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R. Alden Smith

ISBN: 978-1-444-35154-5 June 2011 Wiley-Blackwell 224 Pages


Virgil offers undergraduates, graduate students and general readers a comprehensive and carefully balanced introduction to the works and literary reception of Virgil.
  • Offers a fresh, comprehensive introduction to Virgil in translation
  • Explores the historical context in which Virgil wrote and lived
  • Discusses the manuscript tradition of Virgil
  • Traces the poet’s literary influence on later authors and his impact on the arts
  • Includes suggestions for further readings

List of Figures viii

Preface ix

Note on Abbreviations xi

1 Generalizing about Virgil: Dialogue, Wisdom, Mission 1

2 Publius Vergilius Maro: A Preamble 26

3 Eclogue Dialogues 40

4 The Georgics: A Repast of Wisdom 75

5 The Aeneid: Mission and Telos 104

6 Virgilian Manuscripts: Codex to Critical Edition 150

7 The Virgilian Legacy 168

8 Further Reading 188

Index 205

“The real gem of this book comes in Chapter 6, where Smith offers a wonderfully concise and comprehensible overview of the Vergilian manuscripts with examples of textual problems that he teases out carefully to show why and how editors emend; teachers who wish to introduce textual criticism to advanced Latin students or to explain how Vergil got from ancient Rome to modern readers will find this section a superb resource . . . Chapter 8 closes the volume with ample suggestions for further reading that will be especially useful for those teaching Vergil for the first time, including much readily accessible material that can be used to fill those gaps in Smith’s book that will present difficulties to newcomers to Vergil and Classical literature.”  (Classical Journal,  1 December 2012)

"Overall this is a highly successful volume ... He is to be commended on producing a sensitive, sensible, and thoroughly useful book that will be of great help to students, teachers, and those who would like to gain insights on Vergilian matters and scholarship." (Vergilius, 2011)

"The present book contains eight chapters, one of the most valuable of which is a handsomely illustrated guide to the Virgilian manuscript tradition that constitutes a welcome primer with useful analyses of several textual cruces ... While volumes of this sort have little to offer seasoned scholars, S.'s book will be of interest and use to students of Virgil at all levels. The more experienced, too, will care to see how a gifted Virgilian treats both familiar problems and less travelled Maronian byways." (The Classical Review, 2011)

"Smith has written a guide that should become a standard for the next generation of Vergilian readers." (Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 11 June 2011)