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Frederick Ahl's new translation captures the excitement, poetic energy, and intellectual force of the original in a way that has never been done before. Ahl has used a version of Virgil's ancient hexameter, a swift-moving six-beat line varying between twelve and seventeen syllables, to reproduce the original poetry in a thrillingly accurate and engaging style. This is an Aeneid that the first-time reader can grasp and enjoy, and whose rendition of Virgil's subtleties of thought and language will enthrall those already familiar with the epic. Unlike most translators, Ahl has chosen to retain Virgil's word-play, the puns and anagrams and other instances of the poet's ebullient wit. "Like Shakespeare and the Greek tragedians, Virgil grasped that humor and earnestness are not mutually exclusive in art any more than they are in life. One should read the Aeneid not in solemn homage, but for enjoyment." Enhanced by Elaine Fantham's Introduction, Ahl's comprehensive notes and an invaluable indexed glossary, this lively new translation brings readers closer to the original and the myriad enjoyments to be found there.
Frederick Ahl is a professor of classics and comparative literature at Cornell University. His books include Sophocles' Oedipus, Seneca's Phaedra, Lucan: An Introduction, and Metaformations: Soundplay and Wordplay in Ovid and Other Classical Poets. He lives in Ithaca, NY.