ATY’s 2019 Reading Challenge prompt #29 is to read a book published before 1950. While there are likely several books on my TBR that fit the category, I decided to take this opportunity to read The Aeneid, by Virgil. I had purchased this book on audio a while back when I was on an epic poetry kick.
In this book, Virgil writes about Aeneas, a survivor of the Trojan war who is now homeless along with others of his city. Following a prophecy, Aeneas sets sail with his people, bound for Italy. This journey is not an easy one, nor is it a foregone conclusion that they will be welcomed upon their arrival in Italy.
Though written eight centuries later, The Aeneid takes up where The Illiad leaves off, and is filled with the same sort of exaggerated adventure. There is a lot of violent warfare. The gods intervene frequently whether for good or ill. This book is viewed as Virgil’s attempt to legitimize the Roman emperors, giving them a connection to the ancient gods through Aeneas.
I didn’t enjoy this book all that much. I probably should have read it back when I was on my epic poetry kick. It is a classic, and if you’re studying ancient literature, it likely has its value. But it was definitely not a pleasure read for me.