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Book VIII is one of the most attractive and important books of Virgil's Aeneid. It includes the visit of Aaneas to the site of the future Rome, the story of Hercules and Cacus, the episode between Venus and Vulcan and the description of the great symbolic shield of Aeneas. Mr Gransden's introduction relates this book to the Aeneid as a whole considers the text in various aspects: the topography, Virgil's sense of history, his typology and symbolism, his literary style and his influence on subsequent vernacular poetry. The commentary discusses points of special interest and difficulty in interpretation, style and prosody and gives detailed explanation of the many allusions in Book VIII to customs, legends, traditions and historical events. This is primarily a textbook for university students and sixth-formers, but it also contains material which may be of interest to students of English and comparative literature. [via]