Long a master of the crafts of Homeric translation and of rhapsodic performance, Stanley Lombardo now turns to the quintessential epic of Roman antiquity, a work with deep roots in the Homeric tradition.
With characteristic virtuosity, he delivers a rendering of the Aeneid as compelling as his groundbreaking translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey , yet one that--like the Aeneid itself--conveys a unique epic sensibility and a haunting artistry all its own.
W. R. Johnson's Introduction makes an ideal companion to the translation, offering brilliant insight into the legend of Aeneas; the contrasting roles of the gods, fate, and fortune in Homeric versus Virgilian epic; the character of Aeneas as both wanderer and warrior; Aeneas' relationship to both his enemy Turnus and his lover Dido; the theme of doomed youths in the epic; and Virgil's relationship to the brutal history of Rome that he memorializes in his poem.
A map, a Glossary of Names, a Translator's Preface, and Suggestions for Further Reading are also included.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 432 pages, maps
- Publisher: Hackett Publishing Co, Inc
- Publication Date: 01/03/2004
- Category: Poetry by individual poets
- ISBN: 9780872207318
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by StefanY
The Aeneid is basically a sequel to the Iliad by Homer but told with a slant to Roman ideology and history. What Virgil has done with the Aeneid is to take Homer's Iliad and Odyssey and combine them into one work that takes the best out of the two originals and makes them valid and relevant to Roman sensibilities. (Just as Homer himself took the old legends and mythology of the Greeks and used them to create his two epic poems.)Virgil does a wonderful job of keeping the reader engaged through the first half of his story. (Which is modeled after the Odyssey.) There is a real sense of adventure and finding love throughout this section of the book and the pacing moves it along rather quickly. Towards the end of this portion however, the book takes a turn in my opinion when Aeneas has to travel into the Underworld to visit the spirits of the dead. Things in this portion got a bit drawn out and dull to me and the climax of this scene was nothing more than a direct homage to the Roman rulers and their fine lineage. Basically, it was just a bunch of brown-nosing for the benefit of the ruling Caesar.The second half of the book is the war section (the Iliad part of the book.) The pace once again picks up and we are rewarded for our persistence with an epic battle between the two grand heroes.All in all, I found the Aeneid to be an entertaining read. Virgil does a nice job filling in missing events from the Iliad and Odyssey while also creating a continuation of the tale itself which leads to the founding of the Roman Empire.If you're into the classics of literature, this is a must read.
Review by gcamp
Though I like The Odyssey and the Iliad better than the Aeneid, I feel that the Aeneid is one of those classics that everyone should read at some point in their life-time. Virgil borrowed so much from these two other classics, for the purpose of glorifying Rome, its history, and Augustus. What I really like about the Aeneid is that it gives you 'the rest of the story.' You find out how the Trojan War ends with the Greeks tricking the Trojans into pulling the Trojan horse into the city. Aeneas, throughout the story is seen as a father figure to his people and a man who cares more for his people than about just the glories of war that you see in the Iliad. We witness a lot of emotional events such as Dido's death. We learn more about the underworld, and the role of the gods who seem to play a smaller role than in the Iliad, but we also witness the strong role of fate in the story. KU professor, Stanley Lombardo's translation is a nice edition to read. It's a little easier to follow than some editions I have read. One aspect of his translation that I really like is that he italicizes the epic similes. This seems to give them a little more separation from the story, but allows you to understand them a little easier.
Review by secretshelflife
I liked The Aeneid. It wasn’t exactly a pleasure read, but I liked it in the way you like arduous things (and by arduous I mean reading all 300+ pages of epic prose in 3 days) once they’re over. If you’ve ever read Grapes of Wrath maybe you know what I’m talking about. There were a lot of slow parts, many of which involved an excess of names, but there were also plenty of gripping parts that had me actually forgetting to watch the page numbers tick by as slowly as the minutes. For example, the last four books are almost entirely devoted to one long, drawn out, dramatic, and incredibly visceral battle scene. I may have cringed at least once a page, but I certainly wasn’t bored! Two Sentence Summary: After the sack of Troy, Aeneas escapes with a group of Trojan warriors and sets out for the shores of Italy, where he will found New Troy (aka Rome). He must first overcome the obstacles of a vindictive meddling goddess, and then conquer the land destined to become a great empire.I’m guessing most of you have heard of The Aeneid. And maybe you’ve heard whisperings of comparisons to The Odyssey. Maybe some have you have even read it. If you a) haven’t and b) have read The Odyssey and didn’t loathe it, I recommend The Aeneid as a good companion read. It’s an excellent microcosmic example that for all the energy the Romans put into dissing the Greeks, they put at least as much or more into imitating (and in their minds, improving on) them. Naturally it’s chock full of meaty themes as well, like the conflict between duty and desire, the martyrdom of present happiness for future greatness, learning what to let go of and when, the ephemerality of human life and connection, the entanglement of place and identity... the list goes on. And Virgil wasn’t kidding around. He knew his way around a vivid description (see: incredibly visceral battle scene). I’ve never read such inventive – and numerous – descriptions of dawn. They put Homer’s lovely, if repetitive, “rosy-fingered dawn” to shame. And that’s pretty much Virgil’s goal in a nutshell: outdo Homer. Whether he succeeds or not is up to you.