Vergil: The Poet's Life (Ancient Lives) (Hardcover)

Vergil: The Poet's Life (Ancient Lives) By Sarah Ruden Cover Image

Vergil: The Poet's Life (Ancient Lives) (Hardcover)

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A biography of Vergil, Rome’s greatest poet, by the acclaimed translator of the Aeneid
 
“Ms. Ruden has converted the writer of the Aeneid from a noble and stodgy ‘ancient’ into our contemporary . . . persuasively re-imagined [as] a sympathetic, three-dimensional figure. . . . The existence of the Aeneid is cause for gratitude. So is Ms. Ruden’s sensitive, celebratory portrait of its maker.”—Willard Spiegelman, Wall Street Journal
 
The Aeneid stands as a towering work of Classical Roman literature and a gripping dramatization of the best and worst of human nature. In the process of creating this epic poem, Vergil (70–19 BCE) became the world’s first media celebrity, a living legend.
 
But the real Vergil is a shadowy figure; we know that he was born into a modest rural family, that he led a private and solitary life, and that, in spite of poor health and unusual emotional vulnerabilities, he worked tirelessly to achieve exquisite new effects in verse. Vergil’s most famous work, the Aeneid, was commissioned by the emperor Augustus, who published the epic despite Vergil’s dying wish that it be destroyed.
 
Sarah Ruden, widely praised for her translation of the Aeneid, uses evidence from Roman life and history alongside Vergil’s own writings to make careful deductions to reconstruct his life. Through her intimate knowledge of Vergil’s work, she brings to life a poet who was committed to creating something astonishingly new and memorable, even at great personal cost.
Sarah Ruden is an award-winning classics scholar, a poet, and a widely published writer on religion and culture. Her many translations of Greek and Roman works include Vergil’s Aeneid
Product Details ISBN: 9780300256611
ISBN-10: 0300256612
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: August 22nd, 2023
Pages: 200
Language: English
Series: Ancient Lives
“Ms. Ruden has converted the writer of the Aeneid from a noble and stodgy ‘ancient’ into our contemporary . . . persuasively re-imagined [as] a sympathetic, three-dimensional figure. . . . The existence of the Aeneid is cause for gratitude. So is Ms. Ruden’s sensitive, celebratory portrait of its maker.”—Willard Spiegelman, Wall Street Journal

“Ruden is a considerable scholar who conveys the brilliance of the Aeneid concisely.”—Harry Mount, The Spectator

“It is hard to imagine Sarah Ruden’s wise, insightful, and engaging Vergil: The Poet’s Life being bettered.”—Max Carter, Air Mail

“A detailed biography of Vergil should be impossible; but Sarah Ruden displays such subtlety, such imagination, such love for her subject, as to render the impossible possible.”—Tom Holland, author of Dominion

“An enlightening and thoroughly modern introduction to Rome’s premier poet. This book should be required reading for every student and reader of Vergil’s immortal verse.”—Daisy Dunn, author of The Shadow of Vesuvius: A Life of Pliny

“In this engaging account, Sarah Ruden brings Vergil back as a living, breathing person, navigating issues of politics, sexuality, class, and culture that we still confront today.”—Randall Ganiban, Middlebury College