Virgil

Virgil

Overview
Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English (October 15, 70 BC – September 21, 19 BC), was an ancient Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 poet of the Augustan period
Augustan literature (ancient Rome)
Augustan literature is the period of Latin literature written during the reign of Augustus , the first Roman emperor. In literary histories of the first part of the 20th century and earlier, Augustan literature was regarded along with that of the Late Republic as constituting the Golden Age of...

. He is known for three major works of Latin literature
Latin literature
Latin literature includes the essays, histories, poems, plays, and other writings of the ancient Romans. In many ways, it seems to be a continuation of Greek literature, using many of the same forms...

, the Eclogues (or Bucolics), the Georgics
Georgics
The Georgics is a poem in four books, likely published in 29 BC. It is the second major work by the Latin poet Virgil, following his Eclogues and preceding the Aeneid. It is a poem that draws on many prior sources and influenced many later authors from antiquity to the present...

, and the epic Aeneid
Aeneid
The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. It is composed of roughly 10,000 lines in dactylic hexameter...

. A number of minor poems, collected in the Appendix Vergiliana
Appendix Vergiliana
The Appendix Vergiliana is a collection of poems traditionally ascribed as juvenilia of Virgil, although it is likely that all the pieces are in fact spurious...

, are sometimes attributed to him.

Virgil is traditionally ranked as one of Rome's greatest poets. His Aeneid has been considered the national epic
National epic
A national epic is an epic poem or a literary work of epic scope which seeks or is believed to capture and express the essence or spirit of a particular nation; not necessarily a nation-state, but at least an ethnic or linguistic group with aspirations to independence or autonomy...

 of ancient Rome since the time of its composition to the present day.
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Quotations

Umida solstitia atque hiemes orate serenas,agricolae.

Translation: O farmers, pray that your summers be wet and your winters clear.

Ut varias usus meditando extunderet artispaulatim.

Translation: Practice and thought might gradually forge many an art.

Ignavum, fucos, pecus a praesepibus arcent.

Translation: They keep out of the hives the drones, an indolent bunch.

Latet anguis in herba.

Translation: A snake lurks in the grass.

Omnia fert aetas, animum quoque.

Translation: Time bears away all things, even our minds.

Cantantes licet usque (minus via laedit) eamus.

Translation: Let us go singing as far as we go: the road will be less tedious.

Omnia vincit amor; et nos cedamus amori.

Translation: Love conquers all things; let us too surrender to love.

Arma virumque cano.

Translation: I sing of arms and a man.

Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.

Translation: Perhaps it will even be pleasing to remember these things one day.

Equo ne credite, Teucri.quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentis.

Translation: Do not trust the horse, Trojans. Whatever it is, I fear the Grecians, even bearing gifts.
Encyclopedia
Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English (October 15, 70 BC – September 21, 19 BC), was an ancient Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 poet of the Augustan period
Augustan literature (ancient Rome)
Augustan literature is the period of Latin literature written during the reign of Augustus , the first Roman emperor. In literary histories of the first part of the 20th century and earlier, Augustan literature was regarded along with that of the Late Republic as constituting the Golden Age of...

. He is known for three major works of Latin literature
Latin literature
Latin literature includes the essays, histories, poems, plays, and other writings of the ancient Romans. In many ways, it seems to be a continuation of Greek literature, using many of the same forms...

, the Eclogues (or Bucolics), the Georgics
Georgics
The Georgics is a poem in four books, likely published in 29 BC. It is the second major work by the Latin poet Virgil, following his Eclogues and preceding the Aeneid. It is a poem that draws on many prior sources and influenced many later authors from antiquity to the present...

, and the epic Aeneid
Aeneid
The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. It is composed of roughly 10,000 lines in dactylic hexameter...

. A number of minor poems, collected in the Appendix Vergiliana
Appendix Vergiliana
The Appendix Vergiliana is a collection of poems traditionally ascribed as juvenilia of Virgil, although it is likely that all the pieces are in fact spurious...

, are sometimes attributed to him.

Virgil is traditionally ranked as one of Rome's greatest poets. His Aeneid has been considered the national epic
National epic
A national epic is an epic poem or a literary work of epic scope which seeks or is believed to capture and express the essence or spirit of a particular nation; not necessarily a nation-state, but at least an ethnic or linguistic group with aspirations to independence or autonomy...

 of ancient Rome since the time of its composition to the present day. Modeled after Homer
Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

's Iliad
Iliad
The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles...

 and Odyssey
Odyssey
The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern Western canon, and is the second—the Iliad being the first—extant work of Western literature...

, the Aeneid follows the Trojan refugee
Trojan War
In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, the king of Sparta. The war is among the most important events in Greek mythology and was narrated in many works of Greek literature, including the Iliad...

