Virgil’s Aeneid, inspired by Homer and the inspiration for Dante and Milton, is an immortal poem that sits at the heart of Western life and culture. Virgil took as his hero Aeneas, legendary survivor of the fall of Troy and father of the Roman race. After a century of civil strife in Rome and Italy, Virgil wrote the Aeneid to honor the emperor Augustus by praising his legendary ancestor Aeneas. As a patriotic epic imitating Homer, the Aeneid also set out to provide Rome with a literature equal to that of Greece. It tells of Aeneas, survivor of the sack of Troy, and of his seven-year journey: to Carthage, where he falls tragically in love with Queen Dido; then to the underworld; and finally to Italy, where he founds Rome. In telling a story of dispossession and defeat, love and war, he portrayed human life in all its nobility and suffering, in its physicality and its mystery. Translated with an introduction by David West.