After a century of civil strife in Rome and Italy, Virgil wrote The Aeneid to honor the emperor Augustus by praising Aeneas – Augustus’ legendary ancestor. As a patriotic epic imitating Homer, The Aeneid also provided Rome with a literature equal to the Greek. It tells of Aeneas, survivor of the sack of Troy, and of his seven year journey – to Carthage, falling tragically in love with Queen Dido; then to the underworld, in the company of the Sibyl 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 molded by the lips of man’.
David West’s acclaimed prose translation is accompanied by his revised introduction and individual prefaces to the twelve books of The Aeneid.
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