The Aeneid of Virgil

Mass Market Paperback | September 1, 1981

byVirgilTranslated byAllen Mandelbaum

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Aeneas flees the ashes of Troy to found the city of Rome and change forever the course of the Western world--as literature as well.  Virgil's Aeneid is as eternal as Rome itself, a sweeping epic of arms and heroism--the searching portrait of a man caught between love and duty, human feeling and the force of fate--that has influenced writers for over 2,000 years.  Filled with drama, passion, and the universal pathos that only a masterpiece can express. The Aeneid is a book for all the time and all people.

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Aeneas flees the ashes of Troy to found the city of Rome and change forever the course of the Western world--as literature as well.  Virgil's Aeneid is as eternal as Rome itself, a sweeping epic of arms and heroism--the searching portrait of a man caught between love and duty, human feeling and the force of fate--that has influenced wr...

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Aeneas flees the ashes of Troy to found the city of Rome and change forever the course of the Western world--as literature as well. Virgil's "Aeneid is as eternal as Rome itself, a sweeping epic of arms and heroism--the searching portrait of a man caught between love and duty, human feeling and the force of fate--that has influenced wr...

Throughout his life Virgil was a poet and as far as we know had no interest in pursuing any other career. He was born Publius Vergilius Maro in 70 BC near Mantua, in what now is northern Italy. His parents, farm owners, were people of property and substance, if not wealth, and were able to obtain for their son a first-rate education. O...

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Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 6.88 × 4.18 × 0.9 inPublished:September 1, 1981Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0553210416

