Aeneas flees the ashes of Troy to found the city of Rome and change forever the course of the Western world--as literature as well. Virgil's Aeneid is as eternal as Rome itself, a sweeping epic of arms and heroism--the searching portrait of a man caught between love and duty, human feeling and the force of fate--that has influenced writers for over 2,000 years. Filled with drama, passion, and the universal pathos that only a masterpiece can express. The Aeneid is a book for all the time and all people.
"Allen Mandelbaum has produced a living Aeneid, a version that is unmistakably poetry." -- Erich Segal, The New York Times Book Review
"A brilliant translation; the only one since Dryden which reads like English verse and conveys some of the majesty and pathos of the original." -- Bernard M. W. Knox
"Mandelbaum has... given us a contemporary experience of the masterpiece, at last." -- David Ignatow
Princeton scholar Fagles follows up his celebrated Iliad and Odyssey with a new, fast-moving, readable rendition of the national epic of ancient Rome. Virgil's long-renowned narrative follows the Trojan warrior Aeneas as he carries his family from his besieged, fallen home, stops in Carthage for a doomed love affair, visits the underworld and founds in Italy, through difficult combat, the settlements that will become, first the Roman republic, and then the empire Virgil knew. Recent translators (such as Allen Mandelbaum) put Virgil's meters into English blank verse. Fagles chooses to forgo meter entirely, which lets him stay literal when he wishes, and grow eloquent when he wants: "Aeneas flies ahead, spurring his dark ranks on and storming/ over the open fields like a cloudburst wiping out the sun." A substantial preface from the eminent classicist Bernard Knox discusses Virgil's place in history, while Fagles himself appends a postscript and notes. Scholars still debate whether Virgil supported or critiqued the empire's expansion; Aeneas' story might prompt new reflection now, when Americans are already thinking about international conflict and the unexpected costs of war. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Oxford University Press, Incorporated
October 24, 2007
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