24. Virgil (70-19 BC)

Original language: Latin.

The Aeneid

I read the Rolfe Humphries translation, published 1951 by Scribners.

It’s the story of Aeneas, a Trojan who fought in the Trojan war, had some more adventures, then went to Italy and became the ancestor of Rome’s founders. Along the way he won and broke the heart of Queen Dido of Carthage.

The Trojan War held such a sway over literature, history and myth, even a thousand years after it happened. 

I enjoyed the Aeneid and the translation is good. But it’s such an Iliad/Odyssey ripoff, it detracts from it. Also, it’s an obvious piece of Rome boosterism. 

Last thoughts on the Aeneid 

The Rolfe Humphries translation is really excellent, and a major part of my enjoying the book. It is a good book, despite its two major flaws which are (1) the steals from the Iliad, and (2) the rah-rah Rome boosterism. 


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