 Aeneas
Aeneas
Aeneas , in Greco-Roman mythology, was a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. His father was the second cousin of King Priam of Troy, making Aeneas Priam's second cousin, once removed. The journey of Aeneas from Troy , which led to the founding a hamlet south of...

 as he struggles to fulfill his destiny and arrive on the shores of Italy, in Roman mythology
Roman mythology
Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans...

 the founding act of Rome. Vergil's work has had wide and deep influence on Western literature
Western literature
Western literature refers to the literature written in the languages of Europe, including the ones belonging to the Indo-European language family as well as several geographically or historically related languages such as Basque, Hungarian, and so forth...

, most notably the Inferno
Inferno (Dante)
Inferno is the first part of Dante Alighieri's 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy. It is followed by Purgatorio and Paradiso. It is an allegory telling of the journey of Dante through what is largely the medieval concept of Hell, guided by the Roman poet Virgil. In the poem, Hell is depicted as...

 of Dante
DANTE
Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe is a not-for-profit organisation that plans, builds and operates the international networks that interconnect the various national research and education networks in Europe and surrounding regions...

, in which he appears as the poet's guide through the underworld.

Birth and biographical tradition


Virgil's biographical tradition is thought to depend on a lost biography by Varius
Lucius Varius Rufus
Lucius Varius Rufus was a Roman poet of the Augustan age.He was the friend of Virgil, after whose death he and Plotius Tucca prepared the Aeneid for publication, and of Horace, for whom he and Virgil obtained an introduction to Maecenas...

, Virgil's editor, which was incorporated into the biography by Suetonius
Suetonius
Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, commonly known as Suetonius , was a Roman historian belonging to the equestrian order in the early Imperial era....

 and the commentaries of Servius and Donatus
Aelius Donatus
Aelius Donatus was a Roman grammarian and teacher of rhetoric. The only fact known regarding his life is that he was the tutor of St...

, the two great commentators on Virgil's poetry. Although the commentaries no doubt record much factual information about Virgil, some of their evidence can be shown to rely on inferences made from his poetry and allegorizing; thus, Virgil's biographical tradition remains problematic.


The tradition holds that Virgil was born in the village of Andes, near Mantua
Mantua
Mantua is a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy and capital of the province of the same name. Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family, made it one of the main artistic, cultural and notably musical hubs of Northern Italy and the country as a whole...

 in Cisalpine Gaul
Cisalpine Gaul
Cisalpine Gaul, in Latin: Gallia Cisalpina or Citerior, also called Gallia Togata, was a Roman province until 41 BC when it was merged into Roman Italy.It bore the name Gallia, because the great body of its inhabitants, after the expulsion of the Etruscans, consisted of Gauls or Celts...

. Scholars suggest Etruscan
Etruscan civilization
Etruscan civilization is the modern English name given to a civilization of ancient Italy in the area corresponding roughly to Tuscany. The ancient Romans called its creators the Tusci or Etrusci...

, Umbrian or even Celtic descent by examining the linguistic or ethnic markers of the region. Analysis of his name has led to beliefs that he descended from earlier Roman colonists. Modern speculation ultimately is not supported by narrative evidence either from his own writings or his later biographers. Macrobius says that Virgil's father was of a humble background; however, scholars generally believe that Virgil was from an equestrian landowning family which could afford to give him an education. He attended schools in Cremona
Cremona
Cremona is a city and comune in northern Italy, situated in Lombardy, on the left bank of the Po River in the middle of the Pianura Padana . It is the capital of the province of Cremona and the seat of the local City and Province governments...

, Mediolanum
Mediolanum
Mediolanum, the ancient Milan, was an important Celtic and then Roman centre of northern Italy. This article charts the history of the city from its settlement by the Insubres around 600 BC, through its conquest by the Romans and its development into a key centre of Western Christianity and capital...

, Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 and Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

. After considering briefly a career in rhetoric
Rhetoric
Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the Western...

 and law, the young Virgil turned his talents to poetry.

Early works



According to the commentators, Virgil received his first education when he was five years old and he later went to Cremona
Cremona
Cremona is a city and comune in northern Italy, situated in Lombardy, on the left bank of the Po River in the middle of the Pianura Padana . It is the capital of the province of Cremona and the seat of the local City and Province governments...

, Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, and finally Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 to study rhetoric
Rhetoric
Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the Western...

, medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

, and astronomy
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

, which he soon abandoned for philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

. From Virgil's admiring references to the neoteric writers Pollio
Gaius Asinius Pollio (consul 40 BC)
Gaius Asinius Pollio was a Roman soldier, politician, orator, poet, playwright, literary critic and historian, whose lost contemporary history, provided much of the material for the historians Appian and Plutarch...

 and Cinna
Helvius Cinna
Gaius Helvius Cinna was an influential neoteric poet of the late Roman Republic, a little older than the generation of Catullus and Calvus.His magnum opus Zmyrna established his literary fame; a mythological epic poem focused on the incestuous love of Smyrna for her father Cinyras, treated after...

