Book Club | May 2017: Virgil Aeneid Books 5 & 6

Wordcloud Aeneid 5

Follow the handsome advice that old Nautus gives:
take chosen youth, and the bravest hearts, to Italy.
In Latium you must subdue a tough race, harshly trained.
Yet, first, go to the infernal halls of Dis, and in deep
Avernus seek a meeting with me, my son. For impious
Tartarus, with its sad shades, does not hold me,
I live in Elysium, and the lovely gatherings of the blessed.
Here the chaste Sibyl will bring you, with much blood of
black sheep. Then you’ll learn all about your race,
and the city granted you.
(Aeneid 5.728–737, translated by A.S. Kline)

In previous Book Club discussions we have read Virgil’s Aeneid Books 1–4, which covered the fall of Troy, the escape of Aeneas, his wanderings, and his encounter with Dido.

This month we are continuing our reading, picking up where Aeneas, driven by duty, continues his journey, when he will discover more about what he needs to do to accomplish his destiny—Books 5 and 6.

You can read any translation you like. Here are links to some free online versions:

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, May 30th, at 11 a.m. EDT.

Happy readings!