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The Aeneid Audiobook

The Aeneid

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Publisher's Summary

The Aeneid represents one of the greatest cultural and artistic achievements of Western Civilization. Within the brooding and melancholy atmosphere of Virgil's pious masterpiece lies the mythic story of Aeneas and his flight from burning Troy, taking with him across the Mediterranean the survivors of the Greek onslaught. Aeneas, after many travails and adventures, including a love affair with Dido Queen of Carthage and a visit to the underworld to see his father, ends up in Italy. He fights and wins a war against mighty Turnus and his Latins, thereby founding the city of Rome and beginning that line of Roman aristocracy which was to end with the great Caesars. With this mighty epic, Virgil glorified the Roman Empire and Augustus in the divine light of Olympian predestination, suggesting a higher power at work in the affairs of Rome. But ultimately, The Aeneid suggests that violence cannot be justified, and that mankind must deal with the consequences of violence whether born of malevolent gods or men.

The greatness of The Aenied lies in its ability to envelope the listener in an aura of spiritual longing, an effect that hitherto had never been accomplished in ancient literature. This was one of the reasons why The Aeneid remained so popular throughout the Middle Ages. Early Christians were greatly impressed by the pious, noble quality of the hero Aeneas, and to them Virgil was an accessible bridge between the pagan world and their own. And his work remained the model for epic poetry right through the Renaissance and beyond. Dante, Shakespeare, and Milton owe a debt of gratitude to Virgil and The Aeneid which can never be repaid.

The Aeneid is organized into 12 books. This recording includes a brief synopsis of the story prior to the beginning of each book in order to help the listener understand the action of the verse.

© and (P)2004 Audio Connoisseur
Translated by Patric Dickenson.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (241 )
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4.1 (136 )
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  •  
    FinalFrontier 07-23-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Good Mix of Thoughtful and Theatrical"

    The Aeneid is one of those "bucket list" books many people say they'll get around to at some point. If you ever do try to read it on your own, you could lose interest, either because of the length or the realities of life. That is why I'm pleased to see so many versions of this book on Audible.

    The story itself is indeed a good book. Like most epics, it works well with a good voice talent.

    Charleton Griffin is an excellent narrator. While he may not have the "voice of God," his voice is firm, rich, full, strong and authoritative.

    Griffin seems to have been trained in classical theater. As a voice actor, he puts this training to work effectively. One benefit of this training is that we get some of the best diction I've heard from anyone this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

    Griffin also realizes that neither he nor his audience can see each other. Given this, he uses his abilities as a voice actor to add vocal nuances to his narration.

    He paces the story in a way that allows you to think about it, yet he can be dramatic where it's needed.

    As a result, you have a performance that takes the dramatic effects of the theater and combines it with the ability to tell the story as if you were the only one hearing it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolivia Herron Washington, DC 03-05-16
    Carolivia Herron Washington, DC 03-05-16 Member Since 2014

    Author of Nappy Hair

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    "Returning Cycles of Trouble "

    I listen to it or read it every year. So old a story, yet every year this movement from fallen Troy to the founding of Rome is more a commentary on our troubles. Asia seeking a home in Europe, Africa outraged, piety incapable of securing peace. But what art of presentation , it is art that helps us grasp hope out of the terrible battles. Thank you Vergil/Vergel, and the music between the books was enthralling, with the sound of the Chalton Griffin's voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tony Hughes Sarasota, Fl. 07-12-15
    Tony Hughes Sarasota, Fl. 07-12-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Stunning!"

    All fans of the Illiad and the Odyssey need to continue their journey with this awesome and addictive classic. Great narrative !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mountain K9iner 05-06-15
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    "Short of learning Latin, this is great!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    There are certain works every educated person should read, and the Aeneid is high on the list. Griffin's formal, somewhat stilted reading is appropriate for this text. I have not compared other English translations of the Aeneid, but this one, with a few odd word choices, stayed true to the parts of the original I'm familiar with.

