Thursday, August 7, 2008
"Lavinia" by Ursula K. Le Guin
The story of Rome's origins goes farther back than Romulus and Remus, the twins who were suckled by a she-wolf and eventually founded the city. The legend of Rome extends all the way back to the Trojan War and to Aeneas, a Trojan who escaped the fall of Troy and sailed to Italy to establish a new home for his people. Vergil wrote Aeneas' story in his great epic, the Aeneid. But he only touches on the union that made Aeneas' settlement in Italy possible-his marriage to the daughter of the King of the Latins, Lavinia. Lavinia is a cipher in Roman history and legend, but without her Rome never would have been. Ursula K. Le Guin, who is known for fantasy, writes an account of Lavinia's life in prose that reads more like a poem and fiction that is so well-written that it seems like autobiography. If you are a lover of mythology and heroes, you will enjoy Lavinia immensely.