The Aeneid of Virgil : The Great Courses: Western Literature

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Elizabeth Vandiver
  • Series: The Great Courses: Western Literature
  • 6 hrs and 8 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

The Aeneid is the great national epic of ancient Rome, and one of the most important works of literature ever written. And with Professor Vandiver's twelve instructive lectures, you'll enter fully into the gripping tale that Virgil tells. Join Aeneas on his long journey west from ruined Troy to the founding of a new nation in Italy, and see how he weaves a rich network of compelling human themes. Your encounter with the Aeneid focuses on careful, detailed examinations of the epic's background, main themes, and significant episodes. You'll get a helpful introduction to Virgil's Latin epic and the mythic and literary background with which Virgil was working (including an insightful summary of the legends of the Trojan War and of Romulus and Remus). From there, you'll dive into the poem itself with lectures that, in their clarity, economy, and enthusiasm, you're sure to find illuminating and thoroughly engaging.
Throughout it all, the figure of Aeneas is never far from center stage- as fighter and lover, father and son, refugee and ruler, wanderer and founder, spellbinding storyteller, and sword-wielding man of action.
Whether you read the narrative of his adventures as a paean to the glories of Rome or a cautionary tale about the human costs of empire, by the end of these lectures you'll come to understand precisely why Tennyson called Virgil a lord of language, and lauded his special gift for golden phrase.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Consider this preparatory material

Prof Vandiver is amazing. She is obviously very enthusiastic about the material and she takes her audience on a journey. I very much enjoyed listening to this course and I'd consider it as a preparation for actually reading this classic work, which otherwise I might have found inaccessible. As others have pointed out, she does spend a lot of time summarising the plot although before beginning the lecture proper, she spends a couple of lectures on the historical background. She also draws attention to important themes and controversial questions and the last two chapters are devoted to such a discussion.

So to summarise, if you have already read the Aeneid, you could miss this course without missing much. If you intend to read or listen to the epic, then these lectures would be very helpful for understanding the plot as well as appreciating the subtleties.
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- Amazon Customer

Easy Listening and a very solid course!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Pluses:
• A great summary of every book of the Aeneid
• The analysis on the ending to the book was engaging
• The professor was easy to listen to (almost every sentence was easy to understand and there was an avoidance of flowery language that makes understanding difficult)

Minuses:
• The professor tended to explain the same point multiple times and seemed to repeat sentences (the point could’ve been made in less sentences)
• A little more literary analysis on the book rather than plot summaries would’ve been a nice touch


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- Tommy D'Angelo

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses