The Aeneid (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

The Aeneid (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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The Aeneid (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) by Vergil

The Aeneid, by Vergil, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

Written more than two thousand years ago and one of Western literature’s indisputable masterpieces, the Aeneid is the Roman “answer” to Homer’s epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. The latter celebrate Greek civilization through the stories of Greek victory in the Trojan War and the exploits of Odysseus. Vergil’s Aeneid sings the triumph of Roman culture, transforming Troy’s tragedy into a step on the path toward the founding of Rome by the descendants of the last Trojan hero, Aeneas.

Fleeing the fallen city with a few followers, Aeneas undergoes a series of adventures, including a passionate love affair with the ravishing Dido, queen of Carthage, a visit to the underworld to meet the spirit of his father, and mortal combat with Turnus, a powerful king. Each episode tests his courage, morality, and humanity, and proves his worthiness to be the ancestor of one of the greatest empires in history.

Sarah Spence is Professor of Classics at the University of Georgia. Founding editor of the journal Literary Imagination, she has published widely on Vergil and medieval vernacular poetry. She is author of two books, Rhetorics of Reason and Desire: Vergil, Augustine, and the Troubadors and Texts and the Self in the Twelfth Century, and has edited two volumes of essays on Vergil. She lives in Athens, Georgia.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593082376
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Publication date: 03/01/2007
Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 28,062
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Sarah Spence is Professor of Classics at the University of Georgia. Founding editor of the journal Literary Imagination, she has published widely on Vergil and medieval vernacular poetry. She is author of two books, Rhetorics of Reason and Desire: Vergil, Augustine, and the Troubadors and Texts and the Self in the Twelfth Century, and has edited two volumes of essays on Vergil. She lives in Athens, Georgia.

Read an Excerpt

From Sarah Spence’s Introduction to The Aeneid

Written between 26 and 19 b.c., the Aeneid was virtually finished, if somewhat unpolished, at the time of Vergil’s death. Unlike the poem’s major precursors, the Greek epics of Homer, the Aeneid aims to illuminate the historical and cultural complexity of the world that surrounded its first audience. The poem looks back to the prehistory of Rome and forward to the Rome of Vergil’s day, a perspective that has led some to characterize it as nostalgic. Yet the real beauty and strength of the work lies in its ability to provide a glimpse of the underpinnings of the very world its early audience inhabited—both its strengths and its weaknesses. It is, in short, a poem that in taking us back to the origins of the Roman people takes us forward to the world of Vergil and, to a large extent, to the world we live in today. The theme of the poem is not so much a lament over the necessity of sacrifice, as it is sometimes read, but an assertion that loss is embedded in the imperial vision—that the intertwined strands of promise and loss lie at the heart of the imperial enterprise, be it Augustan or contemporary.

Aeneas’ importance derives from two sources. On the one hand, it is fated in the Iliad (20.302) that he will escape Troy and his offspring will rule over fellow Trojans. Vergil connects Aeneas’ rule with Rome, and thus establishes a clear movement of the gods and so of culture from east to west, from Troy to Latium. Alongside this, as we are told in the first book by Jupiter, the king of the gods, and in the sixth book by Anchises, Aeneas’ father, that Aeneas is genealogically linked to Caesar, to whom Jupiter has granted an empire without end. Through Aeneas’ son Ascanius, also known as Iulus, the line of the Caesars will be founded; they will trace their family back to Venus, Aeneas’ mother, and Jupiter, her father.

The poem is often approached through the opposition offered in the opening lines between pietas (the honor man pays god and son pays father) and furor (rage). Aeneas is first characterized as a man marked by piety, while his primary antagonist, the goddess Juno, is marked by her rage. Throughout the poem, the struggles to achieve the goal of reaching Rome play out between these opposing forces. Aeneas’ honor of both his father and the gods—dominated by the figure of Jupiter, the king of the gods—propels him out of Troy and through years on the ocean; it is the reason he leaves the beautiful Dido, whom he encounters in Carthage; it is the mark of his leadership during the games on Sicily and his battles in Italy. Furor, on the other hand, accounts not only for the rage of Juno, Jupiter’s wife and sister (angry because the victory of her Greeks at Troy has not destroyed the Trojans), but also for a series of characters who participate in that anger, including Dido, once spurned by Aeneas, and Turnus, whose land and betrothed are offered by his king to Aeneas. The progress of pius Aeneas from Troy to Latium is impeded by Juno and the characters in whom she inspires furor.

The interaction of pietas and furor plays out against the background of the imperial landscape. As Aeneas travels from Troy to Latium he sketches out the reach of the later empire, and in so doing, he lays his people’s future claim to that path. Key landings that will later become part of the Roman imperial project are noted. Having Aeneas land at Buthrotum, for example, Vergil lays the groundwork for the later development of a Roman colony there. When, at the end of book 5, Aeneas decides to leave some of the older Trojans on Sicily, Vergil not only explains the presence of Trojan archeological finds there; he also justifies the development of Sicily as a Roman province. The stop at Actium, brief though it is, introduces Actium into the imperial language and projects Octavian’s victory there. The lands Aeneas touches become marked for the imperial cause—they are lands that the emperor will later claim as his own. Aeneas will see them only as false Italys; they mean nothing to him except failure, both to obtain his goal and to return home. Yet that very failure offers proof that the imperial project is underway.

