…Latinus himself was amazed
at these mighty men, born at opposite ends of the world,
meeting and deciding the outcome with their swords.
As soon as the field was clear on the open plain,
they both dashed quickly forward, hurling their spears first
from a distance, rushing, with shield and ringing bronze,
to battle. The earth groaned: they redoubled their intense
sword-strokes, chance and skill mingled together.
(Aeneid 12.707–714, translated by A.S.Kline)
In previous Book Club discussions we have read Virgil’s Aeneid Books 1–10, which covered the fall of Troy, the escape of Aeneas, his wanderings, his encounter with Dido, the funeral games for Anchises, the visit to Hades, battles, a beautiful description of a shield made by Vulcan for Aeneas. Most recently we discussed the night-raid of Nisus and Euryalus, and the continued fighting in which we saw the prowess and ferocity of Turnus and of Aeneas.
This month we are continuing our reading through to the end of the work, picking up where Aeneas stops to grieve and bury his fallen comrades—Books 11 and 12.
You can read any translation you like. Here are links to some free online versions:
A.S. Kline—available to download in various formats
Theodore C. Williams—on Perseus
John Dryden—on Perseus
The Latin text is also available on Perseus.
If you have not previously read any of this work or if you are new to Latin texts, you might find the following video discussions useful:
‘From Homer to Virgil’ with Gregory Nagy
‘Aeneid Books 4 and 6′ with Gregory Nagy
The discussion starts in the forum, here, and the Google+ Hangout will be on Tuesday, August 29th, at 11 a.m. EDT.