The Aeneid, by Virgil by Dr Mark Williams
Virgil’s sublime, melancholy epic poem—a Latin sequel to Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey—tells the story of run-up to the foundation of the Roman people by refugees from Troy, led by the hero Aeneas, son of the goddess Venus. In the course of the poem Aeneas falls in love with—and betrays—Dido, the Queen of Carthage, and visits the underworld to speak to his dead father. Virgil’s poem lay at the heart of western education for over a millennium, and remains the foundational weighing up of the ambiguities of violence and imperial power: this lecture serves to introduce this gorgeous, complex poem and to demonstrate its relevance to us today.
Reading: S. Bartsch (trans.), The Aeneid
Dr Mark Williams is Fellow and Tutor in English at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford. He is a specialist in the medieval languages and literatures of Wales and Ireland, and the author of Ireland’s Immortals: A History of the Gods of Irish Myth (Princeton, 2016), and The Celtic Myths that Shaped the Way We Think (Thames & Hudson, 2021). He is in training as a Jungian psychoanalyst
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