, it has been inferred that he was, for a time, associated with Catullus
Catullus
Gaius Valerius Catullus was a Latin poet of the Republican period. His surviving works are still read widely, and continue to influence poetry and other forms of art.-Biography:...

' neoteric circle. However schoolmates considered Virgil extremely shy and reserved, according to Servius, and he was nicknamed "Parthenias" or "maiden" because of his social aloofness. Virgil seems to have suffered bad health throughout his life and in some ways lived the life of an invalid
Invalid
Invalid may refer to:* Patient, a sick person* A person with a disability* .invalid, a top-level Internet domain not intended for real useAs the opposite of valid:* Validity, in logic, true premises cannot lead to a false conclusion...

. According to the Catalepton, while in the Epicurean school of Siro the Epicurean
Siro the Epicurean
Siro was an Epicurean philosopher who lived in Naples.He was a teacher of Virgil, and taught at his school in Naples...

 at Naples, he began to write poetry. A group of small works attributed to the youthful Virgil by the commentators survive collected under the title Appendix Vergiliana
Appendix Vergiliana
The Appendix Vergiliana is a collection of poems traditionally ascribed as juvenilia of Virgil, although it is likely that all the pieces are in fact spurious...

, but are largely considered spurious by scholars. One, the Catalepton, consists of fourteen short poems, some of which may be Virgil's, and another, a short narrative poem titled the Culex ("The Gnat"), was attributed to Virgil as early as the 1st century AD.

The Eclogues


The biographical tradition asserts that Virgil began the hexameter Eclogues (or Bucolics) in 42 BC and it is thought that the collection was published around 39-38 BC, although this is controversial. The Eclogues (from the Greek for "selections") are a group of ten poems roughly modeled on the bucolic hexameter poetry ("pastoral poetry") of the Hellenistic poet Theocritus
Theocritus
Theocritus , the creator of ancient Greek bucolic poetry, flourished in the 3rd century BC.-Life:Little is known of Theocritus beyond what can be inferred from his writings. We must, however, handle these with some caution, since some of the poems commonly attributed to him have little claim to...

. After his victory in the Battle of Philippi
Battle of Philippi
The Battle of Philippi was the final battle in the Wars of the Second Triumvirate between the forces of Mark Antony and Octavian and the forces of Julius Caesar's assassins Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus in 42 BC, at Philippi in Macedonia...

 in 42 BC, fought against the army led by the assassins of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

, Octavian tried to pay off his veterans with land expropriated from towns in northern Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, supposedly including, according to the tradition, an estate near Mantua belonging to Virgil. The loss of his family farm and the attempt through poetic petitions to regain his property have traditionally been seen as Virgil's motives in the composition of the Eclogues. This is now thought to be an unsupported inference from interpretations of the Eclogues. In Eclogues 1 and 9, Virgil indeed dramatizes the contrasting feelings caused by the brutality of the land expropriations through pastoral idiom, but offers no indisputable evidence of the supposed biographic incident. Readers often did and sometimes do identify the poet himself with various characters and their vicissitudes, whether gratitude by an old rustic to a new god (Ecl. 1), frustrated love by a rustic singer for a distant boy (his master's pet, Ecl. 2), or a master singer's claim to have composed several eclogues (Ecl. 5). Modern scholars largely reject such efforts to garner biographical details from fictive texts preferring instead to interpret the diverse characters and themes as representing the poet's own contrastive perceptions of contemporary life and thought.
Thematically, the ten Eclogues develop and vary pastoral tropes and play with generic expectations. 1 and 9 address the land confiscations and their effects on the Italian countryside. 2 and 3 are highly pastoral and erotic, discussing love, both homosexual (Ecl. 2) and panerotic (Ecl. 3). Eclogues 4, addressed to Asinius Pollio, the so-called 'Messianic Eclogue' uses the imagery of the golden-age in connection with the birth of a child (who the child is has been highly contested). 5 and 8 describe the myth of Daphnis
Daphnis
In Greek mythology, Daphnis was a son of Hermes and a Sicilian nymph. A shepherd and flautist, he was the inventor of pastoral poetry. A naiad fell in love with him, but he was not faithful to her. In revenge, she either blinded him or turned him to stone...

 in a song contest, 6, the cosmic and mythological song of Silenus
Silenus
In Greek mythology, Silenus was a companion and tutor to the wine god Dionysus.-Evolution of the character:The original Silenus resembled a folklore man of the forest with the ears of a horse and sometimes also the tail and legs of a horse...

