“The art of resisting”: what Virgil’s Aeneid teaches us about overcoming adversity, according to Andrea Marcolongo

(Ignacio Gil/
(Ignacio Gil/

The Italian writer and journalist Andrea Marcolongoknown internationally for her book The language of the gods, has returned to bookstores with his most recent work, a revealing essay that takes us to the classical era, hand in hand with the verses of the poet Virgil. Published by the Penguin Random House publishing group, under its Taurus imprint, The art of resistance: What the Aeneid teaches us about how to overcome a crisisshows us how the lessons of this epic poem resonate powerfully today.

Marcolongo begins his work by reminding us that the Aeneid is not a poem for times of peace or moments of prosperity; That, on the contrary, his verses come to life when we face overwhelming challenges and feel the urgency to find a new direction in a world that differs radically from the one we knew. Aeneas, the protagonist of the Aeneid, is a defeated man, a hero without a country who leaves the ruins of Troy with his father in tow and desperately seeks a new beginning in an unknown world.

Wisely, the author invites us to see Aeneas as an example of resilience and hope in the midst of adversity. We often remember his flight from Troy and her tragic romance with Dido, but rarely consider the epic narrative of the mythical origins of Rome and her empire. Aeneas embodies the strength of hope, offering lessons that remain surprisingly relevant today.

Cover of the new book by the author of "The language of the gods".  (Penguin Random House).
Cover of the new book by the author of “The Language of the Gods”. (Penguin Random House).
[”El arte de resistir” puede adquirirse, como libro electrónico, en Bajalibros, clickeando acá.]

Andrea Marcolongo’s essay sheds light on several fundamental lessons we can draw from the Aeneid:

  • Reconstruction in the face of destruction: Being Aeneas means responding to destruction with reconstruction. This is the central lesson that the protagonist of the poem leaves us.
  • The history of the human being: The Aeneid is much more than the story of Rome or Aeneas. It is the story of the human being, with all the demands and challenges that life imposes on him. Aeneas faces exhaustion, the constant fight to survive and the determination to move forward despite doubts.
  • Not giving up: Aeneas is anything but a man who gives up. Despite his fears and difficulties, he persists in his search for a new homeland and a new beginning.

Marcolongo reminds us that the Greek and Latin classics have much to offer our current society. In times of crisis and challenge, his teachings about resilience, community and hope can prove invaluable. In the nearly 250 pages that make up this essay, the Italian author provides us with an eloquent reminder that the classics never go out of style.

The art of resisting offers us a fresh and relevant perspective on how to face life’s challenges with courage and determination. In a world marked by uncertainty and adversity, Aeneas’ lessons resonate strongly and remind us that, like him, we have the ability to resist and rebuild, regardless of the circumstances.

This book is not only a valuable contribution to contemporary literature, but also a wake-up call about the importance of preserving and valuing classical culture in education and today’s society. Andrea Marcolongo has become a prominent voice in the dissemination of classical culture and in the defense of its importance in contemporary education, and shows us that, despite the centuries that separate us, the ancient classics continue to be our best companions in the search for wisdom and resilience in times of crisis.

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