ISBN - 13:9780553210415

Appropriate for ages: 14 - 17

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Book II sing of arms and of a man: his fate had made him fugitive; he was the firstto journey from the coasts of Troy as faras Italy and the Lavinian shores.Across the lands and waters he was battered     5beneath the violence of High Ones, forthe savage Juno's unforgetting anger;and many sufferings were his in war-until he brought a city into beingand carried in his gods to Latium;      10from this have come the Latin race, the lordsof Alba, and the ramparts of high Rome.Tell me the reason, Muse: what was the woundto her divinity, so hurting herthat she, the queen of gods, compelled a man    15remarkable for goodness to endureso many crises, meet so many trials?Can such resentment hold the minds of gods?There was an ancient city they called Carthage-a colony of refugees from Tyre- 20a city facing Italy, but faraway from Tiber's mouth: extremely richand, when it came to waging war, most fierce.This land was Juno's favorite-it is said-more dear than her own Samos; here she kept     25her chariot and armor; even thenthe goddess had this hope and tender plan:for Carthage to become the capitalof nations, if the Fates would just consent.But she had heard that, from the blood of Troy, 30a race had come that some day would destroythe citadels of Tyre; from it, a peoplewould spring, wide-ruling kings, men proud in battleand destined to annihilate her Libya.The Fates had so decreed. And Saturn's daughter-        35in fear of this, remembering the old warthat she had long since carried on at Troyfor her beloved Argos (and, indeed,the causes of her bitterness, her sharpand savage hurt, had not yet left her spirit;   40for deep within her mind lie stored the judgmentof Paris and the wrong done to her scornedbeauty, the breed she hated, and the honorsthat had been given ravished Ganymede)-was angered even more; for this, she kept       45far off from Latium the Trojan remnantleft by the Greeks and pitiless Achilles.For long years they were cast across all waters,fate-driven, wandering from sea to sea.It was so hard to found the race of Rome.       50With Sicily scarce out of sight, the Trojanshad gladly spread their canvas on the sea,turning the salt foam with their brazen prows,when Juno, holding fast within her heartthe everlasting insult, asked herself:  55"Am I, defeated, simply to stop trying,unable to turn back the Trojan kingfrom Italy? No doubt, the Fates won't have it.But Pallas-was she powerful enoughto set the Argive fleet on fire, to drown       60the crewmen in the deep, for an outrage doneby only one infuriated man,Ajax, Oileus' son? And she herselfcould fling Jove's racing lightning from the cloudsand smash their galleys, sweep the sea with tempests.   65Then Ajax' breath was flame from his pierced chest;she caught him up within a whirlwind; sheimpaled him on a pointed rock. But I,the queen of gods, who stride along as boththe sister and the wife of Jove, have warred    70so many years against a single nation.For after this, will anyone adorethe majesty of Juno or, beforeher altars, pay her honor, pray to her?"Then-burning, pondering-the goddess reaches     75Aeolia, the motherland of storms,a womb that always teems with raving south winds.In his enormous cave King Aeolusrestrains the wrestling winds, loud hurricanes;he tames and sways them with his chains and prison.     80They rage in indignation at their cages;the mountain answers with a mighty roar.Lord Aeolus sits in his high citadel;he holds his scepter, and he soothes their soulsand calms their madness. Were it not for this,  85then surely they would carry off the seaand lands and steepest heaven, sweeping themacross the emptiness. But fearing that,the all-able Father hid the winds withindark caverns, heaping over them high mountains; 90and he assigned to them a king who should,by Jove's sure edict, understand just whento jail and when, commanded, to set free.Then Juno, suppliant, appealed to him:"You, Aeolus-to whom the king of men    95and father of the gods has given this:to pacify the waves or, with the wind,to incite them-over the Tyrrheniannow sails my enemy, a race that carriesthe beaten household gods of Ilium      100to Italy. Hammer your winds to furyand ruin their swamped ships, or scatter themand fling their crews piecemeal across the seas.I have twice-seven nymphs with splendid bodies;the loveliest of them is Deiopea,       105and I shall join her to you in sure marriageand name her as your own, that she may spendall of her years with you, to make you fatherof fair sons. For such service, such return."And Aeolus replied: "O Queen, your task 110is to discover what you wish; and mine,to act at your command. For you have wonthis modest kingdom for me, and my scepter,and Jove's goodwill. You gave me leave to leanbeside the banquets of the gods, and you        115have made me lord of tempests and of clouds."His words were done. He turned his lance head, struckthe hollow mountain on its side. The winds,as in a column, hurry through the breach;they blow across the earth in a tornado.        120Together, Eurus, Notus, and-with tempeston tempest-Africus attack the sea;they churn the very bottom of the deepand roll vast breakers toward the beaches; criesof men, the creaking of the cables rise.        125Then, suddenly, the cloud banks snatch awaythe sky and daylight from the Trojans' eyes.Black night hangs on the waters, heavens thunder,and frequent lightning glitters in the air;everything intends quick death to men.  130At once Aeneas' limbs fall slack with chill.He groans and stretches both hands to the stars.He calls aloud: "O, three and four times blessedwere those who died before their fathers' eyesbeneath the walls of Troy. Strongest of all     135the Danaans, o Diomedes, whydid your right hand not spill my lifeblood, whydid I not fall upon the Ilian fields,there where ferocious Hector lies, pierced byAchilles' javelin, where the enormous   140Sarpedon now is still, and Simoishas seized and sweeps beneath its waves so manyhelmets and shields and bodies of the brave!"*  *  *Aeneas hurled these words. The hurricaneis howling from the north; it hammers full      145against his sails. The seas are heaved to heaven.The oars are cracked; the prow sheers off; the wavesattack broadside; against his hull the swellnow shatters in a heap, mountainous, steep.Some sailors hang upon a wave crest; others     150stare out at gaping waters, land that liesbelow the waters, surge that seethes with sand.And then the south wind snatches up three shipsand spins their keels against the hidden rocks-those rocks that, rising in midsea, are called  155by the Italians "Altars"-like a monstrousspine stretched along the surface of the sea.Meanwhile the east wind wheels another threeoff from the deep and, terrible to see,against the shoals and shifting silt, against   160the shallows, girding them with mounds of sand.Before Aeneas' eyes a massive breakersmashes upon its stern the ship that carriesthe Lycian crewmen led by true Orontes.The helmsman is beaten down; he is whirled headlong.    