, 7, a heated poetic contest, and 10 the sufferings of the contemporary elegiac poet Cornelius Gallus
Cornelius Gallus
Gaius Cornelius Gallus , Roman poet, orator and politician, was born of humble parents at Forum Livii in Italy.At an early age he moved to Rome, where he was taught by the same master as Virgil and Varius Rufus. Virgil, who dedicated one of his eclogues to him, was in great measure indebted to...

. Virgil is credited in the Eclogues with establishing Arcadia as a poetic ideal that still resonates in Western literature and visual arts and setting the stage for the development of Latin pastoral by Calpurnius Siculus, Nemesianus, and later writers.

The Georgics



Sometime after the publication of the Eclogues (probably before 37 BC), Virgil became part of the circle of Maecenas, Octavian's capable agent d'affaires who sought to counter sympathy for Antony among the leading families by rallying Roman literary figures to Octavian's side. Virgil seems to have made connections with many of the other leading literary figures of the time, including Horace
Horace
Quintus Horatius Flaccus , known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus.-Life:...

, in whose poetry he is often mentioned, and Varius Rufus, who later helped finish the Aeneid.
At Maecenas' insistence (according to the tradition) Virgil spent the ensuing years (perhaps 37–29 BC) on the longer didactic hexameter poem called the Georgics
Georgics
The Georgics is a poem in four books, likely published in 29 BC. It is the second major work by the Latin poet Virgil, following his Eclogues and preceding the Aeneid. It is a poem that draws on many prior sources and influenced many later authors from antiquity to the present...

 (from Greek, "On Working the Earth") which he dedicated to Maecenas. The ostensible theme of the Georgics is instruction in the methods of running a farm. In handling this theme, Virgil follows in the didactic (instructive) tradition of the Greek poet Hesiod
Hesiod
Hesiod was a Greek oral poet generally thought by scholars to have been active between 750 and 650 BC, around the same time as Homer. His is the first European poetry in which the poet regards himself as a topic, an individual with a distinctive role to play. Ancient authors credited him and...

 one of whose poems focuses on farming and the later Hellenistic poets. The four books of the Georgics focus respectively on raising crops and trees (1 and 2), livestock and horses (3), and beekeeping and the qualities of bees (4). Significant passages include the beloved Laus Italiae of Book 2, the prologue description of the temple in Book 3, and the description of the plague at the end of Book 3. Book 4 concludes with a long mythological narrative, in the form of an epyllion
Epic poetry
An epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. Oral poetry may qualify as an epic, and Albert Lord and Milman Parry have argued that classical epics were fundamentally an oral poetic form...

 which describes vividly the discovery of beekeeping by Aristaeus
Aristaeus
A minor god in Greek mythology, which we read largely through Athenian writers, Aristaeus or Aristaios , "ever close follower of the flocks", was the culture hero credited with the discovery of many useful arts, including bee-keeping; he was the son of Apollo and the huntress Cyrene...

 and the story of Orpheus
Orpheus
Orpheus was a legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth. The major stories about him are centered on his ability to charm all living things and even stones with his music; his attempt to retrieve his wife from the underworld; and his death at the hands of those who...

' journey to the underworld. Ancient scholars, such as Servius, conjectured that the Aristaeus episode replaced a long section in praise of Virgil's friend, the poet Gallus, who was disgraced by Augustus and committed suicide in 26 BC. Augustus is supposed to have ordered the section to be replaced.

A major critical issue in considering the Georgics is the assessment of tone; Virgil seems to waver between optimism and pessimism, sparking a great deal of debate on the poem's intentions. With the Georgics Virgil is again credited with laying the foundations for later didactic poetry. The biographical tradition says that Virgil and Maecenas took turns reading the Georgics to Octavian upon his return from defeating Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium
Battle of Actium
The Battle of Actium was the decisive confrontation of the Final War of the Roman Republic. It was fought between the forces of Octavian and the combined forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII. The battle took place on 2 September 31 BC, on the Ionian Sea near the city of Actium, at the Roman...

 in 31 BC.

The Aeneid


The Aeneid is widely considered Virgil's finest work and one of the most important poems in the history of western literature. Virgil worked on the Aeneid during the last ten years of his life (29-19 BC), commissioned, according to Propertius, by Augustus. The epic poem consists of 12 books in hexameter verse which describe the journey of Aeneas
Aeneas
Aeneas , in Greco-Roman mythology, was a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. His father was the second cousin of King Priam of Troy, making Aeneas Priam's second cousin, once removed. The journey of Aeneas from Troy , which led to the founding a hamlet south of...

