“In the whole of European literature there is no poet who can furnish the texts for a more significant variety of discourse than Virgil. [He] symbolizes so much in the history of Europe, and represents such central European values…” –T.S. Eliot
The Aeneid (19 BC) is an epic poem by Roman poet Virgil. Translated by English poet laureate John Dryden in 1697, Virgil’s legendary epic is the story of the hero Aeneas, a castaway from Troy whose adventures across the Mediterranean led him to Italy, where he discovered what would later become the city of Rome. Presented here in faithful translation, though rearranged to accommodate Dryden’s rhyming couplets, The Aeneid is a treasure of classical literature and a story of romance, war, and adventure to rival the best of Homer.
“Arms, and the man I sing, who, forc’d by fate, / And haughty Juno’s unrelenting hate, / Expell’d and exil’d, left the Trojan shore.” Fleeing the destruction of Troy by Greek forces, Aeneas brings his son Ascanius and father Anchises on a voyage across the sea. Landing in Carthage, Aeneas, his family, and his crew are rescued by Dido, Queen of Tyre. There, Aeneas, despite mourning the loss of his beloved wife Creusa, falls in love with Dido, who offers him refuge and her devoted love. Knowing that he is destined to found a city in Italy, however, Aeneas abandons the queen, leading her to commit suicide. Now determined to fulfill his destiny at any cost, Aeneas sails to Sicily, journeys to the underworld, and eventually arrives in the region of Latium, where he is swept up in conflict with Turnus, the Rutulian king. Flawed and feared, Aeneas exemplifies the imperfect hero compelled by fate and the gods, yet ultimately driven through a will to survive and provide for his fledgling people.
With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Virgil’s The Aeneid is a classic work of Roman literature reimagined for modern readers.