Wednesday, September 15, 2021


The Hero of the Aeneid

Raymond Keene, "Hoc opus, hic liber est: Nigel Short's 'Winning' and other chess books," The Article (September 11, 2021):
In Virgil's Aeneid one finds the phrase, "hoc opus, hic labor est", "this is the task, this is the masterpiece", referring to the hero Theseus and his descent to the Underworld. Descending to the netherworld's depths is easy — the trick is to get back safely again to the "upper airs." Less onerous is the annual task of The English Chess Federation in selecting its title ("liber" in Latin means "book") for their Book of the Year prize.
Screen capture:
Wrong hero — for Theseus read Aeneas. Also, I wouldn't translate labor as masterpiece. The Sibyl says these words to Aeneas in Book VI, line 129.

Hat tip: Jim K.

Another friend writes:
And what about Aeneas and the Minotaur? Theseus and Aeneas both end in -s. Don't be a pedant. It's 2021.


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