, a prince fleeing the sack of Troy, to Italy, his battle with the Italian prince Turnus, and the foundation of a city from which Rome would emerge. The Aeneids first six books describe the journey of Aeneas from Troy to Rome. Virgil made use of several models in the composition of his epic; Homer
Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

 the preeminent classical epicist is everywhere present, but Virgil also makes especial use of the Latin poet Ennius
Ennius
Quintus Ennius was a writer during the period of the Roman Republic, and is often considered the father of Roman poetry. He was of Calabrian descent...

 and the Hellenistic poet Apollonius of Rhodes
Apollonius of Rhodes
Apollonius Rhodius, also known as Apollonius of Rhodes , early 3rd century BCE – after 246 BCE, was a poet, and a librarian at the Library of Alexandria...

 among the various other writers he alludes to. Although the Aeneid casts itself firmly into the epic mode, it often seeks to expand the genre by including elements of other genres such as tragedy and aetiological poetry. Ancient commentators noted that Virgil seems to divide the Aeneid into two sections based on the poetry of Homer; the first six books were viewed as employing the Odyssey
Odyssey
The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern Western canon, and is the second—the Iliad being the first—extant work of Western literature...

 as a model while the last six were connected to the Iliad
Iliad
The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles...

.

Book 1 (at the head of the Odyssean section) opens with a storm which Juno
Juno (mythology)
Juno is an ancient Roman goddess, the protector and special counselor of the state. She is a daughter of Saturn and sister of the chief god Jupiter and the mother of Mars and Vulcan. Juno also looked after the women of Rome. Her Greek equivalent is Hera...

, Aeneas' enemy throughout the poem, stirs up against the fleet. The storm drives the hero to the coast of Carthage
Carthage
Carthage , implying it was a 'new Tyre') is a major urban centre that has existed for nearly 3,000 years on the Gulf of Tunis, developing from a Phoenician colony of the 1st millennium BC...

, which historically was Rome's deadliest foe. The queen, Dido, welcomes the ancestor of the Romans, and under the influence of the gods falls deeply in love with him. At a banquet in Book 2, Aeneas tells the story of the sack of Troy, the death of his wife, and his escape to the enthralled Carthginians, while in Book 3 he recounts to them his wanderings over the Mediterranean in search of a suitable new home. Jupiter in Book 4 recalls the lingering Aeneas to his duty to found a new city, and he slips away from Carthage, leaving Dido to commit suicide
Suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

, cursing Aeneas and calling down revenge in a symbolic anticipation of the fierce wars between Carthage and Rome. In Book 5, Aeneas' father Anchises
Anchises
In Greek mythology, Anchises was the son of Capys and Themiste . His major claim to fame in Greek mythology is that he was a mortal lover of the goddess Aphrodite . One version is that Aphrodite pretended to be a Phrygian princess and seduced him for nearly two weeks of lovemaking...

 dies and funeral games are celebrated for him. On reaching Cumae
Cumae
Cumae is an ancient Greek settlement lying to the northwest of Naples in the Italian region of Campania. Cumae was the first Greek colony on the mainland of Italy , and the seat of the Cumaean Sibyl...

, in Italy in Book 6, Aeneas consults the Cumaean Sibyl
Cumaean Sibyl
The ageless Cumaean Sibyl was the priestess presiding over the Apollonian oracle at Cumae, a Greek colony located near Naples, Italy.The word sibyl comes from the ancient Greek word sibylla, meaning prophetess. There were many Sibyls in different locations throughout the ancient world...

, who conducts him through the Underworld
Underworld
The Underworld is a region which is thought to be under the surface of the earth in some religions and in mythologies. It could be a place where the souls of the recently departed go, and in some traditions it is identified with Hell or the realm of death...

 where Aeneas meets the dead Anchises who reveals his Rome's destiny to his son.

Book 7 (beginning the Iliadic half) opens with an address to the muse and recounts Aeneas arrival in Italy and betrothal to Lavinia
Lavinia
In Roman mythology, Lavinia is the daughter of Latinus and Amata and the last wife of Aeneas.Lavinia, the only child of the king and "ripe for marriage", had been courted by many men in Ausonia who hoped to become the king of Latium. Turnus, ruler of the Rutuli, was the most likely of the suitors,...

, daughter of King Latinus
Latinus
Latinus was a figure in both Greek and Roman mythology.-Greek mythology:In Hesiod's Theogony, Latinus was the son of Odysseus and Circe who ruled the Tyrsenoi, presumably the Etruscans, with his brothers Ardeas and Telegonus...

. Lavinia had already been promised to Turnus
Turnus
In Virgil's Aeneid, Turnus was the King of the Rutuli, and the chief antagonist of the hero Aeneas.-Biography:Prior to Aeneas' arrival in Italy, Turnus was the primary potential suitor of Lavinia, daughter of Latinus, King of the Latin people. Upon Aeneas' arrival, however, Lavinia is promised to...

, the king of the Rutulians, who is roused to war by the Fury
Erinyes
In Greek mythology the Erinyes from Greek ἐρίνειν " pursue, persecute"--sometimes referred to as "infernal goddesses" -- were female chthonic deities of vengeance. A formulaic oath in the Iliad invokes them as "those who beneath the earth punish whosoever has sworn a false oath"...

 Allecto and Amata
Amata
Amata , in Roman mythology, was the wife of King Latinus of the Latins. She and Latinus had a daughter, Lavinia, and no sons. When the hero Aeneas sued for Lavinia's hand in marriage, Amata opposed him because she had already promised Lavinia to Aeneas' nemesis Turnus. At the same time she was...

 Lavinia's mother. In Book 8, Aeneas allies with King Evander
Evander
In Roman mythology, Evander , also spelled Euander, was a deific culture hero from Arcadia, Greece, who brought the Greek pantheon, laws and alphabet to Italy, where he founded the city of Pallantium on the future site of Rome, sixty years...

, who occupies the future site of Rome, and is given new armor and a shield depicting Roman history. Book 9 records an assault by Nisus
Nisus
ni·susn. pl. nisusAn effort or endeavor to realize an aim.[Latin nisus, from past participle of niti, to strive.]In classical mythology, Nisus may refer to:...

 and Euryalus
Euryalus
Euryalus refers to several different characters from Greek mythology and classical literature:#In the Aeneid by Virgil, Nisus and Euryalus are ideal friends and lovers, who died during a raid on the Rutulians.# Euryalus was the son of Mecisteus...

 on the Rutulians, 10, the death of Evander's young son Pallas
Pallas (son of Evander)
In Roman mythology, Pallas was the son of King Evander. In Virgil's Aeneid, Evander allows Pallas to fight against the Rutuli with Aeneas, who takes him and treats him like his own son Ascanius. In battle, Pallas proves he is a warrior, killing many Rutulians, and compared to the Rutulian Lausus,...

, and 11 the death of the Volscian warrior princess Camilla
Camilla
-People:* Camilla , including a list of people with the name* Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the wife of Charles, Prince of Wales-Arts and literature:* Camilla , daughter of King Metabus and Casmilla in Roman mythology...

 and the decision to settle the war with a duel between Aeneas and Turnus. The Aeneid ends in Book 12 with the taking of Latinus' city, the death of Amata, and Aeneas' defeat and killing of Turnus, whose pleas for mercy are spurned.

Reception of the Aeneid



Critics of the Aeneid focus on a variety of issues (see Fowler for an excellent bibliography and summary). The tone of the poem as a whole is a particular matter of debate; some see the poem as ultimately pessimistic and politically subversive to the Augustan regime, while others view it as a celebration of the new imperial dynasty. Virgil makes use of the symbolism of the Augustan regime, and some scholars see strong associations between Augustus and Aeneas, the one as founder and the other as re-founder of Rome. A strong teleology
Teleology
A teleology is any philosophical account which holds that final causes exist in nature, meaning that design and purpose analogous to that found in human actions are inherent also in the rest of nature. The word comes from the Greek τέλος, telos; root: τελε-, "end, purpose...

, or drive towards a climax, has been detected in the poem. The Aeneid is full of prophecies about the future of Rome, the deeds of Augustus, his ancestors, and famous Romans, and the Carthaginian Wars; the shield of Aeneas even depicts Augustus' victory at Actium
Battle of Actium
The Battle of Actium was the decisive confrontation of the Final War of the Roman Republic. It was fought between the forces of Octavian and the combined forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII. The battle took place on 2 September 31 BC, on the Ionian Sea near the city of Actium, at the Roman...

 against Mark Antony
Mark Antony
Marcus Antonius , known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar...

 and Cleopatra VII in 31 BC. A further focus of study is the character of Aeneas. As the protagonist of the poem, Aeneas seems to constantly waver between his emotions and commitment to his prophetic duty to found Rome; critics note the breakdown of Aeneas' emotional control in the last sections of the poem where the "pious" and "righteous" Aeneas mercilessly slaughters Turnus.

The Aeneid appears to have been a great success. Virgil is said to have recited Books 2,4, and 6 to Augustus; Book 6 apparently caused Augustus' sister Octavia
Octavia
-People:*Octavia the Elder, elder half sister of Octavia Minor*Octavia the Younger, sister of Augustus, younger half sister of Octavia Major and fourth wife of Mark Antony*Claudia Octavia, the daughter of Claudius and Valeria Messalina and first wife of Nero...

 to faint. Unfortunately, the poem was unfinished at Virgil's death in 19 BC.

