• The Aeneid

  • By: Virgil
  • Narrated by: Simon Callow
  • Length: 12 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (858 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Here is the much-anticipated new translation of Virgil's epic poem from the award-winning translator Robert Fagles.  

The publication of a new translation by Fagles is a literary event. His translations of both the Iliad and Odyssey have sold hundreds of thousands of copies and have become the standard translations of our era. Now, with this stunning modern verse translation, Fagles has reintroduced Virgil's Aeneid to a whole new generation, and completed the classical triptych at the heart of Western civilization.

The Aeneid is a sweeping epic of arms and heroism and a searching portrait of a man caught between love, duty, and the force of his own destiny. Here, Fagles brings to life the timeless journey of Aeneas as he flees the ashes of Troy to found Roman society and change forever the course of the Western world.

Fagles' translation retains all of the gravitas and humanity of the original as well as its powerful blend of poetry and myth.

 PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.  

©2006 Robert Fagles
(P)2006 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Aeneid

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good but the chapters aren't IN ORDER

I enjoyed the audiobook. Usually, when I listen to audiobooks, I follow along in my book but I have found that the Chapter times given in this audiobook are not correct. If you click Section 4, for example, it will not start at the beginning of Chapter/ Book 4 but in the middle of Chapter/ Book 3. It is also a real pain to fast forward or rewind in the audiobook in order to find where the Chapter/ Book actually starts!

Here are the correct times if you also have this problem:
Book 1 - 0:00:49
Book 2 - 1:01:51
Book 3 - 2:05:10
Book 4 - 3:01:12
Book 5 - 3:59:01
Book 6 - 5:01:26
Book 7 - 6:15:36
Book 8 - 7:13:29
Book 9 - 8:07:41
Book 10 - 9:03:57
Book 11 - 10:10:13
Book 12 - 11:16:03

69 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Not the best, but not bad

I don't think this is the best Aeneid on audiobook -- if you have to choose, get the Charlton Griffin one -- but it's not bad. The translation is wonderful: pithy, hard-hitting, and tough; it's worth having this one to get Fagles' take on Virgil, if nothing else. But the performance, though I liked it, is definitely not to everyone's taste. Simon Callow (or the producer?) decided to do it as if it were a one-man stage show, rather than a studio reading. If you've ever seen Callow doing Charles Dickens, you get the idea: it's a very broad performance.

On the other hand, Aeneas needs a boost. As epic heroes go, he's a pill and a half: dutiful to a fault, self-righteous and self-justifying ("well, I never actually used the word MARRIAGE, did I?"). Virgil takes received wisdom and the Grandeur that was Rome at face value, where Homer delightfully subverts everything he touches.

59 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Narration Spotty

Although the narration is dramatic and in keeping with the quality of the translation, the narator's voice becomes unintelligible at the end of each passage. I gave up trying to listen while driving or exercising. I simply could not understand what was being said. If you purchase this title, I suggest you also buy the book and read it while listening to the narrator's performance, or else listen in a very quiet environment.

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A hellenist's review of the audio Aeneid

I should provide a quick note on my bias before I begin my review: I am a graduate student in classics However, I am a hellenist (i.e. I study Greek rather than Roman stuff). I also really don't like Virgil.

I have to confess that although I study classics, I have never been able to get all the way through the Aeneid before this (I've just read the sections I needed to get the gist for class). I've really tried to get into it-- I previously read portions of the Fagles, Fitzgerald, and Mandelbaum translations-- but I just couldn't get hooked. The audiobook did the trick-- I listened to the whole thing over the course of a week.

Simon Callow can be a little over dramatic and female voices are pretty grating, but he read at a reasonable pace and he kept my interest in the story. I actually even enjoyed some of it.

Fagles' translation of the Latin (I've read books II and VIII in Latin, so I have some minimal basis for judgement) has the virtue of being fairly literal, while still providing an accessible modern English text. In general, Fagles' translations seem to be more enjoyable aloud than on paper (I have also recently listened to Fagles' Odyssey and I found it to be the same way).

As I've mentioned, the Aeneid is not really my cup of tea. Yet, listening to it gave the story a different and more enjoyable pace. I highly suggest the audio version for anyone who needs to read Virgil's epic either for class or exams (or, honestly, for anyone who just wants a passing acquaintance with the influential texts of classical literature).

31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fagles is best

I've been a huge fan of Fagles' translations before buying this book and this translation does not disappoint. For epics such as this, the Iliad, and the Odyssey I've chosen to to read the actual book as I'm listening. For people, such as myself, whose concentration is not the greatest (I've had a couple strokes so I have an excuse) the combination of listening while reading is terrific.

I think the narrator is terrific and Rober Fagles is just amazing. If you like Fagles Aeneid, be sure to read and/or listen to his Iliad and Odyssey. Also, check out Steven Mitchell's "Gilgamesh", also availble from audible.com.

37 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Naration not easy to understand

The narrator’s dramatic voice frequently fades in volume and elocution near the end of sentences. So, listen to this story at home; not on the road or other places where the ambient noise will make hearing difficult.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Best Aeneid Translation Ever

This translation of the Aeneid stands head and shoulders above anything else I have seen in English. It's exciting, to the point, and very very nuanced. The narrator is a fantastic choice too. His voice creates a world and moves you along through it. I put on my earphones just intending to to listen to a few minutes of the beginning the night I downloaded this, and I was pulled in for four hours of adventure before I could finally force myself to click "stop".

