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Moved the following (apparently from someone at from the article to here:

How is Aeneid pronounced? I've heard ee'-nee-id, un-nee'-id, and aye'-nayed.
-- llywrch 07:42 Feb 7, 2003 (UTC)

The last is closest to the pronunciation used by the Romans. I-neigh'-id would be even closer. The first two are Anglified. -- Derek Ross 06:11 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)

However, uh-nee'-id is the most common among all American Latin (student|teacher)s I've met (I'm a member of the NJCL and have met quite a few) Evanbro 03:03, Jan 7, 2005 (UTC)

Maybe we should change the first paragraph to this?

The Aeneid (IPA English pronunciation: [ə'niːɪd]; Ancient Latin pronunciation: [aɪ'neɪɪd] is a Latin epic written by Virgil in the 1st century BC that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who traveled to Italy where he became the ancestor of the Romans.

Simetrical (talk) 03:57, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well, decided to be bold. Edited. —Simetrical (talk) 06:48, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It would be better as this...

The Aeneid (IPA Latin pronunciation: [aɪ'neɪd]; English pronunciation: ['iːniːɪd], [ə'niːɪd], or [aɪ'neɪd]) is a Latin epic written by Virgil in the 1st century BC that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who traveled to Italy where he became the ancestor of the Romans.

...since there is only one Latin pronunciation but at least three common English variants. The Latin pronunciation is arguably the correct one, is identical to one of the English pronunciations and is certainly the original one. Those are additional reasons why I think that the Latin pronunciation should come first. .-- Derek Ross | Talk 14:01, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)

The word is not normally pronounced in English as in Latin. Of course, some academic types might pronounce it that way, but it's not the normal convention. I don't know much about Latin, so I'll take your word that its pronunciation hasn't shifted in ecclesiastical Latin or the like. Finally, the English pronunciation should come first, since this is the English Wikipedia—in the Latin version of this article, of course, the Latin pronunciation would come first (and probably be the only one listed). —Simetrical (talk) 08:31, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC) , According to, the only standard English pronunciation of Aeneid has the accent on the second syllable. —Simetrical (talk) 08:49, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Technically, there is not a Latin pronunciation, because the word 'Aeneid' did not exist in classical Latin, as it was not the title of the poem as recognized by the Romans. I've heard that Vergil titled his poem in Greek - Αινεις, or Aineis with Roman letters, and consequently its pronunciation would not follow typical Latin rules. I'll try to find an online source. -- 06:26, 23 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Is it just me, or does this article seem to take a bias leaning toward the fact that the teaching of the Latin language and Latin literature is no longer practiced? Should I pore through the whole thing to assure NPOV or am I being picky (and defensive, as a Latin student)? Ed Cormany 06:07 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)

It's just you. The article implies -- mistakenly, I believe -- that the Aeneid is no longer required reading for Latin students but I can't see that it anywhere implies that Latin is no longer taught. -- Derek Ross 06:20 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Does the article imply even that? My intent was to explain that the Aeneid was part of the traditional curriculum: in other words, for almost 2000 years, if one learned Latin, one would eventually have to read the Aeneid. As an example, had I continued studying Latin past the 2nd year in the 1980's, that is something I would have done.
As I have no information on the current practice of teaching Latin (except that the classes are getting harder to find), I can't say whether current students still must achieve this goal. For all I know, students are exposed to Latin using an avant garde technique of translating Shakespeare into Ciceronian periods. If a Classics teacher (or student) could state what the current practice is, I think everyone would be happy. -- llywrch 20:04 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)
There are (only) four Latin classes at the University of Western Ontario, and none of them have the Aeneid listed as required (though there is Cicero and Pliny in the senior classes...for the beginner classes there are just "short stories." Also, I never had Latin the opportunity to take Latin in high school, unfortuately. Adam Bishop 20:14 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I will be majoring in classics beginning next year at the University of Michigan, and have completed five years of high school Latin, which is a fairly common curriculum for American high schools that offer the language. The Advanced Placement program of the College Board offers two Latin assessments: AP Latin Literature and AP Latin Vergil. The latter is a year-long curriculum that is solely based on the Aeneid. Most Latin curricula do still require reading of the Aeneid, in whole or in part. Oh, and as for the avant garde approach, sounds fun, but I've never heard of it. :-) Ed Cormany 21:22 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Now, The Aeneid is required coursework for any AP Latin student, following the AP change to include both De Bello Gallico and "The Aeneid." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ccsallk2022 (talkcontribs) 02:41, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Excellent! Those two were required for my Latin course back in the early 1970s. And I enjoyed both of them. Good to know they're still required 50 years later (and 20 years after this discussion started)! -- Derek Ross | Talk 03:33, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I took Latin III this year in my high school in Florida and my class had to translate the first 400 lines of Book II of the Aeneid, along with some of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Next year, I'll be taking AP Vergil and AP Latin Literature, in which I'll translate more of the Aeneid, some Catullus, and some Horace. Sic, the classics are still taught in Latin classes.
In my Latin 3 advanced class at my high school, we translated the first book of the Aeneid in its entirety and read the first six books in english. Now in my senior year i will be continuing to study it in my AP Vergil class. After finishing the english a few days ago, I'm eternally greatful to Jesuit education for introducing me to this masterfully written work. 06:52, 25 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Glad to hear it. I always enjoyed Latin poets, although I was too lazy to do really well in my Latin class. Vergil was enjoyable but I particularly liked Ovid (and still do). -- Derek Ross

