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Thread: Translations of the Aeneid

  1. #1
    Jealous Optimist Dori's Avatar
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    Translations of the Aeneid

    I'm participating in a 'book of the month' sort of thing on another forum and I nominated the Aeneid. Which translation do you recommend? I have the most recent one, by Robert Fagles, on audio disc. I listened to the very beginning and thought it was excellent. However, I haven't compared it to other translations. Has anyone else had any experience with the Robert Fagles translation?
    com-pas-sion (n.) [ME. & OFr. <LL. (Ec.) compassio, sympathy < compassus, pp. of compati, to feel pity < L. com-, together + pali, to suffer] sorrow for the sufferings or trouble of another or others, accompanied by an urge to help; deep sympathy; pity

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    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    The one I used for my Classic Lit class this year was The Penguin Classics Edition (translator was I believe David West). It was very good. It was in prose form (there are many that are translated in orginal verse, I read one and didn't like it too much). The prose edition is very easy to follow and well written , I think.
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

  3. #3
    Jealous Optimist Dori's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'll be sure to mention that translation. I think the Robert Fagles translation is in verse, but I'm not sure since I own the audio version. The Robert Fagles translation is also published by Penguin. However, it's not available in paperback.

    Thanks again.
    com-pas-sion (n.) [ME. & OFr. <LL. (Ec.) compassio, sympathy < compassus, pp. of compati, to feel pity < L. com-, together + pali, to suffer] sorrow for the sufferings or trouble of another or others, accompanied by an urge to help; deep sympathy; pity

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    Fagles has some good translations, though personally I would go with the David West on this occasion as it may well be more practical for what you want.

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    laudator temporis acti andave_ya's Avatar
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    If it's not TOO late - what did people say about it, Dori? I started reading the Aeneid as translated by James Rhoades, but it's the only version I've read. Verse - and SPLENDID!
    "The time has come," the Walrus said,
    "To talk of many things:
    Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
    Of cabbages--and kings--
    And why the sea is boiling hot--
    And whether pigs have wings."

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    aspiring Arthurianist Wilde woman's Avatar
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    I like Fitzgerald; I think he keeps a sense of the Aeneid's gravity with his slightly old-fashioned language. Fagles is okay as well, but sometimes I find his translations to be too modern, sometimes even slangy, for my taste.

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    And it all led to nothing acdouglas92's Avatar
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    Well, I know it's been awhile since this thread was started, but I was wondering if any of you could recommend me a good translation of the Aeneid for an AP course I'm taking next year. What I'm really looking for is a translation that will help me "appreciate the story". I was thinking about Fagles' version; I read his translations of the Illiad and the Odyssey and loved them. However, if you have any other suggestions as to translations, please let me know. Thanks!

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    Something's gotta give PrinceMyshkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acdouglas92 View Post
    Well, I know it's been awhile since this thread was started, but I was wondering if any of you could recommend me a good translation of the Aeneid for an AP course I'm taking next year. What I'm really looking for is a translation that will help me "appreciate the story". I was thinking about Fagles' version; I read his translations of the Illiad and the Odyssey and loved them. However, if you have any other suggestions as to translations, please let me know. Thanks!
    This won't answer your need but Lavinia, by Ursula K. LeGuin is an estraordinary retelling of the Aeneid from the point of view of Aeneas' wife, mentioned in the original but who never gets to speak. It's an engaging read and filled with authentic-seeming references to Roman customs, religion & geography.

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    And it all led to nothing acdouglas92's Avatar
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    Hey, I have all summer; I'll definitely take a look! It seems as though it would complement the original work well! Thank you. Would it be easily found in a bookstore or do I have to go hunting...?
    “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.” - George Washington

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    Something's gotta give PrinceMyshkin's Avatar
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    I found it in the English-language section of a library in my largely Francophone town, so it should turn up in your local library or via one of the many internet 2nd-hand booksites.

  11. #11
    And it all led to nothing acdouglas92's Avatar
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    Excellent, I'll take a look-see.
    So are you into the classics / epics really? Or do you find your niche in another genre?
    “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.” - George Washington

    "Time for you and time for me,
    And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
    And for a hundred visions and revisions." - T.S. Eliot

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