An Introduction to Vergil's Aeneid

WELCOME to Doctor Illa Flora's Introduction to Vergil's Aeneid!

Dr. Richard A. LaFleurs
(aka, Doctor Illa Flora)

About Dr. LaFleur

Recipient of the 2013 ACTFL Papalia Award for Excellence in Teacher Education

2021 tribute in The Classical Outlook  

A Song of War

Welcome to the website for my tutorial, "A SONG OF WAR: An Introduction to Vergil's Aeneid"

SALVETE, VOS OMNES!! This is the site for my online tutorial on the Aeneid. I am now offering this class, which I previously taught as a formal academic course for many years through a fruitful collaboration between the University of Georgiaís Department of Classics and Department of Independent and Distance Learning, as an independent self-paced tutorial for adult learners with a strong background in Latin (through at least the intermediate-early advanced level) who desire an introduction to Vergil's monumental epic poem.

The tutorial uses my and Alexander McKay's textbook, A Song of War: Readings from Vergil's Aeneid, which contains, in addition to many other selections, all the Vergil passages on the College Board's AP Latin Exam and has its own Student Companion Web Site at (web code jwk 1000). I have considerable experience over a great many years working with K-12 Latin teachers, and those planning an AP course may be especially interested in the tutorial (N.B.: "AP" and "AP Latin Exam" are copyright by the College Board, which does not endorse this textbook or this tutorial or any other such independent study programs or specific textbooks).

If you think you may be interested in applying for this course of study, you should first read the Tutorial Overview here and then email me for further information.

Each of my tutorials is asynchronous, meticulously organized, and highly personalized; a customizable rapid refresher using WHEELOCK'S LATIN 7th Ed. and the Wheelock companion reader SCRIBBLERS, SCVLPTORS, AND SCRIBES, for those whose grammar and reading/translation skills may be a bit rusty, can be arranged as an add-on or a preamble to the Vergil tutorial.


R. A. (“Rick”) LaFleur, aka Doctor Illa Flora



Of course, you must know that I have enjoyed this course immeasurably. Such fun to have an intellectual challenge, to improve mastery of a language, to have a meaningful discourse with a teacher. I grew to love Vergil, which surprised me, as I was so taken by Ovid and in the beginning was put off by Vergilís more direct and literal nature. But the saga itself was sweeping and compelling, and the poetry, while not the musical verse of Ovid, had its own stately grace. I think it was an excellent idea to twine the reading of selections in the Latin with the reading in English of the entire tale. As always I appreciated your rapid reply to my work and your care in correcting errors. I am so pleased we are not done with our journey together!

                                                           Judith E.

I have learned a great deal about Vergilís Aeneid in this tutorial, including more about the Latin language in general, metrics and scansion, and literary analysis, as well as about the epic narrative itself, which is invaluable to understanding Roman culture as a whole. The discussion questions in particular were very useful in facilitating my understanding of the poem's content and artistry. Overall, this tutorial has been very rewarding and stimulating for me, and I look forward to working again with you in the Juvenal tutorial.

                                                           Paul Wright, research lab manager

While continuing to hone my skills in Latin grammar, reading for comprehension, and translation, I benefited from Prof. LaFleur's learned and persistent feedback. Simple answers are seldom given. He never gives up on making me come up with a good answer, no matter how many times we must exchange e-mails.

This is not a simple language course, but rather a literature course, which takes advantage of learning Latin to allow the student to understand, to get inside the mind of, the Roman author and reader or hearer. I learned how an epic can tie its parts together over long stretches with prophesies and reminders and legends--and that a national myth and origin story may have been as important for Romeís conquests as their military might.

                                                           MDK, pediatric surgeon



Last updated 11/22. Please report any problems with this website to