Ovid has a certain flair to him. My favorite part thus far is in Pyramus and Thisbe where he compares dying Pyramus to broken plumbing.Evanbro 03:03, Jan 7, 2005 (UTC)

That's good! I get the impression that Ovid was a witty guy with a wicked sense of humour -- the Oscar Wilde of his time in many ways. -- Derek Ross | Talk 04:23, Mar 18, 2005 (UTC)
Just rediscovered this conversation - in my Latin class, we settled on the analogy that Ovid is the Jon Stewart of Augustan Rome. Evanbro 22:58, 31 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am in my third year of university Latin (took one in high school as well) and for the majority of this semester we are working on the Aeneid, if this helps. VincentValentine29 (talk) 01:53, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Full version of the book[edit]

Is there a link to the full version of the Aeneid on some site like the Gutenburg Project that could be added here? -- User:

Note the line in the article

For external links to text of the Aeneid see Virgil.

The Virgil article contains links to all Virgil's works. -- Derek Ross | Talk

Influence Section[edit]

I think that in the influence section of the Aeneid article, it might make sense to incorporate at least one paragraph on the reception of the Aeneid--I would be willing to write that up. Another useful gauge of its influence might be Tennyson's "To Virgil."

What do people think? -- Gsobolski

Please do. I am sure that it will be an excellent addition to the article. -- Derek Ross | Talk 04:19, 2004 Nov 13 (UTC)

Dante was heavily influenced by Virgil and adapts many lines from the Aeneid. FribbusFrax 07:36, 30 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Story Section Lacking[edit]

Why is the only part of the story told here from the "Dido section?" If we are going to have a story section at all, I think we should put in a spoiler warning and give a complete (though brief) synopsis of the whole story. If nothing else, we should have a spoiler warning because Dido's suicide (a significant plot detail if ever there was one) is given away. Anyone concur? -- N2lect2el 22:40, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Seems reasonable -- although I doubt that many people read it for the story. Still, you never know. Please go ahead. -- Derek Ross | Talk 23:51, 2004 Dec 6 (UTC)
yes i think a spoiler sign is in order but i dont know how to put one in myself! if someone could do that or better, tell me how to do it... Caecilius 10:09, 20 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Æneid or Aeneid[edit]

Note that "Æneid" is a mediaevalism. Virgil always spelt it "AENEID" since the Romans of his time only used separate upper case letters. I am inclined to change the article back to the Aeneid spelling. -- Derek Ross | Talk

I believ that using AENEID would be useful for inside the main heading and starter sentence, but referring to it throughout the article as Aeneid. It doesn't really matter too much withing the depths of the main article to me. -- Doughmuffins | Talk

Actually, Æ was a common way of representing the Latin diphthong by the Romans. It is in no way medieval. And the answer to your question is neither, because, as I noted above, Aeneid was not the actual title given by Vergil, and so it was not a word spoken (or written) in classical Latin. -- 06:02, 23 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Missing reference[edit]

It would be nice to know exactly where to find the phrase, "Rise up from my bones, avenging spirit". I don't even know which translation it is from; Perseus turns up nothing. Does anyone know the reference?Siva 23:16, 25 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've added the reference (Aeneid 4.625, Exoriare aliquis nostris ex ossibus ultor, in Fitzgerald's translation). Wareh 00:39, 3 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The 'History' section seems to be completely lacking in references, it's written rather subjectively so I think it needs a clean up and references to sources. There is also no date for when the Aeneid might have been written, which is a glaring omission. --Lyndabynda (talk) 13:13, 11 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Rhyming translations[edit]

