Virgil, Aeneid, 4.1-299. Latin Text, Study Questions, Commentary and Interpretative Essays
Ingo Gildenhard, Cambridge University
Copyright Year: 2012
ISBN 13: 9781909254176
Publisher: Open Book Publishers
Conditions of Use
Gildenhard's choice of lines in Book IV are comprehensive. The supporting study questions and bibliography offer the student/reader ways to set a context for Book IV in Virgil's epic as a whole. read more
Gildenhard's choice of lines in Book IV are comprehensive. The supporting study questions and bibliography offer the student/reader ways to set a context for Book IV in Virgil's epic as a whole.
This book is extremely accurate in its Latin, clear and error-free.
Book IV's themes are timeless and will always be relevant. The Latin is separate from the commentary, which makes updates easy to implement, should they ever be necessary. Gildenhard's study questions encourage readers in a class to discuss The Aeneid's relevancy in the modern world.
The Latin text is concise and clear. Gildenhard's study questions are thought provoking and assist the student/reader in understanding the world of Aeneas and his time in Carthage.
Translation, the goal of most Latin textbooks, is straightforward. Gildenhard offers the same high quality, academic approach to her comments, bibliographies, and interpretative essays. The book is entirely consistent.
The 299 lines of the Latin text itself are fully provided with no breaks. It would be up to the instructor to break the readings up into segments. This would be easy for a Classicist to do, but the casual Latin learner would have difficulties.
This text is efficiently organized with the commentary following the text. Suggested bibliographies for further reading are noted at the end of the book. There is an easily-read Table of Contents.
Some instructors prefer commentaries near or below the Latin. The vocabulary, contextual, and grammatical insights are provided after the text in one long list. Additionally, there are several footnotes on the commentaries - this could force the reader to divert attention from the Latin text twice. This makes navigating the book a little difficult and cumbersome.
No grammatical errors were found - in English or Latin.
Gildenhard's commentary is superb. Some comments are intended to encourage discussion on themes, while others aim to assist the reader in translation.
This is a high quality text that one could easily use at the high school or university level.
A very comprehensive edition of a selection from Book IV, with attention to many aspects of that selection and the epic as a whole. The text would work best when assigned with a translation of the full epic and alongside a dictionary. In... read more
A very comprehensive edition of a selection from Book IV, with attention to many aspects of that selection and the epic as a whole. The text would work best when assigned with a translation of the full epic and alongside a dictionary.
• Study questions ask students to consider a variety of literary, cultural and grammatical issues throughout Book 4; as well as make connections between the selections and the rest of the epic, which could be assigned in translation to students using this text. Examples: “Identify the two figures of speech Virgil uses in the phrase uiri uirtus.” “In what ways are the opening lines both retrospective and prospective, that is, point back to what happened in Book 1 and point forward to what will happen in Book 4?” (Both examples from page 19).
• Commentary begins with context for Book IV, such as the encounters between Dido and Aeneas in Books 1 and 6. Notes on the text are thorough, if lengthy at times, and include commentary on many types of issues, for example on line 1, regina graui iamdudum saucia cura, “regina (a1) agrees with saucia (a2), graui (b1) with cura (b2),” (46) followed by a discussion of chiasmus.
• Interpretive essays go beyond the included excerpts from Book 4, including, among other things, thoughts on Juno’s stirring up of the winds in Book 1, which emphasizes meter and scansion; and “Historiographical Dido,” an essay providing context for and criticism of Virgil’s report of Dido’s story from sources such as Macrobius.
• This edition has no index or glossary, but if downloaded as a PDF is searchable.
The edition is based on the text from The Latin Library (http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/vergil/aen4.shtml) with, as the author notes, a few adjustments. I have compared the author’s edition with the Loeb edition (1916, 1935, 1999) and noted the following differences (starred, with Loeb readings and app. crit. References where applicable in parentheses). All of the author’s readings are grammatical.
coniugis et sparsos fraterna caede penatis* (Penates)
his dictis impenso* animum flammauit* amore (incensum, inflammavit; impenso is found in the app. crit of the 1999 Loeb, page 426.)
sed quis erit modus, aut quo nunc certamine tanto*? (certamina tanta; certamine tanto is found in the app. crit of the 1999 Loeb, page 428)
Dardaniumque ducem, Tyria* Karthagine qui nunc (Tyrias; Tyria is found in the app. crit of the 1999 Loeb, page 436)
debetur* tali Cyllenius ore locutus (debentur)
atque* animum nunc huc celerem nunc diuidit illuc (utque; atque is found in the app. crit of the 1999 Loeb, page 441)
As the author states, "Unlike standard commentaries, which principally aim at explicating difficulties and providing answers or solutions to questions or problems in the text, this textbook tries first and foremost to stimulate critical engagement with Virgil’s poetry" (2). The work fits in well with existing resources on this section of the Aeneid references a wide range of other studies on the topics covered here, which are listed in a bibliography organized by resource type.
