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, by Vergil
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Written more than two thousand years ago and one of Western literatures indisputable masterpieces, the Aeneid is the Roman answer” to Homers epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. The latter celebrate Greek civilization through the stories of Greek victory in the Trojan War and the exploits of Odysseus. Vergils Aeneid sings the triumph of Roman culture, transforming Troys tragedy into a step on the path toward the founding of Rome by the descendants of the last Trojan hero, Aeneas.
Fleeing the fallen city with a few followers, Aeneas undergoes a series of adventures, including a passionate love affair with the ravishing Dido, queen of Carthage, a visit to the underworld to meet the spirit of his father, and mortal combat with Turnus, a powerful king. Each episode tests his courage, morality, and humanity, and proves his worthiness to be the ancestor of one of the greatest empires in history. Sarah Spence is Professor of Classics at the University of Georgia. Founding editor of the journal Literary Imagination, she has published widely on Vergil and medieval vernacular poetry. She is author of two books, Rhetorics of Reason and Desire: Vergil, Augustine, and the Troubadors and Texts and the Self in the Twelfth Century, and has edited two volumes of essays on Vergil. She lives in Athens, Georgia.