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Passions and a Man

The Aeneid by Virgil and Robert Fagles

Reviewed by Emily Wilson
The New Republic Online

"Virgil was the closest thing to the poet laureate of Augustan Rome. Augustus saw himself as the liberator of the Roman people, the man who had brought peace after years of civil war, and who controlled and expanded Rome's enormous empire. The new ruler was eager to find artists and poets to celebrate and to immortalize his achievements. But many of the most talented poets of the age — including Horace, Propertius, and Ovid — refused to write the grand political epic that Augustus hoped for. Only Virgil came close to giving the emperor what he wanted. The close association between the Aeneid and imperial power has made many readers uncomfortable with it — including, perhaps, Virgil himself...." Read the entire New Republic Online review.

2 Responses to "Passions and a Man"

    Klaus Engelhardt January 11th, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Quote from the above review, 7th paragraph:

    "Virgil was born not in Rome, but in Mantua, near Naples".

    True, Virgil was born in a village near Mantua, but Mantua is no where near Naples. It is located in the region of Emilia, in NORTHERN Italy.

    Klaus Engelhardt

    Peter Derry January 11th, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    As one who struggled to translate the Aeneid in high school, the thought of reading a translation was daunting. But Ms. Wilson's wonderfully written review has stirred a definite interest in me. I'm especially pleased to know that there is an audio version available as "cano" translates "I sing". This book I'm sure is better heard than read.

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