The text is clearly written. It assumes a level familiarity with Latin vocabulary appropriate for students who would be ready to read the Aeneid. Students should be comfortable with using a dictionary as the text does not include a vocabulary list.
The text is consistent with the structure laid out in the Preface and in the terms and line numbers used to discuss the text.
There are clear divisions in the text with sections for the Latin itself, the essays and other supplementary materials. Some flipping between text and commentary will be necessary, as usual with these types of editions, but students could print sections of the Latin and keep the commentary open on their screen.
The text is well-organized, and its structure is laid out in the Preface and Table of Contents.
The interface works well and looks clean.
This reader does not detect any grammatical issues in the English or the Latin
This reader does not find any cultural insensitivity in the text. Rather, the author attempts to place the work in its cultural context with discussions of religion, history, etc. Note also that the Latin text ends before the suicide of Dido, which is sometimes triggering to students who have experience with self-harm themselves or in their close relationships.
This reader felt disappointed when the text broke off just before Dido dramatically confronts Aeneas; however, everyone has their favorite passages, and the text could easily be supplemented with the instructor’s favorite bits, for instance in a sight-reading exercise or independent project/presentation.
Professor Gildenhard's edition is exceptionally comprehensive. It features a wide range of ancillary materials for her core student audience. Moreover, she " [has] also cited other commentators and scholars more extensively than is common... read more
Professor Gildenhard's edition is exceptionally comprehensive. It features a wide range of ancillary materials for her core student audience. Moreover, she " [has] also cited other commentators and scholars more extensively than is common practice in the genre of the commentary." The materials are geared both for those with a knowledge of Latin and those without.
The content is absolutely accurate, error-free, and unbiased.
Professor Gildenhard's book is extremely useful now and will remain so as an essential student textbook on Book 4 of Virgil's _Aeneid_.
The text is written in remarkably clear prose that students will easily understand.
This text is internally consistent in all respects.
Different aspects of approaching the text are separated into distinct, useful sections.
The text is highly organized in a logical and useful manner. Professor Gildenhard also clearly explains the book's organization in the preface.
The text does not have any interface issues.
The grammar of this textbook is impeccable.
This text is not at all culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.
This text is highly recommended for students and all other non-specialists of Virgil.
Table of Contents
- 1. Preface
- 2. Latin Text
- 3. Study Questions
- 4. Commentary
- 5. Interpretative Essays
- 5.1. Content and Form
- 5.2. Historiographical Dido
- 5.3. Allusion
- 5.4. Religion
- 6. Bibliography
About the Book
Love and tragedy dominate book four of Virgil's most powerful work, building on the violent emotions invoked by the storms, battles, warring gods, and monster-plagued wanderings of the epic's opening.
Destined to be the founder of Roman culture, Aeneas, nudged by the gods, decides to leave his beloved Dido, causing her suicide in pursuit of his historical destiny. A dark plot, in which erotic passion culminates in sex, and sex leads to tragedy and death in the human realm, unfolds within the larger horizon of a supernatural sphere, dominated by power-conscious divinities. Dido is Aeneas' most significant other, and in their encounter Virgil explores timeless themes of love and loyalty, fate and fortune, the justice of the gods, imperial ambition and its victims, and ethnic differences.
This course book offers a portion of the original Latin text, study questions, a commentary, and interpretative essays. Designed to stretch and stimulate readers, Ingo Gildenhard's incisive commentary will be of particular interest to students of Latin at both A2 and undergraduate level. It extends beyond detailed linguistic analysis to encourage critical engagement with Virgil's poetry and discussion of the most recent scholarly thought.
About the Contributors
Ingo Gildenhard is Reader in Classics and the Classical Tradition at Cambridge University, and a Fellow of King’s College Cambridge. His previous publications include the monographs Paideia Romana: Cicero's Tusculan Disputations (Cambridge, 2007) and Creative Eloquence: The Construction of Reality in Cicero's Speeches (Oxford, 2011). He has also published three textbooks with Open Book Publishers: Cicero, Against Verres, 2.1.53-86. Latin Text with Introduction, Study Questions, Commentary and English Translation, (with Mathew Owen) Tacitus, Annals, 15.20-23, 33-45. Latin Text, Study Aids with Vocabulary, and Commentary, and more recently Cicero, On Pompey’s Command (De Imperio), 27–49. Latin Text, Study Aids with Vocabulary, Commentary, and Translation.