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.
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.
Author of Nappy Hair
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Love my Kindle and my audiobooks.
His performance was admirable.
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.
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.
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.
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