New Aeneid translation


Hey! Check out this translation of the Aeneid! It’s by a chick!!! (Rare for a bloody epic, and it apparently made a difference.)

The Death of Dido, by CayotNow normally I don’t really get as excited about Roman stuff, but the article over at LanguageHat.com is what really sold me. Looking at the translations (originally reported by Jennifer Howard at the Chronicle Review) next to each other, hers is really far and away the most moving to me.

To reproduce a couple:

Little Iulus, clutching
my right hand, keeps pace with tripping steps.
My wife trails on behind. And so we make our way
along the pitch-dark paths, and I who had never flinched
at the hurtling spears or swarming Greek assaults —
now every stir of wind, every whisper of sound
alarms me, anxious both for the child beside me
and burden on my back. — translated by Robert Fagles (2006)

My little Iulus’ fingers
Were twined in mine; he trotted by my long steps.
Behind me came my wife. We went our dark way.
Before I hadn’t minded the Greeks’ spears
Hurled at me, or the Greeks in crowds, attacking.
Now every gust and rustle panicked me
Because of whom I led and whom I carried. — translated by Sarah Ruden (2008)

Howard lists a few other versions, but I would otherwise pick up Fagles’ edition, myself. So check out poet and classicist Sarah Ruden’s blank verse The Aeneid: A New Verse Translation.


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