Attention to all those who seek a translation of this epic online. Most translations you will find are the same. They are not in prose, and have a rhyme scheme. That is ludicrous! It should only have those if it is in Latin, it is the only way they would work. In English you can't possibly have it in poetic form with rhyme scheme without drastically changing the context and vocabulary. Also most translatios, in the first line, uses "arms" for Arma it should be "wars." Anyone taking First Year Latin would know that. Thanks to the Haverhill High School Latin/English teachers for being aware of these things and teaching it to us. -- Anonymous contributor

The rhyming translation that you mean is almost certainly the one done by Alexander Pope. It's very good in its own right but, as your teachers say, not totally accurate when compared to the original Latin word-for-word. I think the South African poet Roy Campbell (1901-1957) got it right when he wrote ...
Translations (like wives) are seldom faithful if they are in the least attractive.
... in *Poetry Review* for June/July 1949. In other words an English translation will always lose out somewhere when compared to the Latin original. -- Derek Ross | Talk 03:04, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think you mean John Dryden, not Pope. And to "Anonymous" above: as far as the faithfullness of Dryden's rhyming couplets, sit down with a latin transcript and compare with the Dryden sometime. You'd be surprised how close he gets much of the time. For readability, I like the Robert Fitzgerald. It would be nice to have a comprehensive list of translations in this article, with short descriptions. SanchoPanza 03:46, 10 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oops! you are correct I did indeed mean Dryden! -- Derek Ross | Talk 03:35, 23 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Translations can and will never do justice to the Aeneid nor any other work. As for your complaint on the first line, if you wanted to be overtly correct, "wars" would work. But if you've read the Aeneid, you'll know that many words don't make sense per se. Take, for instance, the use of tecta, literally "rooves," to mean "houses." It's a figure of speech known as synecdoche, and it's what poets do. As any first year Latin student would know, literally, yes, it's "wars," but, as any student of Vergil would know, such a literal translation would do little justice to Vergil's mastery of the language. Thus, any translation I'll like will begin "I sing of arms and of the man." --Aekarn 02:33, 24 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't think 'wars' is ever the most natural translation of 'arma'. Usually it should be translated (literally) as 'arms', with 'wars' a possible alternate meaning by synecdoche -- 18:25, 8 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I tend to agree with the use of arms as a clunky but preferably translation of arma Caecilius 10:05, 20 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Arms is synecdochal for war. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:36, 18 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In tracing the origins and usage of the phrase "Gaetulian lion", which appears to probably originate with the Aeneid. If anyone knows any more about it, any info would be appreciated, thanks. -- Stbalbach 02:16, 24 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Gaetulian is referring to those who are from Gaetulia, an alternative name for the region in Africa surrounding Carthage. In this case i suspect it is referring to the armies of King Iarbas, the King whom Dido refused his hand in marriage after he granted her the land on whcih to build her city

Respect for the Greeks?[edit]

In the context section of this article, it claims that the Greeks were respected by Romans, but after just finishing my class on Roman and Greek civilization, we were taught that the Romans certainly looked down apon the Greeks, while incorporating aspects of their society, the Romans did so with a sense of superiority (For example, most Romans were bi-lingual basically because they wanted to "prove" that they were "better" than the Greeks)

I think this should probably be changed as if one looks into the history of their culture, one would see that this line of the section isn't necessairly correct KurtFF8 23:15, 2 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You Grossly over-simplify. The Romans did not simply "look up to" or "look down on" the Greeks. Like all people, they were a little more complex than that. Consider this quote from Bertrand Russel, from the History of Western Philosophy, pp263-4:

When the Romans first came in contact with Greeks, they became aware of themselves as comparatively barbarous and uncouth. The Greeks were immeasurably their superiors in many ways: in manufacture and in the technique of agriculture; in the kinds of knowledge that are necessary for a good official; in conversation and the art of enjoying life; in art and literature and philosophy. The only things in which the Romans were superior were military tactics and social cohesion. The relation of the Romans to the Greeks was something like that of the Prussians to the French in 1814 and 1815; but this latter was temporary, whereas the other lasted a long time. After the Punic Wars, young Romans conceived an admiration for the Greeks. They learnt the Greek language, they copied Greek architecture, they employed Greek sculptors. The Roman gods were identified with the gods of Greece. The Trojan origin of the Romans was invented to make a connection with the Homeric myths. Latin poets adopted Greek metres, Latin philosophers took over Greek theories. To the end, Rome was culturally parasitic on Greece. The Romans invented no art forms, constructed no original system of philosophy, and made no scientific discoveries. They made good roads, systematic legal codes, and efficient armies; for the rest they looked to Greece.
The Hellenizing of Rome brought with it a certain softening of manners, abhorrent to the elder Cato. Until the Punic Wars, the Romans had been a bucolic people, with the virtues and vices of farmers; austere, industrious, brutal, obstinate, and stupid. Their family life had been stable and solidly built on the patria potestas; women and young people were completely subordinated. All this changed with the influx of sudden wealth. The small farms disappeared, and were gradually replaced by huge estates on which slave labour was employed to carry out new scientific kinds of agriculture. A great class of traders grew up, and a large number of men enriched by plunder, like the nabobs of eighteenth-century England. Women, who had been virtuous slaves, became free and disolute; divorce became common; the rich ceased to have children. The Greeks, who had gone through a similar development centuries ago, encouraged, by their example, what historians call the decay of morals. Even in the most dissolute times of the Empire, the average Roman still thought of Rome as the upholder of a purer ethical standard against the decadent corruption of Greece.

--Taitcha 04:08, 29 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I just posted it... obviously it needs some help gramatically and with the missing sections. If you want to add to it PLEASE keep it as literal a translation as possible, especially in the AP parts. What would be REALLY sweet is to place the latin text in a column right next to it...

I question whether a fuill translation of the Aeneid needs to be in the article. Clearly, a great deal of effort went into the article, and I do not fail to recognize that. However, Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia, not an annotated history of the universe. Perhaps a link to a translation could be used in place of insertion of the actual translation? Ourai 23:20, 9 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Translations should be stored on the WikiSource project and linked to. -- Derek Ross | Talk 00:23, 10 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with Derek. This article is not the place for a full translation, although a complete literal translation resource would be quite the coup for Wiki -- it would be the only full truly literal translation on the net. The upenn annotated online text is a great resource for such endeavours: SanchoPanza 04:04, 10 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For the love of Jove, if you're going to use Fitzgerald's translation, please don't post it as though it were prose instead of poetry. It may take up more space, but I think that putting it in paragraph form is just hugely misleading and wrong. The Aeniad is a POEM, not a novel. Corbmobile 21:27, 9 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Introductory Paragraph[edit]

While checking the article for some backstory to incorporate into a report for my Latin taskmaster, my eye caught the first paragraph. "[The Aeneid] is split into two "volumes" and 12 "books", with books 1-6 being the Odyssey and 7-12 the Iliad." Perhaps my understanding of classical literature is at fault, but I was under the impression that the Iliad and Odyssey were Homerian works dealing with the battle for Troy and Odysseus' voyage home, respectively, with only a minor mention of Aeneas in the Iliad. I find it unlikely that "Iliad" and "Odyssey" would be used for the titles of the two volumes, if only because of the nomenclature behind them (Iliad comes from Ilium, a name for Troy; Odyssey comes from its protagonist's name, Odysseus). Did I miss something? Ourai 23:04, 22 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Your understanding is correct. However I think that what is meant in the opening paragraph is that Aeneid books 1-6 are like the Odyssey (they describe the wandering of Aeneas in place of the wanderings of Odysseus) and that Aeneid books 7-12 are like the Iliad (they describe the war between the Trojans and the Latins in place of the war between the Greeks and the Trojans). I am sorry that the introductory paragraph was not well enough written to make that clear. -- Derek Ross | Talk 03:34, 23 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This sentence was added after I wrote the paragraphs regarding the "themes" and "allegories" sections; please bear in mind that this is an interpretation, and not necessarily correct. I specifically used the phrase "the so-called Volume I (Books I-VI, the Odyssey), and Volume II (Books VII-XII, the Iliad)," to emphasize this point. :)
Zidel333 21:36, 23 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think that it should be noted that the ancient historian(actually grammarian) Servius (from the 4th century), who was a big commentator on The Aeneid, claimed that it was written to 1) Imitate Homer's works and 2) Praise Augustus. Servius may be one of the oldest authorities on the subject and should be mentioned in this section perhaps. I'll look at ways to impliment it soon.
KurtFF8 09:17, 20 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Allegory Section[edit]