    The only reason the story gets 4 stars instead of 5 is that, as classical epics go, Homer is the only one who deserves 5 stars. But then, who can live up to his standards?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Memphis Graton, CA, United States 10-13-14
    Memphis Graton, CA, United States 10-13-14
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    "Very Epic and Fantastical Story"

    Enjoyed this book quite a bit, I think I thought it was going to be a bit different then it was for some reason, it is quite a bit similar to the Odyssey or Iliad in tone and form but also different. Whenever the word "epic poem" is used to describe a book I think of something rhymey and syntactic (what does that mean?? ) but this is more like a novel with that epic quality that often is found in old books that are well translated. A bit hard to follow as these sorts of books often are but a lot of that was me not paying enough attention. Would enjoy re-listening at some point. Narration is quality and Griffin does a good job with the female characters which I think he flailed on in the Odyssey. Anyhow, fun and epic book! Perhaps not as epic as the Persian Wars or the Peloponnesian War at least to me, but in some ways perhaps more. Kind of vaguely reminded me of the Narnia Chronicles or some fantasy novel like that in a very slight manner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Hanson Alameda, CA United States 08-30-11
    Linda Hanson Alameda, CA United States 08-30-11 Member Since 2013
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    "masterpiece"

    It is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. Possibly my new favorite book of all time. If you can read it and pass it on please do so.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin SwindonUnited Kingdom 10-22-05
    Kevin SwindonUnited Kingdom 10-22-05
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    "Great poetry but..."

    This is a great story and great poetry, and by and large well read, but after a while I find some of the pronunciation annoying. Like Aeneas I can only stand so many storm torsed seas. Well, that's my orfering for what it's worth.

    6 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Columbia, MD, United States 05-06-14
    Paul Columbia, MD, United States 05-06-14 Member Since 2015

    Love my Kindle and my audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Doesn't Compare to Homer"
    Would you try another book from Virgil and/or Charlton Griffin?

    Maybe.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Virgil again?

    Maybe


    What does Charlton Griffin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His performance was admirable.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Sure


    Any additional comments?

    While providing some interesting fill-ins to some historical events (the sacking of Troy, the relationship between Dido and Aeneas, the founding of Rome), the overall story is pretty boring. Aeneas pretty much does what the gods tell him to do, without much personal flare. His apparent heroism doesn't add up to much.

    After listening to Homer's The Illiad and The Odyssey, this book is no where near in stature and greatness.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bookmarque 04-30-12
    Bookmarque 04-30-12 Member Since 2007

    ksx2

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    "Give me Odysseus any day"

    Several reviews characterize The Aeneid as a slog and I agree. Compared to The Iliad and Odyssey it definitely is a more difficult story to get through. Partly for its self-aggrandizement of the Roman people and foundation, partly for its huge chunks of backstory and wild justification, but mostly for the insufferable gods and goddesses. Oh my head that was painful. Everyone it seems has a stake in Aeneas’s fate, but of course they are almost all at odds with each other and none seem to know what the others were doing. Every once in a while Zeus/Jove/Jupiter gets involved and lackadaisically makes a decision, but for the most part Venus and Juno get to butt heads and see who can mess with the participants the most in order to fulfill her ends. I guess it's a testament to how in control of their own lives the people in Virgil's world felt.

    To some degree it’s a foregone conclusion since Virgil is writing this epic to give validation and divine permission to Augustus (his patron) and the Claudian and Julian families for crushing the life out of the Roman Republic. That means that Aeneas has to be perfect. Noble. Brave. Clear-sighted. Righteous. Pious. Determined. Bor-ring! There wasn’t enough humanity about Aeneas for me to connect with him. He was the correct embodiment of all that Roman Patrician families strive for in their men and he came off robot-like and stilted. Give me the much-maligned Odysseus any day.

    I don't think I can take Charlton Griffin anymore, which is unfortunate since he seems to be the narrator of choice for so many ancient books. His pronunciation (even of English words) is pretty poor, and sometimes he sounds like he's going to fall asleep.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Halifax, NS, Canada 11-16-11
    David Halifax, NS, Canada 11-16-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Excess pomposity from reader"

    Obviously, the Aeneid is awesome.

    However, this reader is unbearably pompous and self-indulgent to the point of absurdity. He speaks in a ridiculously plummy upper class accent (although occasional odd slips make me suspect him of being an American faking it). He booms and drawls in slow motion. It's unbearable.

    Now, you could argue that Roman epic poetry requires a certain sense of Shakespearean grandeur and that the reader is attempting to give it that. Fair enough. But he reads the introduction in the same style!! "Virgil... was... BORN ... in a village near ... MANTUA..." he intones in his molasses-like way.

    Make. It. Stop.

    I had to give up after book 2. I wish someone would do a sensible recording that treats Virgil with some respect instead of using him as an opportunity to show off.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful

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