So, amid constant cancellation of classes and talk of translating Virgil’s famous fourth Eclogue which ended up not happening, we finished the Aenied, and I am now studying and wait for my take-home final to appear in the mailbox. Conclusions:
Virgil does have the ability to conjure up vivid images, even through translation. The introduction of regal Dido and her city works really well, even if the description of Aeneas as being continually stupefied gets old. Also the revelation of Aeneas to Dido in supernatural splendour, though why she and her guards didn’t freak out when he appeared out of nowhere(one assumes they couldn’t see the cloud Venus shrouded them in, otherwise they probably would be wondering what that moving fog was doing) is not explained.
The funniest part of the first book is probably when, after having a long conversation with her son while continually batting away his accusations of her being a goddess instead of a local girl, Venus reveals herself after all, and gets a mad Aeneas asking her to please stop doing that.
Bee metaphors are cliche enough(though maybe they weren’t in Virgil’s time) when they aren’t a headache to translate.
Readers have long observed the inconsistency in the age of Ascanius, but when he(or Cupid disguised as him) is sitting in Dido’s lap and being fondled(the exact word is fovet), suddenly this becomes much more disturbing, especially since it’s been seven years since he was at least old enough to walk.