This needs work and references, it seems to be mostly opinion at the moment. michaelCurtis talk+ contributions 14:20, 31 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This section (along with the Theme Section) was a summation of my year long course on the Aeneid. I need to find a direct citation beyond that of my professor's various lectures. As for the matter of it being opinion, this is why I bolded, and italicized the text in question to leave credence to the argument of Virgil's hidden message. When I have more time, I will find the passages in the original Latin, and add it along with the Fitzgerald translation already in use for textual evidence.
Zidel333 04:20, 1 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't mean to be rude, but the section oversimplifies a long-running and complex critical debate over the meaning of the Aeneid. To engage in the vice of oversimplification myself: the main issue that scholars talk about when discussing hidden meanings or "other voices" in the Aeneid is the poem's attitude towards Augustus. Most scholars would agree that Aeneas' struggles to found a new Troy reflect the civil wars and the establishment of the principate by Augustus. For a long time, Virgil was regarded as glorifying the rule of Augustus, and was even sometimes regarded as a propagandist for the new regime; this interpretation has come to be known as the "optimist" reading. On the other hand, many scholars have argued that Virgil casts doubt on the nobility of Aeneas and his mission, through the characterization of Aeneas, the use of ironic language, and through the poem's depiction of the savagery that leads to the foundation of the Roman race. This interpretation is known as the "pessimist" reading. Most scholars would now concede that both readings are too simplistic; Virgil is one of the most complex poets western literature has known. The bibliography on this is huge; R. O. A. M. Lyne, Further Voices in Vergil's Aeneid might be a starting point, a classic is W.R. Johnston's Darkness Visible. --Akhilleus (talk) 06:35, 10 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This section definitely needs a major over-haul as it needs expanding but some of what is written isn't really quite correct. The concept of 'pietas' is not really reason but in fact duty: duty to one's parents (particularly father), one's family, to Rome, to the gods, etc. Aeneas' rage stems from the slaughter in Book 10 of Pallas at the hands of Turnus, as he remembers the guest-friendship he has with Evander, of Evander's words to him. It, possibly, is in fact an act of 'pietas', duty to this guest-friendship, which results in 'furor Aeneae' and the passionate aristeia which culminates in the death of Turnus. (talk) 18:18, 23 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd be in favour of removing the section entirely; it is grossly misleading as it stands. I'll happily contribute a new version when I've finished my Finals in Literae Humaniores in June. (talk) 19:55, 24 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Expansion tag request and gripe[edit]

In general, I opine that 'In-your-face' banner editor-to-editor messages like this
   A) should not be top located, at the very least,
   B) are generally better in the Talk if practicable ('Expert', 'References', etc. where an autocategory draws patrolling editors to the need), and
   C) at the very least, need a clearly delineated related talk page section that details the needs, perferably bulleted or numbered paragraphs, that can serve to guide other editors into the thought chain that resulted in the evaluation and judgement espoused by the banner message, and
   D) and last, but most importantly, some datestamp to guide the browsing editor into the group think, and enable identification of stale banners, hopefully as completed, or stale. (e.g. Consider mergeto/mergefrom tags left for long periods—I've seen such go well past fifteen months of subsequent edits sans little if any discussion, which are a time-consuming pain to back track until the initial application.

In this case, the talk discusses various technical issues from 2003 onwards, the completion of any of which may satisfy the original gripe/request by the posting editor. I can't tell, so suggest watcher-contributors of this article create such a section, or delete the tag. Individual 'To-Do' items, can be struck through and signed off in such a tabulation when completed keeping the matter clear to all.

Such co-ordinative measures are only considerate of the time for the rest of us, and would be much appreciated! Thanks // FrankB 15:12, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

I don't know under what header to comment this, but shouldn't there be a spoiler warning at the beginning of the story in this article? Just to keep in line with the standard WP layout, I mean. / [Tom] Maoxx 11:15, 30 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ok, already being discussed I see. Apologize. / Tom Maoxx 11:17, 30 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Edited Story-Feedback?[edit]

I also don't know how to put in aspoiler warning, though I would like to see one. But I did go ahead and edit the story section; basically I added a synopsis of the last 6 books in a way that I thought was in line with the way the first six books had been treated. Please adjust it if you feel the need; I just thought it could use a synopsis of the last half of the book. Also, I divided the story section (rather primitively with bold and all caps...sorry I don't know how it is customarily done inside a level 2 heading.) I'll come back to do more later, I hope someone else can bring it in line with what you guys were looking at...but for now it's late, sorry if I put more plot line than is encyclopedic, or if my links don't work. Matveiko 09:24, 7 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The summary looks like a good start. Just a note; many editors feel that classical works shouldn't have spoiler warnings (see discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Spoiler_warning#Spoiler_warnings_on_classical_works). I wouldn't support putting one in. --Akhilleus (talk) 14:45, 7 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

