ISBN : 9780199231959

Virgil; Frederick Ahl
544 Pages
128 x 195 mm
Pub date
Jul 2008
Oxford World's Classics
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  • A new verse translation of Virgil's Aeneid, the only one to use the same poetic metre as Virgil and to explore the subtleties of Virgil's wordplay.
  • Ahl's translation captures the excitement and drama of the original and is both more accurate and more readable than other existing translations.
  • Like the original, the translation is equally effective when read aloud, making it ideal for performance and instruction. Because it has the same number of lines as the original, it is particularly useful for those wishing to cross-reference the Latin.
  • Elaine Fantham's Introduction is informative and unintimidating, guiding the reader through the action of each of the twelve books and exploring its features and major areas of critical debate, as well as outlining the historical background to its composition.
  • The edition includes comprehensive annotation and a valuable indexed glossary which can be used equally well with the Latin original.
  • Includes an up-to-date bibliography, maps, and genealogies.

'Arms and the man I sing of Troy...' 

So begins one of the greatest works of literature in any language. Written by the Roman poet Virgil more than two thousand years ago, the story of Aeneas' seven-year journey from the ruins of Troy to Italy, where he becomes the founding ancestor of Rome, is a narrative on an epic scale: Aeneas and his companions contend not only with human enemies but with the whim of the gods. His destiny preordained by Jupiter, Aeneas is nevertheless assailed by dangers invoked by the goddess Juno, and by the torments of love, loyalty, and despair. Virgil's supreme achievement is not only to reveal Rome's imperial future for his patron Augustus, but to invest it with both passion and suffering for all those caught up in the fates of others. 

Frederick Ahl's new translation echoes the Virgilian hexameter in a thrillingly accurate and engaging style. An Introduction by Elaine Fantham, and Ahl's comprehensive notes and invaluable indexed glossary complement the translation. 


Translator's Note
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Virgil

Book One
Book Two
Book Three
Book Four
Book Five
Book Six
Book Seven
Book Eight
Book Nine
Book Ten
Book Eleven
Book Twelve

Ancestral Chart
Explanatory Notes
Index and Glossary

About the author: 

Translated by Frederick Ahl, Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow and Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature, Cornell University, and Edited by Elaine Fantham, Giger Professor of Latin, Princeton University 1986-2000

Review from previous edition 
'Frederick Ahl captures the pathos..to splendid effect. His version reproduces the fierce, hurtling momentum of the original...he is acutely sensitive to the intricate texture of Virgil's Latin. No pun or anagram or play on words escapes his attention; the subtlety as well as the stateliness of the original shines through in every line. In maintaining this difficult balance, Mr Ahl has produced the finest translation of the 'Aeneid' in recent memory. - New York Sun, 9 January 2008

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