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The Aeneid | [Virgil]

The Aeneid

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.
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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

3.9 (187 )
5 star
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4.0 (84 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Linda Hanson Alameda, CA United States 08-30-11
    Linda Hanson Alameda, CA United States 08-30-11 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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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 2011

    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

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Nathan BELLEVILLE, IL, United States 03-24-13
    Nathan BELLEVILLE, IL, United States 03-24-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Not for casual reader/listeners"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I'm not sure I'd change anything. For the time it was written, the perspective is probably great. I just got bored with the constant donations of animal intestines and other sacrifices to the gods, the constant pouring of wine... like gallons and gallons of wine to every little thing, the melodramatic prayers... Very mythology driven. If you're into mythology, this will probably be great. If you're not, then you may want to skip over this one.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    the perspective


    What three words best describe Charlton Griffin’s voice?

    nails


    Did The Aeneid inspire you to do anything?

    not really


    Any additional comments?

    Has anyone bothered to count exactly how many animals were sacrificed and how many gallons of wine were poured out to their homies?

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Prairie Village, KS USA 12-24-05
    Amazon Customer Prairie Village, KS USA 12-24-05 Member Since 2002

    Larry

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Virgil rips off the Illiad and the Odessy!"

    The Aeneid is less well known to non-classicists and there is a reason for it. It is a blatant steal from the Greeks, like most things Roman. Still, there is a lot to recommend a listen in this English translation. It lays out the story of how the Trojans became the modern Romans. It is informative as to how the Romans viewed themselves in the world. The characters are stiff, cardboard cut-outs and Aeneis comes off as a pompous jerk. The gods are just as whimsical, as they are in the Illiad, leaving men to be whipsawed first one way and then the other as the body count mounts and blood flows in rivers.
    Not a casual listen, however.

    1 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Cohoes, NY, USA 08-23-05
    Joe Cohoes, NY, USA 08-23-05
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    "Booooring!"

    There is a 45 minute(!) introduction to the book before it is even read. I wanted to kill myself.

    3 of 33 people found this review helpful
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