OdysseyIliad division oversimplified[edit]

This old chestnut about the structure of the Aeneid is alluded to several times in this article. It's in the WP:LEAD of the article, despite the fact that it's nowhere explained, justified, or defended below the fold. I'd like to point out that the Odyssey may have a "wandering theme," but that the majority of it is set on Ithaca. Granted there are the Iliadic battle scenes in the Aeneid's second half that I'm not saying are derived from the Slaying of the Suitors, but Virgil's overall plot is better mapped by the Odyssey simply than by this old cliché. Wareh 03:42, 19 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

J. Farrell, "The Virgilian Intertext", Cambridge Companion to Virgil, p. 229: "...let us begin with the traditional view that Virgil's epic divides into 'Odyssean' and 'Iliadic' halves. Merely accepting this idea at face value is to mistake for a destination what Virgil clearly offered as the staring-point of a long and wondrous journey." That said, the idea that 1-6=Odyssey and 7-12=Iliad is a staple of the AP syllbaus, and a valuable service for the WP reader to indicate where this chestnut came from, and why they might want to question it. --Akhilleus (talk) 07:20, 19 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed. Thanks for providing a reliable source for skepticism on this point. I've reduced the lead statement to the most general level and attempted to provide exactly what you desire ("where this chestnut came from, and why they might want to question it") at the beginning of the "Story" section. I hope it's an improvement and a good beginning for further refinements on this point. Wareh 18:55, 20 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Hi everyone, I'd like to see a little more hat-tipping to other theories about the gates of ivory and horn, which constitute an enigmatic and interesting part of the Aeneid. There are plenty of other theories about the passage – that Aeneas' time in the underworld was a false dream, that Aeneas himself was not a true member of the underworld during his time there, or that it was simply necessary for him to leave that way in order to come back out again. It would be nice to at least couch the posing of the questions about the passage in language that admits the ambiguity and uncertainty which the world of Vergilian scholarship expresses on this passage. Mjl0509 05:29, 10 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Most scholars consider the issue of the gates well and truly dead. The best nail in the coffin comes from D. West, "The Bough and the gate", Oxford readings in Vergil's Aeneid, Ed. S. J. Harrison (1990) (talk) 19:51, 24 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Similarity to previous classical epics[edit]

I have started this section off as it is a very prominent theme in the poem that needs to be addressed. The section needs to be expanded, possibly with ideas of Virgil's that are not linked with previous epics. Phasler90 11:53, 10 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I can see the value of the topic. But as it was added—a bare list of correspondences—it had the appearance of a reader's impression of resemblances (which can't go into an encyclopedia). To be more, I'd say it needs either (1) citations of reliable sources who have made the associations; or (2) explanation of what in the poems' contents justify the connections between characters, episodes, etc. You needn't have (1) if you have (2)—at least I wouldn't revert a correct laying-out of the grounds for drawing a connection between Virgil's work and earlier (or later) epics. Wareh 22:00, 10 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This otherwise excellent/complete article needs to address the crucial propaganda aspect to the Aeneid. The Aeneid#Context section starts to get at it with the moral reform, lineage, prophecy, nationalism etc. But the article is missing a very large part of the field: the study of whether or not the Aeneid was pro-Augustus or anti-Augustus propaganda. Historiography would be a great addition--how perceptions of the Aeneid's slant changed over time, even recently. Unfortunately, I am not qualified to write on this topic.

In addition, the following is incorrect: "the sudden return of prosperity and peace after a generation of chaos had badly eroded traditional social roles and cultural norms. In reaction, the emperor Augustus was trying to re-introduce traditional Roman moral values" --this view was perpetrated by Augustus, to be taken with a grain of salt.

