MacLennan Keith (Editor) Selections from Virgil Aeneid VIII

MacLennan Keith (Editor) Selections from Virgil Aeneid VIII: An Edition for Intermediate Students (Bloomsbury Classical Languages) Paperback 128 pages Bloomsbury Academic (24 Jan. 2019) 978-1501350344 £12.00

This edition for intermediate learners of a selection from Virgil's Aeneid VIII was previously issued as an examination text for the English advanced level.  This edition is now made available as a general reading text for any intermediate/advanced students. Lines 86-279 and 558-584 are included as Latin text with an accompanying commentary and vocabulary. It is designed to be manageable for students reading the text for the first time. A detailed introduction explains points of historical and stylistic interest.

            The first and longer extract has as its subject matter Aeneas’ journey upriver to the site where Rome will be founded. He meets King Evander, who tells him the dramatic story of Hercules and Cacus and shows him round 'Rome' before it is Rome. Aeneas' mother makes new armour for him and at the end of the book in the second shorter passage we see him brandishing the shield whose centrepiece is the triumph of Augustus.

            The selection presented here focuses on Evander and Hercules, and concludes with the fatal moment when Aeneas takes Evander's son Pallas to war. 


            The Bloomsbury readers are neat and complete in themselves, providing the intermediate student with enough help (grammar notes and a complete vocabulary) to be able to read without recourse to many other aids and resources.   Although written for an Anglophone audience much of the introduction and notes will be accessible to second language speakers of English; there are helpful lists of technical literary and metrical terms which are nearly all Greco-Latin anyway.  This is a highly recommended textbook for anyone who would like to read a different part of the Aeneid to the usual tales of Troy and Dido and to tackle the Iliadic Virgil in book VIII.



John Bulwer