14, and since then I've asked all of my friends to read it. Now I'm reading this great adventure to my kids, and they love every sentence. Read this, and the Odyssey.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Pretty good translation, not as good as some I've read. Wish it had reference numbers.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    A classic in the utmost form of the Greek warriors who began Rome and the Roman Empire.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    The Aeneid by Virgil was excellently translated by Fitzgerald in this classic epic/adventure. I am a Latin student, and I have read the Latin version and Fitzgerald did an excellent job with this. If you like Latin/Roman culture, this is a MUST read. Its a classic, and one of the best books ever written. I don't think there has ever been another legendary epic as good as this!
    Anonymous 4 months ago
    She padded in sniffing the air
    Anonymous 4 months ago
    Umm.... hey.....? Im kinda new here..... mind showing me around?
    Anonymous 4 months ago
    The names are really hard to come up with. Like he one i have now so jold on a day or two for those
    Anonymous 4 months ago
    It let out a hoarse, forced mew before collasping from exhaustion. It's bloodied paws seemed oversized for it's body, it's grey fur matted and dirtied.
    Anonymous 4 months ago
    I will talk to ya and for when you rank up i got some good names for you to use or try. No one talks to me either. I have been in this clan for like two or three years.
    Anonymous 4 months ago
    Anonymous 4 months ago
    Are you bad?
    Anonymous 5 months ago
    "May i join?", she asked
    Anonymous 5 months ago
    A brown cat with green eyes and falcon wings padded in. He had a scar around his neck, and was wearing a pendant with a lightning bolt on it. He had a star on his cheek, representing the life that Seastar gave him, which had ressurected him from death. A tear slipped down his cheek. He recognized no one. "You!" He mews to the nearest cat. "Please tell me where Aslanstar is! Is she alive? I need to find my mother right away!"
    Anonymous 5 months ago
    What happened? Sorry for being inactive.
    Anonymous 5 months ago
    Sunstreak and Brownface sat huddled together, their heads down. Sunstreak seemed unharmed other than some singed fur, and a rattling cough shook him once in a while. Brownface's ear had an ugly red welt. Sparrowwing was nowhere to be found.
    Anonymous 5 months ago
    *bounds into the group looking around frantically*"has anyone seen yui? I cant find her!"
    Anonymous 5 months ago
    He limps in coughing and vomiting he collapses.
    Anonymous 5 months ago
    Padded into the shelter as she ran into bundle of wouned cat "May i help you?" She asks looking at the desprete cats
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Walks in.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Drakon padded in. "What first?" She asked.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    He padded in. It was a large, abandoned camp. From BloodClan years ago. A temporary resting place for RockClan. He remembered stumbling upon it when he first joined CC as a kit all those many, many moons ago. He sat in the middle and faced his patrol now, his eyes sparkling.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Ran back into camp. He was carrying a rabbit, putting it in the freshkill pile
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Is not in camp i'm bored
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    The cat in Starclan watched the clan carefully, before turning back into Starclan hunting grounds. (I wrote a warriors fanfic on paper, does anyone want me to type it?)
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Pads in frightend a few burns on her paws she looks around for nightflower