Virgil's Æneid, books I-VI; the original text with a literal interlinear translation
Translated by Frederick Holland Dewey
From the introduction:
Virgil, like Horace, lived in easy circumstances. This mode of life influenced his style. The Aeneid, like all of Virgil's work, exhibits a high degree of delicacy, polish, and refinement of taste. The poet possessed a strong, artistic feeling and thoroughly mastered the technique and mechanics of poetry. The few unfinished lines in his epic, the Aeneid, are due to an untimely death and not to the lack of poetic skill. A disciple, without being an imitator of Homer, Virgil created a masterpiece of Roman literature designing it to be a memorial of his country and people.
He dwelt in the golden age of which he sang in Polio and its influence in the polish and brilliancy of his style is apparent throughout. As the spokesman of a people that believed in fatalism and had religious mythology of supersensual divine beings who in the early days of the race were believed to have personally directed their destinies, the characters depicted by him, as in another classical writing, could not possess the sturdy initiative and the high consistency of sterling character which is the modern ideal.
Considering these natural limitations in which his genius must work we may well marvel at the rare poetry of Virgil. The High School pupil and the student of Latin who has completed the usual undergraduate prose has reached sufficient maturity and familiarity with the IV Introduction. Latin language to grasp all these poetic qualities possessed by Virgil. He abounds in the use of poetic terms which are quite unusual even in Latin prose.
He has strikingly original turns of expression, which are frequently demanded by the rhythm, but which are essentially characteristic of his thought and genius.
Every translation must recognize these poetic and artistic elements of Virgil's work. Many passages may seem peculiar even to English poetic style, yet unless the original is approached as nearly as possible without employing a crudity of English phraseology, a translator has failed in his chief duty, which is to indicate individuality and reproduce the full meaning of the original. In impassioned passages, especially, the originality, fluency, and poetic fervour of Virgil has never been approached by any writer of Latin and by few poets in any other language.
We may be thankful indeed that the poet's distrust of his own work did not prevail over the judgment of his friends and that this monument of human genius was not destroyed at Virgil's death as he directed. In this translation, it has been the endeavour to re-produce, in so far as possible in an interlinear, the original and striking peculiarities of style and expression which are characteristic of the Aeneid. The parenthesis is used to introduce explanatory terms and brackets to give equivalent expressions and meanings.
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