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Preface and Acknowledgements

The sections from Aeneid 11 included in the present textbook will serve as two of the set texts for the OCR Latin AS- and A-Level specifications from 2019–2021. The part on Pallas (1–224) forms a unified whole; from the story of Camilla, the prescribed portion only includes significant bits: pieces of her aristeia and the aftermath of the death are not on the Latin syllabus (and are therefore not included in the present commentary), but are of course to be read in English. The recent commentaries on Aeneid 11 by Gransden (1991), Horsfall (2003), and Fratantuono (2009) facilitate engagement with this relatively neglected book of the poem and inform the present volume as well. As in earlier contributions to the Classical Textbook Series from Open Book Publishers, the following pages tend to summarize and cite (at length), rather than just refer to primary sources and pieces of secondary literature: for our primary audience a ‘see e.g.’ or a ‘cf.’ followed by a reference is at best tantalizing, but most likely just irritating. Unless otherwise indicated, translations of Greek and Latin texts are (based on) those in the Loeb Classical Library. Gestures to further readings (in particular in the Introduction) are not entirely absent, however, to render the commentary useful also for readers who have more time on their hands and can get access to scholarly literature, such as students wishing to do an EPQ.

The textbook tries to cater for various backgrounds: it contains detailed explication of grammar and syntax, bearing in mind students who study the text off-syllabus; and it endeavours to convey a flavour of Latin studies at undergraduate level for those who are thinking of pursuing classical studies at university. The commentary also tries to bring into view a feature of Virgil’s poetry that the drive towards lexicalized entries inherent in the genre often overlooks: the overall design — and the ‘building blocks’ — of larger textual units (here often illustrated through different mark-ups). Awareness of Virgil’s ‘Lego-poetics’ should enhance appreciation of his craftsmanship as a literary artist and the ‘architectural’ dimension of his verse- (and world-)making. In addition, we have introduced images alongside relevant texts in the expectation that the visual ‘commentary’ will generate lively intermedial discussion.

The commentary is a joint venture, but it seemed helpful to mark some comments with the siglum JH, to be taken as the equivalent of what educationalists brand with the label S&C (= ‘Stretch & Challenge’). Like the series it belongs to, this volume would have been inconceivable without Open Book Publishers and their customary flexibility and speed, and we are profoundly grateful to Alessandra Tosi and her team.

Aeneid 11 immortalizes two victims of mors immatura, and the book is dedicated to the memory of a colleague whose death too was tragically premature.