Cover image for Virgil's Aeneid
Virgil's Aeneid
Bloom, Harold.
Publication Information:
New York : Chelsea House, 1987.
Physical Description:
163 pages ; 25 cm.
A collection of six critical essays on Virgil's epic poem, arranged in chronological order of original publication.
General Note:
Spine title: The Aeneid.

Includes index.
Added Author:
Format :

On Order



A collection of six critical essays on Virgil's epic poem, arranged in chronological order of original publication.

Author Notes

Virgil was born on October 15, 70 B.C.E., in Northern Italy in a small village near Mantua. He attended school at Cremona and Mediolanum (Milan), then went to Rome, where he studied mathematics, medicine and rhetoric, and finally completed his studies in Naples. He entered literary circles as an "Alexandrian," the name given to a group of poets who sought inspiration in the sophisticated work of third-century Greek poets, also known as Alexandrians. In 49 BC Virgil became a Roman citizen.

After his studies in Rome, Vergil is believed to have lived with his father for about 10 years, engaged in farm work, study, and writing poetry. After the battle of Philippi in 42 B.C.E. Virgil¿s property in Cisalpine Gaul, was confiscated for veterans. In the following years Virgil spent most of his time in Campania and Sicily, but he also had a house in Rome. During the reign of emperor Augustus, Virgil became a member of his court circle and was advanced by a minister, Maecenas, patron of the arts and close friend to the poet Horace. He gave Virgil a house near Naples.

Between 42 and 37 B.C.E. Virgil composed pastoral poems known as Bucolic or Eclogues and spent years on the Georgics. The rest of his life, from 30 to 19 B.C., Virgil devoted to The Aeneid, the national epic of Rome, and the glory of the Empire. Although ambitious, Virgil was never really happy about the task.

Virgil died in 19 B. C.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

These contemporary studies of Virgil's Aeneid (all previously published) are intended as ``a representative selection of the most useful criticism available.'' Indeed they are, if ``useful'' means offering meaningful insights. Viktor Poschl discusses ``Aeneas''; Thomas Greene, ``Virgil's Style''; Adam Parry, ``The Two Voices of Virgil's Aeneid ''; W. R. Johnson, ``Depths and Surfaces''; Barbara J. Bono, ``The Dido Episode''; and K. W. Gransden, ``War and Peace.'' Since specialists will be familiar with the work of these scholars, this handy collection will be of most value to serious students who, upon coming to grips with Virgil's masterpiece, desire a propitious entry into the interpretative maze surrounding it. Robert J. Lenardon, Professor Emeritus of Classics, Ohio State Univ., Columbus (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The essays gathered together here are representative of Virgilian criticism. They are put out in chronological order, beginning with a chapter from Viktor Poschl's famous book, The Art of Virgil (1962). This is followed by a consideration of Virgil's nobility of style, taken from a book on epic by Thomas Greene. The memorable essay on the two voices of the Aeneid (the Augustan and the elegiac) by the mourned young scholar, Adam Parry, is also included. W.R. Johnson's reading of the Aeneid, emphasizing blurred images and the imagination of darkness, which seems to have found much appeal in modern readers, is likewise represented. There are some good insights in Barbara Bono's psychological analysis of the Dido episode and ``Virgil's Use of a Tragic Sensibility to Define Epic Purpose.'' Bono also considers the further allegorical purposes to which the poem lent itself, a theme adumbrated as well in the final essay of K.W. Gransden; his consideration of the new moral consciousness in Virgil compared to the Homeric epics is finely conceived. However, Bloom's brief introductory remarks seem to be ill-adapted to the poetry of Virgil. Nonetheless, this is a good contribution to this Chelsea House series. For upper-division undergraduates.-C.E. Fantazzi, University of Windsor