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carpemomentum
06-07-2005, 09:28 AM
Adjectives such as great, terrific, unparalleled or superb will never do Aeneid justice. Publius Vergilius Maro, or as commonly referred to as Vergil is the most intuitive and scholar individual ever to live in the eyes of exemplary literature. The epic can be considered from several viewpoints, that differ quite excessively from each other, primarily in analysis. Having the experience in both, the casual reading of the already interpreted version whether by Allen Mandelbaum or Scott Fitzgerald, and the devout, personal translating of majority of the books (as a part of an assigned curriculum of AP Latin IV course). To the casual reader, who has not touched upon any Latin, the English version reads as an endless adventure fabricated with mythology, heroism and piety as results from struggles and wars (the consequential turmoil and gore ), and "amor" of the burning Dido, whose condition foreshadows future fate of her currenlty stable city of Carthage. To the scholar, Vergil reveals more than just a well-developed epic, of course a thorough analysis needs to be conducted prior to the "further" revelations. Upon translating Aeneid, the reader is shown how either through the use of literary devices, word placement or scansion of the poetic meter ( dactylic hexameter for that matter ) Vergil successfuly illuminates the relationships of the described subjects and events in all the respective twelve books.

Please do admire this masterpiece, it is the least anyone (you) can contribute.

Maxos
06-07-2005, 10:40 AM
I have a personal opinion about the translation of the "classics" of latin poetry (Virgil, Catullus, Horace). I think that a good version must convey as precisely as possible the semantic denotation/connotation of words rather than respect other features of the original text, this because of these Authors' tendency to expressing their view of things and situations with very pondered verbal choices.

Just some examples:

Horace's "callidae iuncturae": "scire nefas"; "dum loquimur, fugerit"; "carpe diem"; "latentis proditor intumo gratus puellae risus ab angulo"; "odi profanum volgus et arceo";

Catullus: "bene velle" vs. "amare"; "foedus aeternum amicitiae"; "odi et amo"; "excrucior"...

Virgil's use of adjectives, take for instance Orpheus's Epillion from the IV book of the "Georgicon libri": "cava testudine" "aegrum amorem" "ignoscenda equidem"..., not only mere uncritically accepted stereotypes of greek epic (Tasso would learn a lot from this lesson).

And more could we say about Seneca and Lucretius!

mono
06-07-2005, 04:01 PM
I could never grow weary of reading Virgil's Aeneid, as it has gained such a sentimental value to me over the years, having read it a few times now, in a few different translations. To read it in its true form of Latin, I think, would bring the greatest of pleasure, but, while attempting to learn a little Latin, I surrended relatively quickly, it seeming not an easy language to learn.
Yes, anyway, I think Virgil receives all of the credit he deserves as an increasingly wise sage of his time, and also having a respectable role in Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy - a true sign of reverence.

Themis
11-15-2005, 09:40 AM
I've never read the Aeneis (I tend to use the original form of a name or story, so, the 'Aeneis' it is) in translation, except my own. We had to read it in school (in latin) and I enjoyed it very much.
Mainly because it's actually a story and not as difficult to translate as, say, "Roman philosophy" by Cicero and Senecan or Sallust's works.
I also loved it because to me it was exciting to find out more about what happened to Aeneas. And of course, I'm a fan of mythology and enjoyed the 'occasional' 'divine interference'.

IrishCanadian
12-11-2005, 11:04 PM
I made the brutal mistake of reading the Aeneid shortly after reading The Oddyssy. I find that Virgil was unable to rise to the task. Most artistic culture of the Roman Empire is a hangover of the Greek's, and I find no exception in this example. You (Maxos and carpemomentum) probably were able to see more of the poetry and likely better plot flow, etc. because you have the scholastic ability to read it in it's original language. Nevertheless, I found it to be an unrealistic way of flattering the Ceaser that was in power the time it was written and a mockery of the excitement that Homer was able to bring the world.
Then again, perhaps I should try again with another transaltion.
Take it easy.

wberg
12-22-2005, 12:07 AM
I am reading the Aeneid in my downhill (its like sledding too fast - never knowing when or how hard one hits the trees of arthritis, stroke etc, but sure is exhilarating) years. I found a passage to email to a friend in book 8. Getting clever, I thought I would cut and paste from a translation on the Internet. I was appalled to discover that most Aeneids were translations by Dryden. If that were my only choice I would have forgone the experience or stopped to learn Latin. Thank heavens (or Jove) that I had a translation by Frank O. Copley (The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Subsidiary of Howard W. Sams, 1965) in my family library. Copley translated into working English, not into poetic contractions squished and pulled to fit a meter and rhyme. The translation is in liberally open verse, with a fine rhythm and barely any rhyme. But it is a great read. Each book is a script for a Star Wars adventure!

So looking for a Copley translation on the Internet, I stumbled on this forum with its Dryden translation. A search for translations turns up at least half a dozen different translations.

So, back to the cave.

Virgil
12-22-2005, 12:55 AM
When comparing The Illiad, The Odyssey, and The Aneid, I've always felt the following:
Best story: Illiad
Best Central Character: Odyssey
Best poetry: Aneid

If you look in the Aneid for as finely a constructed story as in the Illiad or as captivating a character as Odyssius, it's not going to measure up. But the poeticism of the Aneid is sublime.

Also, the first half of the Aneid is as good as anything in Homer. Somehow it lost it's vitality in the second half.

IrishCanadian
01-08-2006, 11:53 PM
Well i should check it out again .... its probably because i love Odiseous so much (amoung other things) that made the Aeneid so "blaw" to me.
Welcome wberg.
TranslationsTranslationsTranslations

Behemoth
07-31-2006, 07:30 AM
When comparing The Illiad, The Odyssey, and The Aneid, I've always felt the following:
Best story: Illiad
Best Central Character: Odyssey
Best poetry: Aneid

Also, the first half of the Aneid is as good as anything in Homer. Somehow it lost it's vitality in the second half.

I totally agree about the second half of the Aeneid; I found it somewhat lacking and sluggish compared to the first half, which was exactly like reading The Odyssey. I have real trouble appreciating The Iliad, however, and I can't get past the view that it's 400 pages of blokes sticking spears in each other...I appreciate the poetic quality of it, but I think the Odyssey is a much better story.

Etienne
12-23-2007, 10:26 PM
When comparing The Illiad, The Odyssey, and The Aneid, I've always felt the following:
Best story: Illiad
Best Central Character: Odyssey
Best poetry: Aneid

If you look in the Aneid for as finely a constructed story as in the Illiad or as captivating a character as Odyssius, it's not going to measure up. But the poeticism of the Aneid is sublime.

Also, the first half of the Aneid is as good as anything in Homer. Somehow it lost it's vitality in the second half.

By best poetry, do you mean the translations or the originals?

DarkRaven
10-28-2010, 06:06 PM
I admit to say I dropped out of Latin before I finished school, so I only got to study the first few pages of it, but from what I heard, the Aeneid was unfinished at Virgil's death, and he wanted it burned. From reading translations of the play though, I'm unimpressed from an originality strong point. I'll explain:

The first half of the Aeneid is very similar to the Odyssey. In today's world, arm-chair critics would call this plagiarism. In Virgil's time, however, I can see why this was acceptable, or in fact desirable.

The second half is very similar to the Illiad, so again an armchair critic today would call plagiarism on it. That said, he had his reasons for it at the time - trying to make Roman literature as good as Greek literature.

Wilde woman
10-28-2010, 06:27 PM
The first half of the Aeneid is very similar to the Odyssey. In today's world, arm-chair critics would call this plagiarism. In Virgil's time, however, I can see why this was acceptable, or in fact desirable.

The second half is very similar to the Illiad, so again an armchair critic today would call plagiarism on it. That said, he had his reasons for it at the time - trying to make Roman literature as good as Greek literature.

I don't know if plagiarism is the term I would use. So much pre-modern literature came from appropriating popular Classical/Biblical/folkloric tales and rewriting them for a different purpose that I can't help but see your comments here as rather narrow-minded. Yes, scholars have always been aware of the similarities of the first half to the Odyssey and the second half to the Iliad, but I don't think that reduces the quality of the Aeneid in any way. On the contrary, the link between the Greek and Roman worlds is central to Virgil's message. The emphasis we put on originality today was not really valued until the Romantics came along in the nineteenth century. Until then, and really even past it, intertextuality was (and is) a major practice in literary creation.

Besides, there are plenty of other admirable aspects of the Aeneid. As others have mentioned, the beauty of the Latin verse is palpable if you read it in the original. And I quite like the emotion displayed in Book 4, in the Dido episode, and the relationship between Dido and Anna. (What do the critics is the analogue for this scene in the Odyssey? Calypso? Circe? Regardless, I feel like there are enough differences to make Dido quite an original figure.)