The Aeneid of Virgil Paperback
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Top Customer Reviews
edition of the AENEID translated into English
by Charles J. Billson in 1906.]
As incredible as it may seem, I prefer this
Billson verse translation over that of Allen
Mandelbaum (which I also have in the Bantam
Classic edition, 1970). What causes one person
to like one translation, and another to prefer
someone else's? It is a matter of taste, but
also of conditioning through aesthetic experience
and expectation. I have read a great many poems
in a great many forms. To my sense and sensibility
there is something about the Mandelbaum translation
of the AENEID which is too confining...too clipped...
it does not seem, to me, to flow freely. And yet
Billson's translation has archaic word choices --
but the flow of his translation seems more interesting
and "freer" than that of Mandelbaum.
Here is a sample of Mandelbaum:
I sing of arms and of a man: his fate
had made him fugitive; he was the first
to journey from the coasts of Troy as far
as Italy and the Lavinian shores.
Across the lands and waters he was battered
beneath the violence of High Ones, for
the savage Juno's unforgetting anger;
and many sufferings were his in war --
[Bantam Classic, 1970.]
And here is Billson in the Dover edition with
the same passage:
Arms and the Man I sing, who first from Troy
A Doom-led exile, on Lavinian shores
Reached Italy; long tossed on sea and land
By Heaven's rude arm, through Juno's brooding
And war-worn long ere building for his Gods
A Home in Latium: whence [came] the Latin race,
The Lords of Alba, and high-towering Rome.Read more ›
This classic epic poem was commissioned by Augustus Caesar in 31BC, a task which was reluctantly accepted by Virgil. Ten years of writing followed, and unfortunately the poet died, by contracting a disease, whilst returning from a trip to Athens. The epic was not fully revised by then, yet the contents of all twelve books are complete except for a rather abrupt ending.
However, just before his death Virgil left strict instructions for The Aeneid to be burnt: lost to the world for all time. Yet this commanded was counteracted by Caesar. Why was this? Why didn't Virgil want the greatest poem in Latin to be discovered for its prominence?
These are questions which will truly interest any reader. When you hold this book in your hands you cannot help thinking that Virgil did not want you to read this - if it had not been for the Imperial arm of Caesar we would be forever lacking this great Latin work. Thus a guilty feeling pervades when reading The Aeneid, moreover, those of you already well versed in Greek mythology will know that Actaeon paid very highly for his antlers, a lesson hard to forget whilst perusing prohibited splendour.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I got this link from the amazon page for Robert Fitzgerald's translation of the Aeneid. I couldn't find any information regarding who had translated this version, and so I assumed... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Marmara
There are no line numbers and no pages. if you are a college / university student who needs to write an essay on this, don't buy this.Published 19 months ago by Samuel S.
What a shame that THIS edition of them all is printed in the worst edition. The paper is brittly, gauzy and somewhat iridescent, the ink is sallow on the paper, the book lacks an... Read morePublished on Aug. 13 2002