Speaking of NPOV, this sentence needs to be fixed: "[John Dryden's translation] is thought to be one of the very few examples of a poetic translation that retains the power and flow of the original in a new language, and it is often regarded as a classic in its own right" --gwc 00:25, 30 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The sentence, I see more than a year later, has been "fixed," but rendered useless. The original statement is true; the problem is the passive voice, which reveals that the person writing it knew enough about critical consensus to say this, but didn't take the next step of providing sufficient citation. The current sentence —
"The English translation by the 17th-century poet John Dryden is another important version that can be said to retain the power and flow of the original, although Dryden took numerous, significant liberties with the text."
in fact has the same problem as the original with "can be said" -- it can be said, as it is indeed said here, but by whom? Dryden's translation is more than an "important version", as the original statement recognized; to support the often made claim that Dryden's work is "one of the very few examples of a poetic translation that retains the power and flow of the original in a new language" (i.e., has an independent status as a work of art, which is why it 'takes numerous, significant liberties'), one would need to round up a footnote on the poets and critics over the centuries who have made the claim.

It does no service to an article to remove a true if unverified statement; somebody just needs to do the work of providing documentation, which I assure you exists in bounty, and write the sentence without the passive: something like "Poets ranging from So-and-So to So-and-So, as well as critics such as Blah-Blah and Blah-Blah, have regarded Dryden's translation as one of the few" etc.

Nor is this article "excellent" and "complete." It's good and useful, though. Cynwolfe (talk) 00:02, 18 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Homeric epic[edit]

The article states under the summary of Books 1-6 that the poem keeps in the style of Homeric epics. However, I believe that a disparity between this and the Iliad or the Odyssey is that the muse is invoked a bit later, and instead Vergil's own place as the narrator ("rather than a medium through which the poem is channeled", says Sparknotes) is emphasized? This is open to interpretation and your own opinion; is it worth noting in the article?  Aar  ►  14:16, 11 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You're right that Vergil's invocation comes a bit later, but I think Sparknotes might be overstating its position. The basic point that the Aeneid adheres to the tone and conventions of Homeric epic is true: dactylic hexameter, heroic themes and characters, prominence of the gods, etc. Ifnkovhg (talk) 18:16, 11 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


"Nearly the entirety of the Aeneid is devoted to the theme of conflict."

Conflict is not the main theme of the Aeneid. Far more profound and central to Virgil's purpose of writing it are themes of duty, humanity, justice and fate. While some of these are touched upon, lightly, they are not given sufficient explanation. Furthermore, important things like the shield of Aeneas, the death of Pallas, procession of unborn and the Nisus and Euryalus episode are omitted. These deserve attention and are necessary when explaining there respective theme. Stating that Aeneas is like Odysseus book 1-6 and Achilles book 7-12 is simplistic and definitely not what Virgil was trying to portray. While it is true that book 1-6 has veins of The Odyssey and 7-12 of the Illiad the character of Aeneas is nothing like Achilles or Odysseus. Virgil was creating a proto-Roman, stoic, pious, just. Stating he is like one or the other or both is totally undermining the whole point of the book.

Someone with sufficient time and knowledge needs to change this small and inaccurate segment into something that is comprehensive and complete. In the meantime maybe it should be removed.Nimzoh (talk) 22:49, 13 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Edit Request: BBC's In Our Time broadcast[edit]

BBC Radio 4's In Our Time is a 45 minute discussion programme about the history of ideas, with three eminent academics in their field, hosted by Melvyn Bragg. Each edition deals with one subject from one of the following fields: philosophy, science, religion, culture and historical events. It is akin to a seminar. The entire archive going back to 1998 is now available online in perpetuity.

An edition about The Aeneid was broadcast with Edith Hall, Leverhulme Professor of Greek Cultural History, Durham University; Philip Hardie, Corpus Christi Professor of Latin at the University of Oxford; Catharine Edwards, Senior Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History, Birkbeck College, University of London.

You can listen to the programme on this link: Would you be able to include this as an external link?--Herk1955 (talk) 10:44, 29 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Revert date format to BC/AD[edit]

Since there was no discussion or concensus written on this article's talk page in accordance with WP:ERA, I propose a reversion of the date formats from BCE/CE to BC/AD referring to the most recent edit of this article containing BC/AD only. Please voice your objections and reasons for this not happening. (talk) 19:33, 19 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Venus giving arms to Aeneas[edit]

The plot summary does not mention the episode where Venus gets a new set of arms for Aeneas from Vulcan. Given its popularity in the visual arts, it might be worth mentioning. It is found in book VIII, but I don't know where exactly it would fit into the narrative, so I can't add it myself. Maybe someone more familiar with the work can do it.—Austriacus (talk) 22:47, 7 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Line count[edit]


Citing the Fagles translation, this articles states that "It is composed of 9,896 lines in dactylic hexameter". I have that translation (the audio book, ISBN 0-14-305902-5), and it lists the following counts for each book:

1      908
2	998
3	829
4	876
5	972
6	1039
7	948
8	858
9	923
10	1079
11	1068
12	1113

That adds up to a total of 11611. Which one is right? — Sebastian 01:52, 21 June 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The number of lines in the original language and in Fagles' English translation are not the same. I have no idea why such a trivial fact as the number of lines in the poem would be the second sentence of the article. --Akhilleus (talk) 03:55, 21 June 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Are you sure? In poetry, lines usually don't change with translation. The booklet that came with the CD lists the numbers as if they were standardized, as is customary for other much studied books. — Sebastian 13:47, 21 June 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Akhilleus is right. In the Oxford Classical Texts edition of Virgil's works, Book 1 has 756 lines, Book 2 has 804 lines, and so forth. In my experience, translators seldom worry about creating a line-for-line correspondence. Deor (talk) 14:07, 21 June 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry, I missed the reply. It's nice that you both agree, and a look at, which has 756 lines, corroborates your sentiment. However, that still is not what the cited source says. The easy way out would be to simply remove the statement. However, I believe this is valuable information since it informs the reader about the size of this poem in a way that is hexactly metered exactly measured. — Sebastian 18:57, 7 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, the source does probably need to be changed (the only relevant statement I can find in Fagles's introduction to the Penguin edition is that the poem contains "roughly ten thousand lines"), and I do think that the sentence might be better worked into the "Style" section of the article. I have to be away from the computer for a while, but I'll try to remember to look for a source for the exact number of lines. (If I can't find one, we could always go with Fagles's "roughly ten thousand"; but I don't have a copy of his translation in which to determine the page number to be cited.) Deor (talk) 19:26, 7 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, I've replaced the ref with one that does support the line count. If anyone wants to relocate the information to another part of the article, they're welcome to do so. Deor (talk) 11:49, 8 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you, that resolves it. — Sebastian 23:15, 8 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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I added categories and WikiProject templates to Parallels between Virgil's Aeneid and Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, but I oppose any merger. Any advice?--DThomsen8 (talk) 17:23, 1 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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First Line Translation[edit]

How are we translating the first line of the Aeneid? 'Arma virumque cano' was translated as 'I sing of arms and of a man' in the article, until it was changed to 'Of arms and the man I sing' recently without explanation. Do we want to follow the original word order, or go to a more typical SVO word order? Also, it seems to me that 'virum' is accusative and not genitive, but is occasionally translated in a genitive manner. Should the article favour one particular translation throughout? ThomasBur (talk) 01:48, 9 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The "of" doesn't indicate genitive in this case. It actually modifies "sing" and could quite easily be replaced by "about" or "describing". Latin has a single word, "cano", which has to be translated by the English phrasal verb, "sing about" or "sing of" -- Derek Ross | Talk 03:05, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Publication Date?[edit]

Shouldn't the publication date be 1469, since a book is only considered "published" when it's been printed? -- (talk) 10:16, 24 July 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why Aeneis ?[edit]

Why is the Latin title "Aeneis" but the English title "Aeneid" (while the character is named Aeneas)? This is not explained in the text nor are there any sources for the spellings. Rmhermen (talk) 22:34, 9 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Aeneis is one of those words that has a final -s in the nominative but an intervocalic -d- in all other cases. There are many such words in Latin—how English comes to use the forms in d is a bit of a longer story, not particularly relevant to this poem... Q·L·1968 00:49, 10 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Posthumous attribution[edit]

What is meant by posthumous in Delahoyde & Hughes > Mythology > VIRGIL'S AENEID, Wikidata Q597236?

The ostensible purpose of Virgil's Aeneid is to express Rome's national greatness and destiny by means of a story concerning "her" legendary origin. Virgil worked at it from 30 bce until his death in 19 bce, and the epic was virtually complete, with some lines left unfinished, when he decided to spend three more years on revision. He set out on a voyage to Greece in order to experience local color for his textual modifications. He contracted a fever immediately, returned to Italy, and died, leaving instructions that the Aeneid should be burnt. But Augustus countermanded this and the work was published posthumously.

Possibly related:

Avindratalk 17:35, 23 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It just means that the Aeneid was published after Virgil's death. See definition 3 here. Deor (talk) 17:59, 23 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wiki Education assignment: Writing 101-The Archive[edit]

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