Robert Fagles' new translation of Virgil's Aeneid has received stunning reviews.

In today's Boston Globe, David Barber, poetry editor of The Atlantic, offers some jazzy, but nuanced reflections on Virgil's relation to imperium.

He concludes:

Much as it might tickle the literary fancy to imagine the Pentagon placing bulk orders of Fagles for a remedial course on the timeless verities of enlightened statecraft, the best argument for the Aeneid as required reading is an even tougher sell -- the eternal vigilance it takes to make sense of what it means to be civilized. Empires rise and fall, but the human imperative at the heart of the Aeneid is anything but archaic.

Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is a longtime Commonweal contributor.

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