Virgil, Aeneid, 4.1–299: Latin Text, Study Questions, Commentary and Interpretative Essays - cover image

Book Series


Ingo Gildenhard

Published On





  • English

Print Length

320 pages (x + 310)


Paperback156 x 17 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.67" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 19 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.75" x 9.21")


Paperback995g (35.10oz)
Hardback1380g (48.68oz)



OCLC Number





  • HBLA1
  • CFP
  • 4KL


  • HIS002020
  • LIT004190
  • FOR033000


  • PA6801.A6


  • Virgil
  • Aeneid
  • classics
  • sixth-form study guide
  • translation
  • Ancient Rome
  • Latin
  • classics textbook series

Virgil, Aeneid, 4.1–299

Latin Text, Study Questions, Commentary and Interpretative Essays

  • Ingo Gildenhard (author)
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.


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 (2160-2220), vol. 5, no. 2, 2014.

Full Review

Additional Resources

[website]The Classics Library interactive edition

The Classics Library has created an interactive edition of the entire work. This edition is made free to read by all, while members of the Classics Library (membership is free but restricted to secondary an tertiary teachers in Latin and classics) are able to comment on, extend and ask questions on every aspect of the text. Of course, if you are not eligible to become a member of the Classics Library your comments and questions are still very welcome and can be made in the comments section of this site.


  • Ingo Gildenhard
  • Ingo Gildenhard
  • Ingo Gildenhard
  • Ingo Gildenhard
  • Ingo Gildenhard


Ingo Gildenhard

Reader in Classics and the Classical Tradition at Cambridge University Library