‘Heaneid’ breathes fresh life into Virgil’s book of the dead

Classics; Aeneid Book VI; Translated by Seamus Heaney; Faber & Faber, €20

20th March, 2016
Seamus Heaney’s posthumous translation of Aeneid Book VI is a triumph Picture: Geray Sweeney

The words come from Seamus Heaney’s rugged new translation of Aeneid Book VI, completed a month or so before his death in 2013. This section of Virgil’s epic revolves around the hero’s encounter with the Sybil and journey into the underworld, where he meets his dead father Anchises and is initiated into classical myths and doctrines of the afterlife, before returning to “the fields of light”.

The posthumous...

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