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good actor's distracting reading of the amazing Aeneid

I was hoping to be floored by Fagles' translation, narrated by an actor I like very much. However, Simon Callow's performance is overly-dramatized in tone and dynamics to the extent that it is hard to follow the poetry and plot. One sentence will vary from shrill and shouted to whispered and mumbled, with the wrong words emphasized. Disappointing.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not for everyone

Part of the blame may lie with Virgil, whose derivative epic does not quite measure up to Homer's Iliad and Odyssey; part of it with the translator Robert Fagles, who may have privileged meter a bit too much over readability; and part of it with Simon Callow, who is too histrionic for the material, but the end result is less than optimal: this is an audiobook that listeners should only buy if they are aware both of Callow's tendency to dramatize and Fagles' metrical enthusiasm. I wish Stanley Lombardo (who translated Homer's texts so well) took on the task of giving us a more readable Virgil. The contrast couldn't be starker.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Good

This is an extremely enjoyable translation, and Callow's narration is truly a performance. You definitely get your money's worth from this audiobook. I find it odd that some people think the work is better read than listened to; or they don't like the performance aspect of Callow's narration. These epic poems were meant to be spoken, and I imagine the best presenters in ancient times would have done it Callow's way. I almost rated it four stars only because as epic poems go, it is not as good as either the Illiad or the Odyssey. But that is really on Virgil. I don't think it would be fair to Fagles or Callow to rate it less than five stars.

4 people found this helpful

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  • me,myself,andI
  • 08-12-19

Hear it as it is meant to be heard!

Just like Dickens, this work was designed to be heard, rather than read, and it is performed with real style here.
Prepare to be sucked into a bygone world, and just enjoy.

16 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Hironimus
  • 02-04-21

Poorly produced

Despite the Aeneid famously having 12 chapters, to mirror Homers work, inexplicably this version has been split in to 10 chapters. This means occasionally a 'chapter' ends and you get a short burst of music at a particularly incongruous point.

Also, the intro is provided as a PDF. I'm not going to read a PDF in an app on my phone. Its not even in a format I could use on my ereader. Presumably this recording was done a few years ago, perhaps for radio, and has been recycled for Audible.

For me the narration was a little over excited. I can't fault the guy for enthusiasm but it was just a little over the top at points. Some of the battle scenes are reminiscent of someone commentating a horse race, which admittedly brought a smile to my face, but isn't the tone I would expect.

Even more subjectivity, I'm not a huge fan of this translation (although I'm not aware of a better one). While it moves along at a reasonable pace, some of the vocabulary appears to be deliberately archaic. For example the use of the word 'dugs', I don't think benefits anyone.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • A9btsjsqe
  • 12-11-20

A masterful performance

Quite simply magnificent, Simon Callow's voice is a joy to behold! What a wonderful story and what a wonderful rendition of it.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Khamar
  • 10-17-20

epic in every sense

Simon Callow & the Fagles translation takes you back to how this epic was meant to be enjoyed

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cameron ms
  • 02-16-21

excellent

Simon Callow provides gripping narration to this epic. The Aeneid is a must read and I recommend you read it. This audio book is a good supplement and brings this tragic tail of war ,love, suicide and humanity; at the hand of the gods, to life.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-30-21

A good continuation of the epic tradition

I throughly enjoy Homer I have listened to and read the Iliad and the Odyssey a number of times, especially the former which I would go as far as saying I consider to be a fundamental piece on the way I think and view life, death and legacy.

However for whatever reason I had never approached the Aeneid. From the start I was hooked the brilliant retelling of events in chapter 2 (If memory serves me right) regarding the fall of Troy and how the refugees fled the city, the loss of Aneas' wife and how he shoulders his aged father from the ruins were moving. They speak to our modern world in many ways.

The following chapters at Didos court and the tragedy that follows were also intriguing, moving and meaningful you can really feel the sorrow of Dido but also of her poor sister. The travels towards Italy and into the underworld were also very entertaining.

Upon reaching Italy the book changes somewhat in tone. I must admit I found it hard at times to fully follow the story of the war between the Trojans and the Latins. Perhaps a closer listen or a read is required. However I must say that by chapter 9 or 10 i was fully back and engaged with the story. The death of Pallas, the war rage of Camilla and the final battle where Aneas is stalking the mists and ruins of the battle field hunting Turnus is extraordinary.

The political connotations of the work are also highly interesting when we consider why this work came into being and the multitude of times the work glorifies or predicts the rise and power of Rome. Whilst this can at times be jarring, especially for those coming to this from Homer, it is undoubtedly interesting to see and certainly gives the work a more grounded base, unlike Homer which to me feels very mythic both in the telling of the story and in the context of the story itself.

The text itself is very friendly and modern in its translation without losing the ancient feel or to much of the meter of the poetry. The narration is also wonderful, Callow really becomes passionate during the explosive scenes almost shouting out the lines alike to a live performance.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kirsten
  • 03-30-22

it's called Eneidas for a reason

Simon narrations are impeccable. But for the story itself, great classic Virgil but feels like a second class Odyssey. in my humble opinion.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr M T Pierce
  • 01-06-22

Simply wonderful!

I'm a bit biased; I do like Simon Callow. And I have to say that he does a fantastic job of bringing this story to life. The chapter describing the fall of Troy is a particular highlight.

It is hard going in places though, which is more to do with the text than the narration but it is a great story, told very well.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James McLaughlin
  • 11-15-21

Modern political economy as is

Exciting, emotional, modern. Fagels is majestic. Read them all. Virgil brought to life. If you seek illumination this is it.
Frighteningly relevant.