After a century of civil strife in Rome and Italy, Virgil wrote The Aeneid to honour the emperor Augustus by praising Aeneas – Augustus’ legendary ancestor. As a patriotic epic imitating Homer, The Aeneid also provided Rome with a literature equal to the Greek. It tells of Aeneas, survivor of the sack of Troy, and of his seven year journey – to Carthage, falling tragically in love with Queen Dido; then to the underworld, in the company of the Sibyl of Cumae; and finally to Italy, where he founded Rome. It is a story of defeat and exile, of love and war, hailed by Tennyson as ‘the stateliest measure ever moulded by the lips of man’.
David West’s acclaimed prose translation is accompanied by his revised introduction and individual prefaces to the twelve books of The Aeneid.
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"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
One: The Trojans reach Carthage
Two: Aeneas’ Narration—The Sack of Troy
Three: Aeneas’ Narration continued—His Travels
Four: The Tragedy of Dido
Five: The Funeral Games
Six: The Visit to the Underworld
Seven: War in Latium
Eight: The Site of the Future Rome
Nine: Siege of the Trojan Camp
Ten: The Relief and Pitched Battle
Eleven: Councils of War: Pitched Battle Again
Twelve: Decision: the Death of Turnus
List of Variations from the Oxford Text
Glossary of Names
Genealogical Table of the Royal House of Troy and Greece