Virgil, Aeneid, 4.1-299. Latin Text, Study Questions, Commentary and Interpretative Essays

Virgil, Aeneid, 4.1-299. Latin Text, Study Questions, Commentary and Interpretative Essays Author: Ingo Gildenhard
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-909254-15-2 £15.95
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-909254-16-9 £29.95
PDF ISBN: 978-1-909254-17-6 £5.95

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The commentary begins with a list of "study questions,” some of which are answered in the commentary proper [which includes] references to other relevant texts—the rest of the Aeneid, the Argonautica, Greek tragedy, and so on—and to scholarship. Gildenhard gives a lot of attention to meter and sound play, encouraging students to read aloud and to pay attention to the Latin itself, not just to the story. The story is hardly neglected, though, and there are many good observations.
After the commentary come four "interpretive essays,” one each on content and form, the historiographical Dido, allusion, and religion. [...] This exercise is beautifully done and should help students begin to understand what a scholarly commentary can do. [...] Gildenhard’s breezy style and highly detailed notes will challenge the more proficient students while not overwhelming those who are struggling.
Anne Mahoney, 'Latin Commentaries on the Web', Teaching Classical Languages (Spring 2014), p. 143

Love and tragedy dominate book four of Virgil’s most powerful work, building on the violent emotions invoked by the storms, battles, warring gods, and monster-plagued wanderings of the epic’s opening.

Destined to be the founder of Roman culture, Aeneas, nudged by the gods, decides to leave his beloved Dido, causing her suicide in pursuit of his historical destiny. A dark plot, in which erotic passion culminates in sex, and sex leads to tragedy and death in the human realm, unfolds within the larger horizon of a supernatural sphere, dominated by power-conscious divinities. Dido is Aeneas’ most significant other, and in their encounter Virgil explores timeless themes of love and loyalty, fate and fortune, the justice of the gods, imperial ambition and its victims, and ethnic differences.
This course book offers a portion of the original Latin text, study questions, a commentary, and interpretative essays. Designed to stretch and stimulate readers, Ingo Gildenhard’s incisive commentary will be of particular interest to students of Latin at both A2 and undergraduate level. It extends beyond detailed linguistic analysis to encourage critical engagement with Virgil’s poetry and discussion of the most recent scholarly thought.
I welcome feedback on this edition, critical and otherwise, as well as suggestions of what further supplementary material or digital resources could be made available on this website. Please leave your comments in the comment tab on this site, or email me directly at

This volume is part of the Classics Textbooks series:
ISSN: 2054-2437 (Print)
ISSN: 2054-2445 (Online)

Title:Virgil, Aeneid, 4.1-299: Latin Text, Study Questions, Commentary and Interpretative Essays
Author: Ingo Gildenhard
Publication Date: November 2012
Number of pages: 320
Dimensions: 6.14" x 9.21" | 234 x 156 mm
BIC subject codes: HBLA1 (Classical civilization), CFP (translation), 4KL (A-Levels aid)
Maps: 1 black & white
ISBN Hardback: 9781909254169
ISBN Paperback: 9781909254152
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781909254176
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781909254183
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 9781909254190
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0023

1. Preface
2. Latin Text
3. Study Questions
4. Commentary
5. Interpretative Essays
    5.1. Content and Form
    5.2. Historiographical Dido
    5.3. Allusion
    5.4. Religion
6. Bibliography

Ingo Gildenhard is Reader in Classics and the Classical Tradition at Cambridge University, and a Fellow of King’s College Cambridge. His previous publications include the monographs Paideia Romana: Cicero's Tusculan Disputations (Cambridge, 2007) and Creative Eloquence: The Construction of Reality in Cicero's Speeches (Oxford, 2011). He has also published three textbooks with Open Book Publishers: Cicero, Against Verres, 2.1.53-86. Latin Text with Introduction, Study Questions, Commentary and English Translation, (with Mathew Owen) Tacitus, Annals, 15.20-23, 33-45. Latin Text, Study Aids with Vocabulary, and Commentary, and more recently Cicero, On Pompey’s Command (De Imperio), 27–49. Latin Text, Study Aids with Vocabulary, Commentary, and Translation.

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