Hero War Humanity
Translated by G. B. Cobbold
One of the pillars of the Western literary tradition, Vergil's Aeneid is also a terrific read: the story of a man whose city is destroyed in war, and of his journey to find his place in destiny. This epic has it all: adventures on the high seas, passion, battles, monsters, magic, meddling gods, and struggles that test the moral fiber of both men and women.
The Aeneid has been deemed one of the most influential poems in world literature. And yet, a translation with wide appeal has been lacking—until now. G. B. Cobbold joined with Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers to produce an Aeneid that gives the epic its due as the rousing and moving story that it is, while remaining true to the spirit of the Latin original. This an Aeneid like no other: a fresh, page-turning rendition that reads like a novel, but has the vividness of poetic language, with attractive and accessible reader aids. Cobbold's version has become a prized standard!
Cobbold's command of Latin and commitment to a strong narrative line have produced an Aeneid for everyone!
- Introduction to the Aeneid and Vergil
- Vivid novelistic rendition with sidebar running summaries and dynamic in-text illustrations
- Map of Aeneas' voyage
- Glossary of characters
- Family trees of main characters and gods
- Book-by-book outline of the plot of the Aeneid
- Timeline of significant events in Roman history
- Reading group discussion questions
G. B. Cobbold is the author of Rome: Empire without End (Wayside 2005) and Hellas (Wayside 1999). He holds a BA and MA from Cambridge University and has taught in various secondary schools in the UK and USA. He is currently Assistant Headmaster and Chair of the Classics Department at Tabor Academy in Marion, Massachusetts.
Comments and Reviews
From the May 2011 eLitterae
Testimonial for Cobbold's Translation
When Christine Conklin stopped by the Bolchazy-Carducci booth at CAMWS-Southern Section this past fall (2010), she picked up a display copy of Cobbold's translation and sang its praises. Subsequently, B-C editor Don Sprague followed up with Magistra Conklin and asked for a written testimonial. She agreed and sought the input of her students. Teacher and student collective remarks are printed below.
Annually some 50 to 70 students take AP* Vergil at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia. The post-AP* Latin V class usually numbers 20 to 25. Kudos on those outstanding enrollments!
Why we like Cobbold:
- Prose translation—faithful to the Latin (yet) engaging to read. Students are interested in actual content rather than bogged-down in difficult poetic syntax.
- Style—written in an epic style, yet concrete enough for the student interested in a ‘rather literal translation.’ Excellent job of rendering similes!!
- Quotes (little boxes) from literal translation
- Reference for students when the AP has gaps in the reading, e.g., all of book 3, parts of book 4, parts of 6.
- Line numbers are especially useful and helpful to students because they are able to reference the Latin text. Helps to ‘enhance’ the understanding of the Latin.
- Section headings are very useful and help the student to reference particular episodes.
- Invaluable resource for introducing the layman reader to Latin poetry and Vergil’s epic.
- Useful as review tool/resource for the AP* Exam and throughout the course filling in gaps
A 'SINE QUA NON'!!
Part of the reading experience includes spending some time with the classics and G. B. Cobbold has made that much easier with his new translation of Vergil's Aeneid ($12.95, Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Wauconda, IL). The author's knowledge of Latin and this classic story has permitted him to retell it as a novel, rather than, its original text as a poem about a man whose city is destroyed by war and his long journey to find his destiny. In the process, there's plenty of high drama, passion, battles, monsters, and meddling gods. It speaks to every new generation in a very special way. This new version makes the story especially accessible in many ways, including a glossary of characters, a timeline of significant events in Roman history, and other aids.
— Alan Caruba
My Picks of the Month
Bookviews June 2005
Vergil's Aeneid: Hero, War, Humanity is an impressive English translation of Vergil's classic work of literature. G. B. Cobbold renders Vergil's Aeneid into a novel format, with sidebar summaries, which reads very much like an exciting modern adventure story! Enhanced with illustrations, a map of Aeneas' voyage, a glossary of characters, family trees of main characters and gods, a book-by-book outline of the plot of the Aeneid, a timeline of significant events in Roman history, reading group discussion questions, and much more, Vergil's Aeneid truly makes classic literature come alive. Highly recommended for study and discussion groups, and a welcome alternative interpretation for those who are more familiar with Vergil's Aeneid in verse-by-verse form.
— Midwest Book Review
Vergil's song of the Roman Empire still resounds in the ears of listeners as it has for two millennia. Now, G. B. Cobbold has translated the great Roman epic into English as a novel. Here the excitement, adventure, romance and glory of Vergil's classic emerge from a vigorous style and evocative prose. The narrative depicts and reveals individuals and circumstances, conflicts and resolutions in a manner that is as exciting as the best current adventure stories. This translation of the Aeneid makes Vergil's epic accessible and entertaining for English speaking students.
At the Aeneid's core remains the moral question: do I do as I want or as I ought? Cobbold depicts Aeneas' decisions and dilemmas in this light, telling Vergil's story in simple yet elegant English. The prose clearly depicts the people and events of the epic in a lucid and vivid style providing the edifice that displays Vergil's presentation of the moral quandaries of humanity.
This edition of the Aeneid is embellished with the enjoyable illustrations of Thom Kapheim whose drawings show people and events in a light yet meaningful way.
For students of Latin but more importantly, for students of the humanities, Cobbold's translation of the Aeneid is an exciting introduction to the great Latin classic.
— Patrick Romane
The subtitle of this volume (Hero War Humanity) suggests that it is a book which discusses some aspects of the Aeneid. In fact, C. quickly dispels this idea in his introductory notes: rather, it is a fresh translation, designed as a novel more than a crib for Latin students. He treats the plot as paramount, attempting to engage the reader in Aeneas' problems rather than echoing the epic style. For this reason, he omits the names of some minor characters, and refers always to Italy rather than Ausonia or Oenotria. He suggests that one main use of his work might be as a summary of the entire Aeneid for those making a detailed scrutiny of selected passages. I could certainly see myself handing it to interested sixth formers or those studying a particular book, and hoping that they might go and read it for themselves.
As a novel, it certainly works. Many passages draw the eye ever onwards to the next section and the feel is very much how Virgil must have planned the flow of the Aeneid. Every few lines there is a brief subheading or summary, which is useful in one way, but rather detracts from the idea of a novel; they break up the narrative though they could be useful to someone reading Virgil for the first time. Every few pages there are line drawings depicting some aspect of the action. Some, but not all, similes are indented (a good idea), not always consistently carried through. My only real concern is with the American spellings and the rather colloquial speech of Achaemenides in Book 3 but if you are recommending it to an intelligent sixth former, that needn't be a problem.
A nicely presented volume, containing useful appendices on plot outline, family trees, glossary of names and some discussion questions. I would certainly want to try it with the right clientele.
— Jeffrey Swales
Bablake School, Coventry