Virgil’s Iliad: An Essay on Epic Narrative

This is a book about Virgil’s Aeneid, especially the second half of the poem, are explores in some detail Virgil’s use of Homer’s Iliad. The author’s main purpose is to try to re-establish the value and importance of books VII-XII of the Aeneid, which he argues, far from constituting a falling off from the more familiar earlier books, Aeneid VII-XII presents a continuous epic narrative of sustained power, planned and executed on the largest scale and offering a structural unity which matches that of its great model. His secondary purpose is to try to give the modern reader an impression of what Homer’s Iliad meant to the implied reader of the Aeneid and to Virgil himself. Throughout, Gransden places emphasis on the text as a piece of continuous narrative, finding that the experience of reading VII-XII modifies the reader’s sense of books I-VI. This book will interest all those who enjoy Virgil, whether they are studying Latin or reading the poet in translation. A knowledge of Latin is not essential and those concerned with the techniques of narrative in epic and other fiction will also find the book of value.


Preface; Introduction; Prologue: Homer’s Iliad; Part I. Peace: 1. Transition; 2. Invocation; 3. Homecoming; 4. Dynastic; 5. Juno; 6. Catalogue; 7. Diplomatic; Part II. War: 8. Absence; 9. Nisus and Euryalus; 10. Siege; 11. The council of the gods; 12. The return of Aeneas; 13. The funeral of Pallas; 14. The council of war; 15. Camilla’s last stand; 16. War and peace; Bibliography; Indexes.