Virgil's death and editing of the Aeneid


According to the tradition, Virgil traveled to Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 around 19 BC in order to revise the Aeneid. After meeting Augustus in Athens and deciding to return home, Virgil caught a fever while visiting a town near Megara
Megara
Megara is an ancient city in Attica, Greece. It lies in the northern section of the Isthmus of Corinth opposite the island of Salamis, which belonged to Megara in archaic times, before being taken by Athens. Megara was one of the four districts of Attica, embodied in the four mythic sons of King...

. After crossing to Italy by ship, weakened with disease, Virgil died in Brundisium harbour on September 21, 19 BC. Augustus ordered Virgil's literary executors, Lucius Varius Rufus
Lucius Varius Rufus
Lucius Varius Rufus was a Roman poet of the Augustan age.He was the friend of Virgil, after whose death he and Plotius Tucca prepared the Aeneid for publication, and of Horace, for whom he and Virgil obtained an introduction to Maecenas...

 and Plotius Tucca
Plotius Tucca
Plotius Tucca was a Roman poet and a friend of Virgil's. He was in the circle of friends with Virgil and Maecenas, as indicated by Horace...

, to disregard Virgil's own wish that the poem be burned, instead ordering it published with as few editorial changes as possible. As a result, the text of the Aeneid that exists may contain faults which Virgil was planning to correct before publication. However, the only obvious imperfections are a few lines of verse that are metrically unfinished (i.e., not a complete line of dactylic hexameter
Dactylic hexameter
Dactylic hexameter is a form of meter in poetry or a rhythmic scheme. It is traditionally associated with the quantitative meter of classical epic poetry in both Greek and Latin, and was consequently considered to be the Grand Style of classical poetry...

). Other alleged "imperfections" are subject to scholarly debate.

In antiquity


The works of Virgil almost from the moment of their publication revolutionized Latin poetry. The Eclogues, Georgics, and above all the Aeneid became standard texts in school curricula with which all educated Romans were familiar. Poets, following Virgil often refer intertextually to his works to generate meaning in their own poetry. The Augustan poet Ovid
Ovid
Publius Ovidius Naso , known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet who is best known as the author of the three major collections of erotic poetry: Heroides, Amores, and Ars Amatoria...

 parodies the opening lines of the Aeneid in Am. 1.1.1-2, and his summary of the Aeneas story in Book 14 of the Metamorphoses, the so-called "mini-Aeneid", has been viewed as a particularly important example of post-Virgilian response to the epic genre. Lucan
Lucan
Lucan is the common English name of the Roman poet Marcus Annaeus Lucanus.Lucan may also refer to:-People:*Arthur Lucan , English actor*Sir Lucan the Butler, Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian legend...

's epic, the Bellum Civile
Bellum civile
Bellum civile, or civil war in Latin, may refer to:* Another title for Pharsalia by the Roman poet Lucan* The Commentarii de Bello Civili , telling events of the Civil War until immediately after Pompey's death in Egypt by G. Julius Cæsar...

 has been considered an anti-Virgilian epic, disposing with the divine mechanism, treating historical events, and diverging drastically from Virgilian epic practice. The Flavian poet Statius
Statius
Publius Papinius Statius was a Roman poet of the 1st century CE . Besides his poetry in Latin, which include an epic poem, the Thebaid, a collection of occasional poetry, the Silvae, and the unfinished epic, the Achilleid, he is best known for his appearance as a major character in the Purgatory...

 in his 12 book epic Thebaid engages closely with the poetry of Virgil; in his epilogue he advises his poem not to "rival the divine Aeneid, but follow afar and ever venerate its footsteps." In Silius Italicus
Silius Italicus
Silius Italicus, in full Tiberius Catius Asconius Silius Italicus , was a Roman consul, orator, and Latin epic poet of the 1st century CE,...

, Virgil finds one of his most ardent admirers. With almost every line of his epic Punica
Punica
Punica is a small genus of fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small trees. Its best known species is the pomegranate . The only other species in the genus, the Socotra pomegranate , is endemic on the island of Socotra...

 Silius references Virgil. Indeed, Silius is known to have bought Virgil's tomb and worshipped the poet. Partially as a result of his so-called "Messianic" Fourth Eclogue—widely interpreted later to have predicted the birth of Jesus Christ -- Virgil was in later antiquity imputed to have the magical abilities of a seer; the sortes Virgilianae, the process of using Virgil's poetry as a tool of divination, is found in the time of Hadrian
Hadrian
Hadrian , was Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist and was philhellene in...

, and continued into the Middle Ages. In a similar vein Macrobius in the Saturnalia
Saturnalia
Saturnalia is an Ancient Roman festival/ celebration held in honour of Saturn , the youngest of the Titans, father of the major gods of the Greeks and Romans, and son of Uranus and Gaia...

 credits the work of Virgil as the embodiment of human knowledge and experience, mirroring the Greek conception of Homer. Virgil also found commentators in antiquity. Servius, a commentator of the 4th century AD based his work on the commentary of Donatus
Donatus
-People:* Aelius Donatus, a Roman grammarian and teacher of rhetoric* Donatus , a Khan of the Eastern Black Sea Huns & beyond c. 412 AD; preceded by Uldin and succeeded by Charaton-Churchmen:...

