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Virgil's Aeneid: A Reader's Guide

ISBN: 978-0-470-77731-2
168 pages
April 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Virgil

Description

Written by eminent scholar David O. Ross, this guide helps readers to engage with the poetry, thought, and background of Virgil’s great epic, suggesting both the depth and the beauty of Virgil’s poetic images and the mental images with which the Romans lived.

  • Guides readers through the complexity of Virgil’s poetic style and imagery
  • All extracts are translated, with original Latin given when necessary
  • Provides useful historical and social context in which to understand the poem as it was viewed in its time
  • Includes short introductions to important topics such as Roman religion and the Roman concept of ‘character’
  • Features a helpful appendix which clarifies how to read and hear the poem's Latin hexameter
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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Introduction 1

1 Virgil’s Hero 11

Three Scenes of Crisis 12

The Hero and Personal Loss 18

The Hero as Warrior (10.510–605) 24

Some Observations on Character 26

2 The Victims 32

Dido 32

Nisus and Euryalus 35

Pallas and Lausus 38

Some Aspects of Turnus 43

Camilla 52

Italy 54

3 Fate and the Gods 61

The Roman Gods 62

The Gods in the Aeneid 67

Fate in the Aeneid 74

4 Virgil’s Troy 77

The Roman Troy 77

The Destruction of Troy (Aeneid, Book II) 82

Other Images of the Destruction of Troy (6.494–547, 1.450–93) 86

Andromache’s Troy Restored (3.294–505) 90

The Trojan Games (5.104–544) 94

The Transformation of Troy (5.485–544) 100

The lusus Troiae (5.545–603) 102

5 Rome, the rerum imago 105

Jupiter’s Revelation (1.254–96) 107

Anchises’ Review (6.756–892) 109

The Shield of Aeneas (8.626–728) 113

6 Virgil, His Life and Works 120

His Life and Times 120

The Eclogues 125

The Georgics 133

Appendix: The Latin Hexameter 143

Word Accent 143

Verse Ictus 144

Accent and Ictus 144

Caesura and Diaeresis 145

The Third-Foot Caesura 145

The First Foot 146

The Hexameter Line 147

The Catullan Molossus 151

General Index 153

Index of Passages 155

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Author Information

David O. Ross is Emeritus Professor of Classics at the University of Michigan. He is author of Style and Tradition in Catullus (1969), Backgrounds to Augustan Poetry: Gallus, Elegy, and Rome (1975), and Virgil’s Elements: Physics and Poetry in the Georgics (1987).
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The Wiley Advantage


  • Guides readers through the complexity of Virgil’s poetic style and imagery
  • All extracts are translated, with original Latin given when necessary
  • Provides useful historical and social context in which to understand the poem as it was viewed in its time
  • Includes short introductions to important topics such as Roman religion and the Roman concept of ‘character’
  • Features a helpful appendix which clarifies how to read and hear the poem's Latin hexameter
See More

Reviews

“I believe that everyone—professional academic, student, or layperson—will benefit from Ross's lyrical and insightful reading of Vergil's great poem.” (Bryn Mawr Classical Review, March 2009)

“The book says a great many things that need to be said, or said again. It does not seek controversy and avoids much that is easily available elsewhere. What it does say is largely familiar, even comfortable, but it is well said, clear, detailed, moderate.” (New England Classical Journal, February 2009)

“Beautifully conceived and nuanced guide…the depth, sensitivity, and accessibility of the volume make it worthy companion to its predecessors. Ross explicates…with exquisite care and clarity.” (Choice)

"The ideas and arguments presented in this work are thought provoking." (Journal of Classics Teaching)

“This book is well conceived, and extremely well written. It approaches the big issues in nuanced ways, and brings out the complexities of the Aeneid in ways that will make the poem accessible to undergraduates, and to anyone interested in Virgil.” Richard F. Thomas, Harvard University

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