P. Vergilius Maro, Liber II

Course Expectations and Objectives

We will read Book II of Vergil's AENEID, focusing closely on the grammar, vocabulary, and style of the text, with significant comment on the historical, cultural, and mythological background. The student is expected to have mastered a basic second year vocabulary and to be prepared to absorb a considerable quantity of new vocabulary. Complete familiarity with basic forms (declension patterns, pronouns, verb tenses, infinitives, and participles) is required.

Vergil's style is syntactically uncomplicated, but does present some complication for the student advancing from intermediate Latin. As with all authors, the style and vocabulary become more easily absorbed as the work progresses. We will move slowly at first, more quickly as the semester progresses.

Students are expected to have prepared the assigned text well enough to read it with minimal difficulty and discuss grammatical constructions. Our goal is to read with ease the entirety of Book II and to articulate a basic understanding of Vergil's technique (including scansion and rhetorical devices). The work required is considerable, the rewards commensurate.

Our Text

You may use any text of the Aeneid available to you. The version at The Latin Library has been formatted for printing and can be used to annotate vocabulary and grammar. An excellent recent edition is that of Randall T. Ganiban: Vergil Aeneid: Book 2. Barbara Weiden Boyd's Vergil's Aeneid (2004) is also useful but does not contain the entire text. Also useful (but only for the first six books) is Pharr's Aeneid.

Older, but still very useful for literary commentary and grammar, is Knapp's Aeneid. I have posted a copy of Book II of Knapp's edition (text and commentary). It's 58 pages, but well worth printing out.

The Vergil Homepage has an outstanding on-line grammatical commentary, word by word, which can be very helpful.

Do not hestitate to make use of a modern edition in order to understand the grammar of the Latin. Remember that English translations are not grammatically faithful to the original. The Loeb edition (found often at Borders) has a facing English translation, which may be useful for those tackling Vergil for the first time. An online translation maybe found here: Aeneid II - English (the Dryden edition at the Perseus site)

Here is our schedule of readings:

January 22           Introduction & Lines 1-56
February 5 57-115
February 12 116-194
February 19 195-267
February 26 268-317
March 5 318-401
March 12 Spring Break
March 19 402-468
March 26 469-520
April 2 520-558
April 9 559-633
April 16 634-678
April 23 679-725
April 30 726-804

Examinations and Article Reviews

There will be 3 exams, covering lines 1-267 (Sinon and the Horse); lines 268-558 (The Fall of Troy); and lines 559-804 (The Flight from Troy). The exams will be partly open book (explanation of grammatical principles), partly translation, partly scansion. Additional information will be provided as the exams approach.

In addition, students are required to have read two scholarly articles during the semester and to provide a critique of them (with the second and third exam). You may choose any relevant article, either dealing with Book II or with the Aeneid (or Virgil) in general. A list of representative articles provided below, as well a some guidelines for the Critique.

List of Suggested Articles

Guideline for Article Critique

Grammar Resources

A systematic grammar of Latin is recommended. Bennett's New Latin Grammar or, better, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar. Both are available for on-line purchase. Handouts on basic grammar and vocabulary are available at the Latin Handout Page.

The Instructor

William L. Carey, Esq.
Blankingship & Keith, P.C.
4020 University Drive, Suite 300
Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Email: wcarey@gmu.edu

Additional Resources:

Characters in the Aeneid