Frederick Ahl’s new translation captures the excitement, poetic energy, and This is an Aeneid that the first-time reader can grasp and enjoy, and whose. FREDERICK AHL, trans. Virgil, Aeneid. Introduction by Elaine. Fantham. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, Pp. With index and maps. Frederick M. Ahl (born ) is a professor of classics and comparative literature at Translation of Virgil’s Aeneid (), Book I, lines – and –

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Dryden here outsoars all the modern translators – “The vanquished cry; the victors loudly shout: Comment on this review in the Ahp blog. Oxford University Press, Ahl also succeeds on more complex occasions, as when recreating the heartbroken and alarmingly specific vehemence Dido directs against the departing Aeneas:.

So, in the Alps, wild gales from the north gust this way and that way, Vying among themselves to uproot some vigorous oak tree, Massive with centuries’ growth: Dr Johnson defines aeneidd as “to make a sharp noise with frequent repetitions and collisions of bodies not very sonorous”.

Not every book received by BMCR is reviewed, for many reasons, not least the inevitable slips between good intentions of reviewers and their ability to deliver on those attentions, to say nothing of the editors’ insistence on timely reviews. Although ambitious, Virgil was never really happy about the task. The Trojan prince Aeneas escapes the destruction of Troy by the Greeks and sets sail with his father Anchises and his son Ascanius in search of a new home.

The hoofbeat of horses

The American scholar and critic Frederick Ahl has undertaken what he calls the “humbling” task of rendering the Aeneid in a form that matches as closely as possible the lineation of the original while finding an English metrical equivalent for Virgil’s hexameters. He offers a line of between 12 and 17 syllables, containing six feet, each stressed on the first syllable, with the opening syllable of the line always stressed.


His style is so dense, and he is so clever. Aeneas and his companions contend not only with human enemies but with the whim of the gods. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. It is the last three words that count. In the following years Virgil spent most of his time in Campania and Sicily, but he also had a house in Rome.

Ahl’s translation captures the excitement and drama of the original and is both more accurate and more readable than other existing translations.

To laments, he proves passive, Motionless; and to their voices, the words that he hears, unresponsive.

Virgil died in 19 B. Ahl’s notes and apparatus are useful and there is a good introduction by Elaine Fantham.

And horses are not cloven-footed, nor does Virgil say they are. This sounds like propaganda. Virgil through modern eyes. The battle is over, and Camilla’s squadrons are cantering away – “Quadrupedumque putrem cursu quatit ungula campum”. This book is available as part of Oxford Scholarly Editions Online – explore trustworthy, annotated texts of writing worth reading.

Oxford University Press Amazon. Unlike most translators, Ahl has chosen to retain Virgil’s word-play, the puns and anagrams and other instances of the poet’s ebullient wit. In 49 BC Virgil became a Roman citizen. Ahl also succeeds on more complex occasions, as when recreating the heartbroken and alarmingly specific vehemence Dido directs against the departing Aeneas: The result is a cousin to an English trimeter line in dactyls and anapaests – not slavish, but usually having an audible shape; a practical and justifiable solution.

Here a warrior is hurled from his chariot: Auden showed long ago in his commonplace book A Certain World.

Saturday 29 December Books Available for Review. After the battle of Philippi in 42 B. Aeneid Virgil Snippet view – Ebook This title is available as an ebook. Such her insistent plea; and such lamentations her sister, Saddest of all, has to act, re-enact. Academic Skip to main content.

Frederick Ahl’s new translation captures the excitement, poetic energy, and intellectual force of the original in a way that has never been done before.


This is an Aeneid that the first-time reader can grasp and enjoy, and whose rendition of Virgil’s subtleties of thought and language will enthrall those already familiar with the epic. Fantham’s page introduction will enlighten both new readers and old fans; also helpful are the maps of the Roman world, the select bibliography, extensive glossary, index of proper names, and–especially– Ahl’s pages of explanatory notes.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

This surely conveys the sense much better, and in a much less intrusive way. He is difficult, very difficult, even if you have been doing Latin for years. Virgil was born on October 15, 70 B. It took many of us a whole term at school to read one book of The Aeneid and, in grown-up life, perhaps we have been content to read him in the great translation of John Dryden.

I should not venture a review, not least because it is scarcely appropriate to review the work of someone who once gave me a job when I frederickk needed it.

Moderation FAQs How we moderate reader comments. The most unusual of fredefick excellences, however, is metrical. Nunn’s applied respiratory physiology John Francis Nunn Snippet view – Vergil in Russia Zara Martirosova Torlone.

Accessibility links Skip aenedi article Skip to navigation. Talibus orabat, talisque miserrima fletus fertque refertque soror. The rest of his life, from 30 to 19 B. After his studies in Rome, Vergil is believed trederick have lived with his father for about 10 years, engaged in farm work, study, and writing poetry.

He gave Virgil a house near Naples.

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.

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