Culture: Virgil Goes Viral

Everybody loves the classics, especially when they confirm existing prejudices

At school, I loathed Latin, in general, but I detested Virgil in particular. After you'd spent hours wading through conjugations and declensions and ablative absolutes and gerunds and pasts perfect, imperfect and pluperfect, there was the pointless torture of learning and then reciting lines of dactylic hexameter about this bloke wandering aimlessly around the Mediterranean at the whim of a perpetually pissed-off goddess. I mean, even Milton was more fun than that.

Imagine my surprise, then, to open Robert Fagles' new translation of The Aeneid and discover that it's, you know, pretty great stuff. Here's the demise of Euryalus: "He writhes...

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