Having this old message from Dirk Bontes brought back up proved to be interesting.
Aeneid Liber Sextus
Surprising view of the journey of Aeneas
Dirk Bontes wrote a translation and commentary on one of the most famous epics from the Greco-Roman civilization, part VI of the Aeneid. It is a book that can confuse you, but also gives you many insights into the history and development of modern man.
I have read the story with great amazement, and it should be noted that I did not learn Latin in high school for more than 3 years and so I could hardly read the Latin text of Virgil. For the comparison I have to do with the translations.
Dirk Bontes is known in a relatively small circle as a writer, translator, organizer and jury member of fantasy story contests, such as the Paul Harland Prize and Fantastels.
Until this year, he organized the Trek Sagae story contest.
In addition, he has his own view of Zwarte Piet and now also of the Aeneid.
He himself compares the publication of the book with "nailing my rebellious doctrines to the doors of the classicists' church."
The Aeneid is about the legend of Aeneas, a mythological Trojan hero. He was the son of the mortal Anchises and of the pagan goddess Aphrodite.
The work consists of 12 “hymns” that describe Aeneas from Troy to Latium. His father Anchises had died in Sicilia.
In a dream, the shadow of his father appeared to Aeneas. He invited him to visit him in the underworld if he had come to Italia.
The sixth chant of the Aeneid describes his journey to and through the underworld together with his leader Sibylle, the meeting with his father, his prediction about the glorious future of his descendants and his return, together with his leader, to the overworld.
After a negative review (and a reaction to this), an introduction and an account follows. Reading the introduction is very important if you want to understand the translation and comments.
Bontes does not see mythologies as fictional stories. The gods in Greek, Roman, Scandinavian and Native American mythology had different names, but they were the same persons.
The representations of Hell in Christian Cultures are largely based on the representations of the underworld by Aeneas. The term Hel comes from Asgardian mythology, Helheimr, the realm of the dead.
Bontes' translation follows the Latin text of Virgil, but he gives a completely different interpretation of Aeneas's journey. It is about a journey that really took place and an underworld that really existed. The underworld was not a location in the Earth, but under the Earth, that is, a habitat in space.
His leader Sibylle is a cyborg, she speaks with the voice of Phoebus (Apollo).
The golden branch that must give access to the underworld is growing again through nuclear fusion. The journey to the underworld is made by space shuttle where a space station gives access to the space habitat, the Orcus.
Ferryman Charon, who oversees the flows of the Acheron (a sewage treatment plant), is pitch black and his eyes are like two glowing coals. The underworld was brightly lit in ultraviolet light.
He reaches the Elysium, where he meets his father Anchises who tells him about the great future of his descendants, but that he will first have to fight a fierce battle.
Then his father takes Aeneas and Sibylle to the two gates of the night, one of horn and one of ivory. They are stargates that are in use night and night.
Anchises sends him through the ivory gate. Aeneas returns to the ships and sees his companions again.
Has Dirk Bontes succeeded in getting reactions from classicists, but also linguists and philologists? Certainly not. He himself says that the few of the general public who have read, or at least started, the book found the book to be too difficult and inscrutable.
I find the book difficult indeed, but certainly not inscrutable. There is a clear line in it, but it also raises questions such as what happened to the space habitat, when was the “first interstellar human civilization” established and what was it before?
The arguments he puts forward are not convincing. I don't see the work as historical writing, but as fiction. It cannot be proven whether the underworld - the space habitat - actually existed. But the existence of this habitat cannot be falsified either. I see mythologies as fictional stories, often beautiful stories, but nevertheless stories.
After some 665 lines, Bontes takes a few side paths with page-long comments that can be very confusing to the reader, about the five major personality traits, about the Inca, the Oera Linda book, and about evolution. He then tends to want to explain too much.
This is more often the case between different pieces of translation and commentary. Readers may drop out here.
Interesting is the concept of “magic paradigm”. There are several concepts in the book with an identical name, such as Acheron, Tartarus, Styx, Cocytus and the Avernic pool.
After the translation and commentary on the Aeneid liber sextus, there is a chapter on the Macuxi Indians in the border region of Guyana, Brazil and Venezuela. This chapter is based on the work of Gabriel Silva. The Macuxi have a certain understanding of the underworld that is very similar to the space habitat as described in Dirk Bontes' book.
Dirk Bontes has received permission from Silva to include the translated text. I would recommend everyone to read this chapter.
The book starts with a negative review of an earlier version, with quite a few quotes taken from context, followed by a “review of the review”. But that is very confusing. These two pieces are best included at the end of the book or as an attachment.
Dirk Bontes has also made a simpler version of this work, Aeneas and the Sibylle.
In this version, the line numbers from the extended version are missing, but this version is
suitable as a good introduction. It is an edited translation, the information, comments and linguistic analyzes are included in the text of the translation.
The extended version is really better, but if you can no longer see the forest through the trees, you can go to the simpler version and maybe then again to the extended version.
This does seem quite interesting, but I believe I would interpret a number of things differently - yet perhaps still see this work as factual as does Bontes. It sounds that perhaps Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy really needs to be brought into the circle of consideration here as well (along with all other ancient considerations). This would make a phenomenal deep study.