Prof Charles Martindale – an excellent talk on Vergil

May I commend this evening’s Radio 3 Essay on Vergil? Prof Martindale took a very broad view of European culture, including poetry and empire, and showed Vergil’s indispensable role in it.

The talk is available to ‘listen again’ on the BBC website, where I have just caught up with yesterday’s beautifully crafted Essay by Seamus Heaney. Heaney concentrates on the poetic value of Vergil. He recalls his experience of reading Aeneid 9, the set text for A level, with a teacher who kept saying ‘I wish it was Book 6!’ That repeated phrase did more, Heaney says, to kindle his love for Vergil than the actual reading.  Heaney’s Essay ends with his own translation of Book 6, the Sibyl speaking about the golden bough. A delight to listen to.

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