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.
The legendary translator of the Iliad and the Odyssey, Robert Fagles now delivers another classic. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"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
With an Introduction by Philip Hardie
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.