The literary past participates in this enterprise. Vergil’s literary models are many. On the one hand, there are the Greek epics of Homer, whose Iliad and Odyssey took four times as many books to relay their story; on the other, there is the newer movement of Alexandrian poetry (including both Apollonius’ Argonautica and the works of Callimachus), whose spare aesthetics argued that less is more, that recondite allusion and sharp delineation were the marks of cleaner, better poetry. Against these Greek traditions lies the Latin project: starting with Ennius, whose epic about the founding of Rome exists only in fragments, the tradition of telling Roman origins in Latin and highlighting the connection of the language to the Roman mission and identity was taken up by Lucretius and continued throughout the republic and into the empire, with the poetry of Catullus, Horace, Propertius, Tibullus, Vergil and Ovid. Every one of these poets aimed to grapple with the inherited Greek past in an effort not only to recast the works into a new language but, more, to show that that new literature was essential to the success and definition of the Roman mission.

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Aeneid (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 103 reviews.
Ms_Capulet More than 1 year ago
Virgil's Aeneid is an inspiring thriller. It combines action with mythology, romance and drama.

Along with being a beautifully written epic, it is also a historic piece that periodically incorporates Roman history into it's pages.

A fan of any of the aforementioned genres will be interested in the Aeneid.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Dover Edition of -The Aeneid- by Publius Vergilius Maro (Virgil or Vergil) is a 1995 reprint of the English verse trans lation by Charles J. Billson, published in London in 1906. To try to render, or match, Virgil's Latin verse, into an English verse 'equivalent' is a tough job indeed. Though, there ARE several English verse translations available in paperback format. As one reviewer already noted, there are no notes or annotations for this 'thrift edition.' This poses problems for those who lack knowledge of Roman history, knowledge of Virgil and his times, and Roman/Greek mythology. On the other hand, it can be a refreshing 'break' for those who want to simply enjoy the work itself (though not in its original language and verse format) in a readable, if somewhat stilted English verse form. The original Latin (from the Loeb Classical Library, Vol. 63) begins: 'Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris/ Italiam fato profugus Lavinaque venit/ litora--' [the prose translation by H.R. Fairclough (Revised by G.P. Goold) renders this as: 'Arms and the man I sing, who first from the coasts of Troy, exiled by fate, came to Italy and Lavine shores--'.] This English verse translation by Billson presents this same opening as: 'Arms and the Man I sing, who first from Troy,/A Doom-led exile, on Lavinian shores/ Reached Italy; long tossed on sea and land/ By Heaven's rude arm--'. This particular verse rendering, I believe, rates 4 stars, while the epic itself rates 5 stars as one of the world's great works of creative art and literature. The poem also became the ancient Roman empire's national epic (celebrating Rome's legendary ancient ancestors and her 'destined' purpose) from the time of the 1st Emperor Augustus onward.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This combines the Iliad and the Odyssey of Greek, yet is different and Roman, and as those epics, it ends well. Every time I read this I learn something new that I missed previously.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dover Thrift has long been a great resource for those of us who want to read the classics without breaking our budgets. For students like myself, it could even be referred to as a 'godsend.' Dover Thrift's version of Aeneid is a great copy to introduce one's self to the text with. It's poetic, but reasonably easy to follow. The downside is that there is no introductory commentary or footnote material, but it's still a great place to start your journey with Aeneas. The Aeneid itself is a seminal text. One way to think of it is as the text that linked together Homer and Dante: it utilizes epic conventions, but it also has an original narrative voice that would inspire Dante to follow Virgil--the character--through a fantastic, fictional hell, but also to follow Vergil--the writer's--literary example. A must-read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was completely absorbed by this epic poem - much more than I thought I was going to be! The ability to skip to the endnotes with my Nook helped immensely with understanding the text - I know that I wouldn't have bothered with reading endnotes had I been reading from a book and would have missed the detail provided by the translator. I am going to reread The Illiad via my Nook for this very reason.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go to the white tower and post your bio at res three.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The palace is cold and unwelcoming, and the bright colors make it all the more unpleasant, however it is well cleaned.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can I join?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A bird flys on yo face an poops on ya then leaves XD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gathered his strength and flew off. In seconds becoming a speck in the sky.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lets head back to camp.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*lunges out of the shadows and takes the blow meant for Blood*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
? &infinity
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He flew in as fast as light, looking at this so called 'lord'.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I may or may not be on tonight.<br>If I am it would be after 11:30 EST
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kills sun warriors
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
-A hand reached out in front of it, creating a thick smoke screen around the sun warriors.-
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Thanks" i whisper. My hand sends a small tingle through yours.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not for long :P sits next to tay. Hey baby
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in. "Hey guys" she says with a sigh
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lol stripey i can just see a cat suddenly standing on its hind legs with a sword lol XD)) Umm excuse me who r u she asked causiously
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quickly puut together some comfrey puoltices cobweb before heading into the battle field.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She padded into camp and sat down at her normal place.