Inspired by Homer, and the inspiration for Dante and Milton, Virgil's The Aeneid is an immortal epic poem of the ancient world that lies at the heart of Western life and culture, translated from the Latin with an introduction by David West in Penguin Classics.
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 set out to provide rome with a literature equal to that of ancient Greece. It tells of Aeneas, survivor of the sack of Troy, and of his seven-year journey - to Carthage, where he tragically fell in love with Queen Dido; then to the underworld, in the company of the Sybil 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 an updated introduction,
Including a new discussion of each of the twelve books of The Aeneid.
Publius Virgilius Maro (70-19 BC) studied rhetoric and philosophy in Rome where he became a court poet. As well as The Aeneid, his Eclogues and Georgics earned him the reputation as the finest Latin poet.
If you enjoyed The Aeneid, you might like Homer's The Iliad, also available in Penguin Classics.
'The most truthful translation ever, conveying as many nuances and whispers as are possible from the original'
'Sweet prose, clear and clean and dancing like a mountain stream, as here ... West opens the window and the winds bring life into Virgil's body'
Wall Street Journal