In dramatic and narrative power, Virgil’s Aeneid is the equal of its great Homeric predecessors, The Iliad and The Odyssey. It surpasses them, however, in the intense sympathy it displays for its human actors–a sympathy that makes events such as Aeneas’s escape from Troy and search for a new homeland, the passion and the death of Dido, the defeat of Turnus, and the founding of Rome among the most memorable in literature.
This celebrated translation by Robert Fitzgerald does full justice to the speed, clarity, and stately grandeur of the Roman Empire’s most magnificent literary work of art.
About the Author
Virgil (70 B.C-19 B.C) is regarded as the greatest Roman poet, known for his epic, The Aeneid(written about 29 B.C. unfinished). Virgil was born on October 15, 70 B.C., in a small village near Mantua in Northern Italy. He attended school at Cremona and Milan, and then went to Rome, where he studied mathematics, medicine and rhetoric, and completed his studies in Naples. Between 42 and 37 B.C. Virgil composed pastoral poems known as Ecologues, and spent years on the Georgics.At the urging of Augustus Caesar, Virgil began to write The Aeneid, a poem of the glory of Rome under Caesars rule. Virgil devoted the remaining time of his life, from 30 to 19 B.C., to the composition of The Aeneid, the national epic of Rome and to glory of the Empire. The poet died in 19 B.C of a fever he contracted on his visit to Greece with the Emperor. It is said that the poet had instructed his executor Varius to destroy The Aeneid, but Augustus ordered Varius to ignore this request, and the poem was published.
“Fitzgerald’s is so decisively the best modern Aeneid that it is unthinkable anyone will want to use any other version for a long time to come.” –New York Review of Books
“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 . . . This is a sustained achievement of beauty and power.” –Boston Globe
“In this Aeneid Fitzgerald is at the top of his form . . . [One would] be a very insensitive reader if, once launched on Aeneas’ fateful journey with Fitzgerald as guide, [one] does not follow it to the end.” –The New Republic
“This is translation as interpretation, Virgil filtered through one of the finest poetic sensibilities of our time . . . Fitzgerald hides his consummate artistry, effaces his own prodigious labor, until the text speaks to us directly, without foreignness of time or place.” –The Boston Review