165Three times at that same spot the waters twistand wheel the ship around until a swiftwhirlpool has swallowed it beneath the swell.And here and there upon the wide abyss,among the waves, are swimmers, weapons, planks, 170and Trojan treasure. Now the tempest takesthe sturdy galleys of Ilioneusand brave Achates, now the ships of Abasand many-yeared Aletes; all receivetheir enemy, the sea, through loosened joints   175along their sides and through their gaping seams.But Neptune felt the fracas and the frenzy;and shaken by the unleashed winds, the wrenchingof the still currents from the deep seabed,he raised his tranquil head above the surface.  180And he can see the galleys of Aeneasscattered across the waters, with the Trojansdismembered by the waves and fallen heavens.Her brother did not miss the craft and wrathof Juno. Catching that, he calls up both        185the east wind and the west. His words are these:"Has pride of birth made you so insolent?So, Winds, you dare to mingle sky and land,heave high such masses, without my command?Whom I-? But no, let me first calm the restless 190swell; you shall yet atone-another time-with different penalties for these your crimes.But now be off, and tell your king these things:that not to him, but me, has destinyallotted the dominion of the sea        195and my fierce trident. The enormous rocksare his-your home, East Wind. Let Aeolusbe lord of all that lies within that halland rule in that pent prison of the winds."So Neptune speaks and, quicker than his tongue, 200brings quiet to the swollen waters, setsthe gathered clouds to flight, calls back the sun.Together, then, Cymothoë and Triton,thrusting, dislodge the ships from jagged crags.But now the god himself takes up his trident    205to lift the galleys, and he clears a channelacross the vast sandbank. He stills the seaand glides along the waters on light wheels.And just as, often, when a crowd of peopleis rocked by a rebellion, and the rabble        210rage in their minds, and firebrands and stonesfly fast-for fury finds its weapons-if,by chance, they see a man remarkablefor righteousness and service, they are silentand stand attentively; and he controls  215their passion by his words and cools their spirits:so all the clamor of the sea subsidedafter the Father, gazing on the watersand riding under cloudless skies, had guidedhis horses, let his willing chariot run.        220And now Aeneas' weary crewmen hurryto find the nearest land along their way.They turn toward Libya's coast. There is a covewithin a long, retiring bay; and therean island's jutting arms have formed a harbor   225where every breaker off the high sea shattersand parts into the shoreline's winding shelters.Along this side and that there towers, vast,a line of cliffs, each ending in like crags;beneath the ledges tranquil water lies  230silent and wide; the backdrop-glisteningforests and, beetling from above, a blackgrove, thick with bristling shadows. Underneaththe facing brow: a cave with hanging rocks,sweet waters, seats of living stone, the home   235of nymphs. And here no cable holds tired ships,no anchor grips them fast with curving bit.Aeneas shelters here with seven ships-all he can muster, all the storm has left.The Trojans, longing so to touch the land,      240now disembark to gain the wished-for sands.They stretch their salt-soaked limbs along the beach.Achates was the first to strike a sparkfrom flint and catch the fire up with leaves.He spread dry fuel about, and then he waved     245the tinder into flame. Tired of their trials,the Trojan crewmen carry out the toolsof Ceres and the sea-drenched corn of Ceres.And they prepare to parch the salvaged grainby fire and, next, to crush it under stone.     250Meanwhile Aeneas climbs a crag to seeka prospect far and wide across the deep,if he can only make out anythingof Antheus and his Phrygian galleys, orof Capys, or the armor of Caicus        255on his high stern. There is no ship in sight;all he can see are three stags wanderingalong the shore, with whole herds followingbehind, a long line grazing through the valley.He halted, snatched his bow and racing arrows,  260the weapons carried by the true Achates.And first he lays the leaders low, their headsheld high with tree-like antlers; then he drivesthe herds headlong into the leafy groves;they panic, like a rabble, at his arrows.       265He does not stay his hand until he stretches,victoriously, seven giant bodiesalong the ground, in number like his galleys.This done, he seeks the harbor and dividesthe meat among his comrades. And he shares      270the wine that had been stowed by kind Acestesin casks along the shores of Sicily:the wine that, like a hero, the Sicilianhad given to the Trojans when they left.Aeneas soothes their melancholy hearts: 275"O comrades-surely we're not ignorantof earlier disasters, we who have sufferedthings heavier than this-our god will givean end to this as well. You have neared the rageof Scylla and her caves' resounding rocks;      280and you have known the Cyclops' crags; call backyour courage, send away your grieving fear.Perhaps one day you will remember eventhese our adversities with pleasure. Throughso many crises and calamities   285we make for Latium, where fates have promiseda peaceful settlement. It is decreedthat there the realm of Troy will rise again.Hold out, and save yourselves for kinder days."These are his words; though sick with heavy cares,      290he counterfeits hope in his face; his painis held within, hidden. His men make readythe game that is to be their feast; they flaythe deer hide off the ribs; the flesh lies naked.Some slice off quivering strips and pierce them with    295sharp spits, while on the beach the others setcaldrons of brass and tend the flame. With foodtheir strength comes back again. Along the grassthey stretch and fill their bellies full of fatvenison meat and well-aged wine. That done-     300their hunger banished by their feasting andthe tables cleared-their talk is long, uncertainbetween their hope and fear, as they ask aftertheir lost companions, wondering if their comradesare still alive or if they have undergone       305the final change and can no longer hearwhen called upon. Especially the piousAeneas moans within himself the lossnow of the vigorous Orontes, nowof Amycus, the cruel end of Lycus,      310the doom of brave Cloanthus, of brave Gyas.Their food and talk were done when Jupiter,while gazing from the peaks of upper airacross the waters winged with canvas andlow-lying lands and shores and widespread people,       315stood high upon the pinnacle of heavenuntil he set his sight on Libya's kingdom.And as he ponders this, the saddened Venus,her bright eyes dimmed and tearful, speaks to him:"O you who, with eternal rule, command  320and govern the events of gods and men,and terrify them with your thunderbolt,what great offense has my Aeneas given,what is his crime, what have the Trojans donethat, having undergone so many deaths,  325the circle of all lands is shut against them-and just because of Italy? Surely -- PrePress Department Westchester Book 4 Old Newtown Road Danbury CT 06810 Voice: 1-203-791-0080 Fax:   1-203-791-9286 e-mail: prepress@wbrt.com

Editorial Reviews

"Allen Mandelbaum has produced a living Aeneid, a version that is unmistakably poetry." -- Erich Segal, The New York Times Book Review

"A brilliant translation; the only one since Dryden which reads like English verse and conveys some of the majesty and pathos of the original." -- Bernard M. W. Knox

"Mandelbaum has... given us a contemporary experience of the masterpiece, at last." -- David Ignatow