Greece Over Rome: My Thoughts on Being Underwhelmed by the Aeneid

The Aeneid

Virgil (Trans Fagles)

In most things of the mind, Greece beats Rome. The Greeks philosophy is better, as are its dramas, and it epic poetry. While the Aeneid is perhaps the best piece of epic poetry Rome has to offer, Virgil was no Homer and this is no Iliad.  That Homer’s superiority to Virgil isn’t always universally accepted befuddles me. Yes, there are moments of brilliance here. For example the telling of the founding of Rome is much more narratively complex than I remember. And yes, it reads a bit “cleaner” than Homer – less repetition, etc. But did any of it move me like Priam begging for Hector’s body, or captivate me like Odysseus toying with the suitors?

No.

It’s an important work, of course, and if Rome is an interest, I’m sure you’ve read it. But as literature, at least this time around, it left me a bit bored. I felt a bit let down. I’ll probably tackle it again at some point. I wonder if it will be a different book then.

Virgil, always wishing he was Homer.

Recommended for the enthusiast.

Advertisements

About seanv2

Scholar, gentleman, jock. I run the website Milo and the Calf. There you will find the Boston Qualifier Questionnaire where runners share their stories of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. You'll also find my thoughts on endurance sports, ancient history, Judaism, and hundreds of book reviews.
This entry was posted in Books and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Greece Over Rome: My Thoughts on Being Underwhelmed by the Aeneid

  1. Pingback: 2016: My Year In Books | Milo and the Calf

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s