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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 (186 )
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4.0 (83 )
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Performance
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  •  
    James USA 01-06-05
    James USA 01-06-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An epic in every sense of the word"

    Now I know why you are supposed to like this poem. It really does have a strong aura of spirituality about it. I thought the entire production was beautifully done. There is a nice introduction about Virgil and The Aeneid to get you oriented. Then, at the beginning of each section there is a short synopsis of the action to give you a heads up on what is coming. I never got lost or bewildered by the story. This is a breathtaking performance on the part of the reader, too. If you like The Iliad or The Odessey, you're going to love this one. I recommend it without hesitation.

    36 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ralph Seattle, WA, USA 09-12-05
    Ralph Seattle, WA, USA 09-12-05
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    "An incredible experience not to be missed"

    I am nearing the end of The Aeneid, and I cannot say enough about the richness of experience this audio book has brought into my life. And believe me, I am hard to please :-) Virgil himself is unquestionably a master of myth, history, human nature and poetry with few peers in the history of humanity. The translator seems to have done a very credible job at transforming a vibrant work into modern and compelling English. And Charlton Griffin has done an absolutely unbelievable job of bringing this work to life. His ability to make the words of gods or men seem terrifying, heroic, pathetic or amusing as the case may be, should not be missed. I shall never forget his interpretation of the gods in their arguments and precious sarcasms, the hissing intensity of oracles, the forthright heroic speeches of Aeneas, and many others.

    Thanks to all involved in this production, it is a masterpiece.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benedict San Francisco, CA, USA 06-02-06
    Benedict San Francisco, CA, USA 06-02-06
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    "A masterpiece indeed"

    I have now listened to the Aeneid for a second time and only recently realized the captivating poetry and power of this masterpiece.

    Virgil writes line by line that paints a vivid picture of his story.

    This story honored Rome and Romans of his day and I wonder if we have a Virgil for our day.

    The reader Charlton Griffin is simply wonderful and makes the book "go".

    Ben

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scizen Carolinas 05-31-05
    Scizen Carolinas 05-31-05 Listener Since 2005
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    "Extraordinary Great Book, Superb Narrator"

    Wow! I love old great books and the Aeneid is a cornerstone of literature. Griffen is stupendous in his inflection and cadence. If you like this kind of literature, get this version. There is another version of the Aeneid narrated by another that is not nearly as well intoned. It is clear, but not as enjoyable.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saye Madison, GA, USA 03-20-06
    Saye Madison, GA, USA 03-20-06
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    "Captivating"

    As a professor of literature, I usually eschew audio versions of books for the printed text. However, I have to confess that I found this version and reading to be absolutely captivating. Many nuances in the text are evoked, and a vividness in the tale persists long after the audio is over. Highly recommended!

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jefferson 05-11-10
    Jefferson 05-11-10 Member Since 2010

    I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Excellent Audio Epic!"

    "Of arms I sing and the hero, destiny's exile," begins Virgil's epic poem The Aeneid, which I just finished enjoying in the Audio Connoisseur version. Though I am no expert, the 1961 verse translation, by Patric Dickinson, feels natural, clear, and pleasurable. The forty-something-minute introduction is illuminating about the strong points as well as the limitations of Virgil's epic. The Aeneid is not The Iliad (but then what is?), for Virgil has almost no sense of humor and too great a belief in Augustan Rome as the acme of world empires. But he also has a rich, noble, and dramatic imagination.

    And Charlton Griffin does as wonderful job here as he does reading The Iliad, varying his pitch and pace to evoke the different emotions and moods of Virgil's many characters and scenes, bringing the poem to life with conviction. Among the highlights are Aeneas recounting the fall of and escape from Troy, Dido despairing, Aeneas finding the ghost of an assassinated Trojan in a mound pierced by spears that have grown into myrtle shoots, Aeneas visiting the underworld, the Trojans trapping the Latin hero Turnus inside their fortifications only to discover they have bitten off more than they can chew, baby Camilla's father tying her to a spear and throwing it over a river, and Turnus asking a last boon of Aeneas. Such scenes are beautiful, terrible, exciting, moving, fantastic, and heroic.

    The production is fine, with good sound quality and ancient Mediterranean-type music introducing and concluding the books. But if you wish to hear the story freshly, you should fast forward past the suspense-killing and superfluous five-minute summaries that introduce each book.

    I recommend this audio book because it is an influential and good story well read that reveals a lot about how ancient Rome saw itself and its origins and about the weakness and heroism in human nature.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan 02-28-05
    Jonathan 02-28-05 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "enchanting and addicting"

    I'm listening to it for the second/third time now, reading along with traditional verse and doing google searches on the names i don't know. What a fabulous story. I totally give this a thumbs up!
    Tolkein took a lot from the Aeneid. Listen for Camilla and think about Eowyn and many more examples.
    The story of the Trojan Horse is here, not in the Illiad. This is a GREAT work.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Elmhurst, IL, United States 04-18-13
    Craig Elmhurst, IL, United States 04-18-13
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    "Excellent narration added to the experience."

    This was VERY well acted, narrated which added immensely to my understanding. I found myself looking forward to a flight so I could listen to a few hours uninterrupted.

    Glad I first listened to The Teaching Company "Aeneid" course by Elizabeth Vandiver, else I wouldn't have followed the action. Suspect I would have been lost without that preparation.

    Very high body count in books 7-12. I'm still stunned at the variety of ways to describe splattered brains.

    Expected this would be a chore, but thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Highly recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Tucson, AZ, USA 03-08-07
    David Tucson, AZ, USA 03-08-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good, not great, translation"

    The narrarator is very good. The musical interludes are quite a nice touch as well. However, the translation itself seems somewhat cumbersome in many places.

    Overall: Very good

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Memphis Graton, CA, United States 10-13-14
    Memphis Graton, CA, United States 10-13-14 Member Since 2013
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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
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  • Ehab
    Southampton, United Kingdom
    4/16/09
    Overall
    "Magical!"

    This is a great production of a classic work, with simply gripping narration. Thanks Audible.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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