I wish to recommend a review by Susan Kristol of a new translation of Virgil's Aeneid poem, a fine essay which graces the pages of The Weekly Standard, the September 18th issue. It contains an excellent summary of the ancient work, and a moving account of its historical and poetic elements.
"The publication of a new translation of the Aeneid by poet David Ferry at the age of 93 is an outstanding achievement. Having also translated Virgil's other masterpieces, the Ecologues and Georgics, Ferry has spent two decades in the company of this great Roman poet."
. . .
"The political nature of Virgil's epic distinguishes it from those of his Greek and Latin predecessors. Virgil is in part writing a response to his older contemporary Lucretius, whose On the Nature of Things elucidates the the teaching of the Greek philosopher Epicurus. . . .
"By introducing his hero in the throes of a (perhaps Lucretian) storm at sea and by leading him to the underworld to speak with the shades of the dead, Virgil directly confronts Lucretius. At Dido's banquet in Book One, her bard sings a Lucretian-style song about the cosmos. Aeneas, in turn, tells the tale of the fall of Troy. In place of withdrawal or abstract scientific contemplation, Virgil's epic engages with the world of history and politics."