The Aeneid

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Aeneil
by Virgil

After reading The Odyssey and The Iliad I was hungry for the next piece of the puzzle. The Aeneid is the continuation of the story of the Trojan War. Unlike the first two books this one wasn’t written by the Greek poet Homer. It was written centuries later by Virgil, a Roman, who modeled his writing style after the Greeks.

The story follows Aeneas, a Trojan who travels to Italy after the war and becomes one of Rome’s founders. Early sections in the book cover the storming of Troy and the betrayal with the infamous Trojan horse. I loved those sections and they worked much better for me than the later chapters on the war in Latium.

One interesting aspect of this book is the Roman names of the Gods vs the Greek names. After reading half a dozen books on Greek mythology last year it was strange to hear of Juno and Neptune instead of Zeus and Poseidon. I also read The Mark of Athena around the same time and that book focuses heavily on the different names of the gods. I would highly recommend reading it alongside this one if you like the Percy Jackson series.

BOTTOM LINE: I’m so glad I was finally able to read the thrilling account of the Trajan horse. I was so disappointed to discover that wasn’t in The Iliad. Other sections of the book dragged a bit for me, but it’s a crucial part of the story. If you love learning about Greek and Roman mythology then this one is a must and it helps bridge the gap between the two nations’ cultures.


Ellie said...

I have a little (huge) obsession with the Trojan War and all things Ancient Greek/Roman. I've had my eye on this for a while and knowing that it includes the story of the Trojan Horse has just pushed it considerably higher up my wishlist! Great review :)

Anonymous said...

I'm currently re-reading The Iliad (it's been 20+ years) and am really enjoying it. Hope to also get to The Odyssey & The Aeneid before the year is out. (Virgil was an early nickname of my Dad's - his fellow cab drivers caught him reading The Aeneid one time and teased him by calling him Virgil...) :-)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Ellie - You should read Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida too. It's his take on the Trojan War.

bibliophilica - I just re-read The Odyssey after 10+ years and loved it! I love that your Dad's nickname was Virgil. That's just too cool.