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Stanley Lombardo's deft abridgment of his 2005 translation of the Aeneid preserves the arc and weight of Virgil's epic by presenting major books in their entirety and abridged books in extended passages seamlessly fitted together with narrative bridges. W. R. Johnson's Introduction, a shortened version of his masterly Introduction to that translation, will be welcomed by both beginning and seasoned students of the Aeneid, and by students of Roman history, classical mythology, and Western civilization.
The Essential Aeneid represents the books of the Aeneid as follows:
Book 1 - complete
Book 2 - complete
Book 3 - omitted (summary)
Book 4 - complete
Book 5 - omitted (summary)
Book 6 - complete
Book 7 - abridged
Book 8 - abridged
Book 9 - abridged
Book 10 - abridged
Book 11 - abridged
Book 12 - abridged
"In 2005, Lombardo published his full Aeneid, and in doing so offered an elegant modern verse translation of Virgil. This has now been abridged, but nevertheless the essence of the original is maintained. . . . Lombardo gives us a realistic Aeneas, whose frail humanity and thoughtful heroism are manifested subtly, in unpretentious, yet dignified language. . . . This would prove a worthy (and cheap!) addition to a bookshelf lacking the full translation by Lombardo. He manages to give a real sense of Virgil through a style that is elegant and solemn, yet never overbearing."
—Philip Harrison, The Journal of Classics Teaching
"This attractive volume, an abridgment of Stanley Lombardo's complete translation of Virgil's Aeneid (Hackett, 2005), adds a Latin epic to the author's burgeoning set of translations of mainly Greek poetry. Lombardo has proved himself a poet-translator and performer of exceptional ability and innovation; by publishing in written and audio media, he has contributed to the awareness in the readership of translations the centrality of performance to Homeric epic. The recently published Aeneid represented his first foray into Latin epic, and he has translated Virgil with the same combination of austerity and accessibility that marked his Homers. . . . The translation is excellent, on the whole, and perfectly captures the pace and character of the original."
—Joanne McNamara, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"Stanley Lombardo shows in the strength of his verse the talent that marks him as the most Greek and Roman of the modern translators of ancient epic."
—Douglas Domingo-Forasté, Professor of Classics, California State University, Long Beach
"I really like Lombardo's translation, and the size and price are wonderful for a lower-division or undergraduate course. Students will appreciate it!"
—Susan Spenser, Professor of English, University of Central Oklahoma
To view a PDF of sample pages from this text click here.
Comments on the unabridged Aeneid translated by Stanley Lombardo:
"An enjoyable, compellingly readable Aeneid. No other translator comes close to Lombardo at capturing the pace and power of the poem sheerly as a piece of narrative."
—Joseph Farrell, Professor of Classical Studies and Associate Dean for Arts and Letters, University of Pennsylvania
"Lombardo's Aeneid, like Virgil's, derives much of its power from the use of ordinary language, arranged poetically, but ordinary at the level of the word and even of the sentence. Too often Virgil's classicism has been established by making his epic too formal, too Homeric, and it is refreshing to find in the pages of this Aeneid a modernism that in turn encourages us to see the foundational poem of Western civilization as anything but 'classical,' 'Homeric,' 'epic' even. The translation thus sits comfortably with the similarly disruptive and penetrating introductory essay of W. R. Johnson, one of the chief guides for reading Virgil after Vietnam and during Iraq."
—Richard Thomas, Professor of Greek and Latin, Department of Classics, Harvard University
"Stanley Lombardo takes aim and delivers a straightforward, at times daringly literal text, that students of the poem, whether young or old, can grasp and that can start them on a path of appreciation. An immensely valuable element of the edition is the extraordinarily generous Introduction provided by W. R. Johnson, one of the most subtle Virgilian masters writing in English today."
—Ralph J. Hexter, Professor of Classics and President, Hampshire College
"Whether recited or read, the present volume stands as another fine performance on Lombardo's part. Highly recommended."
—Charles Fantazzi, CHOICE
About the Authors:
Stanley Lombardo is Professor of Classics, University of Kansas. His previous translations include Homer's Iliad (1997, Hackett) and Odyssey (2000, Hackett), Hesiod's Works & Days and Theogony (1993, Hackett), and Sappho, Poems and Fragments (2002, Hackett), a PEN Center USA 2003 Literary Award Finalist.
W. R. Johnson is Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature, Emeritus, University of Chicago. His previously published works include Darkness Visible: A Study of Vergil's Aeneid (1976, University of California Press), Horace and the Dialectic of Freedom (1993, Cornell University Press), The Idea of Lyric (1982, University of California Press), Lucretius and the Modern World (2000, Duckworth), and Momentary Monsters: Lucan and His Heroes (1987, Cornell University Press).