. Servius' commentary provides us with a great deal of information about Virgil's life, sources, and references, however many modern scholars find the variable quality of his work and the often simplistic interpretations frustrating.

Late antiquity and Middle Ages


Even as the Western Roman empire collapsed, literate men acknowledged that Virgil was a master poet. Gregory of Tours
Gregory of Tours
Saint Gregory of Tours was a Gallo-Roman historian and Bishop of Tours, which made him a leading prelate of Gaul. He was born Georgius Florentius, later adding the name Gregorius in honour of his maternal great-grandfather...

 read Virgil, whom he quotes in several places, along with some other Latin poets, though he cautions that "we ought not to relate their lying fables, lest we fall under sentence of eternal death."

The Aeneid remained the central Latin literary text of the Middle Ages and retained its status as the grand epic of the Latin peoples, and of those who considered themselves to be of Roman provenance, such as the English. It also held religious importance as it describes the founding of a "Holy City".

Virgil's fourth Eclogue was often seen as a prophecy of the coming of Jesus Christ. It has been argued that this originated in a need on the part of medieval scholars to reconcile Virgil's non-Christian background with the high regard in which they held his works, who were thus forced to make him a prophet of sorts. This view is defended by a few scholars today, notably Richard Thomas (see below, under links). Cicero and other classical writers too were declared Christian due to similarities in moral thinking to Christianity.

Dante
Dante Alighieri
Durante degli Alighieri, mononymously referred to as Dante , was an Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker. He is best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, later named La divina commedia ...

 made Virgil his guide in Hell
Hell
In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

 and the greater part of Purgatory
Purgatory
Purgatory is the condition or process of purification or temporary punishment in which, it is believed, the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for Heaven...

 in The Divine Comedy. Dante also mentions Virgil in De vulgari eloquentia
De vulgari eloquentia
De vulgari eloquentia is the title of an essay by Dante Alighieri, written in Latin and initially meant to consist of four books, but abandoned in the middle of the second. It was probably composed shortly after Dante went into exile; internal evidence points to a date between 1302 and 1305...

, along with Ovid
Ovid
Publius Ovidius Naso , known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet who is best known as the author of the three major collections of erotic poetry: Heroides, Amores, and Ars Amatoria...

, Lucan
Marcus Annaeus Lucanus
Marcus Annaeus Lucanus , better known in English as Lucan, was a Roman poet, born in Corduba , in the Hispania Baetica. Despite his short life, he is regarded as one of the outstanding figures of the Imperial Latin period...

 and Statius
Statius
Publius Papinius Statius was a Roman poet of the 1st century CE . Besides his poetry in Latin, which include an epic poem, the Thebaid, a collection of occasional poetry, the Silvae, and the unfinished epic, the Achilleid, he is best known for his appearance as a major character in the Purgatory...

, as one of the four regulati poetae (ii, vi, 7).

The best-known surviving manuscripts of Virgil's works include the Vergilius Augusteus
Vergilius Augusteus
The Vergilius Augusteus is a manuscript from late antiquity, containing the works of the Roman author Virgil, written probably around the 4th century. There are two other collections of Virgil manuscripts, the Vergilius Vaticanus and the Vergilius Romanus...

, the Vergilius Vaticanus
Vergilius Vaticanus
The Vergilius Vaticanus is a manuscript containing fragments of Virgil's Aeneid and Georgics made in Rome in about 400. It is one of the oldest surviving sources for the text of the Aeneid and is the oldest and one of only three illustrated manuscript of classical literature...

 and the Vergilius Romanus
Vergilius Romanus
The Vergilius Romanus , also known as the Roman Vergil, is a 5th century illuminated manuscript of the works of Virgil. It contains the Aeneid, the Georgics, and some of the Eclogues. It is one of the oldest and most important Vergilian manuscripts. It is 332 by 323 mm with 309 vellum folios...

.

Mysticism and hidden meanings


In the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, Virgil was considered a herald of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 for his Eclogue 4 verses concerning the birth of a boy, which were read as a prophecy of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

' nativity.

Also during the Middle Ages, as Virgil was developed into a kind of magus, manuscripts of the Aeneid were used for divinatory
Divination
Divination is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic standardized process or ritual...

 bibliomancy
Bibliomancy
Bibliomancy is the use of books in divination. The method of employing sacred books for 'magical medicine', for removing negative entities, or for divination is widespread in many religions of the world:-Terminology:...

, the Sortes Virgilianae
Sortes virgilianae
The Sortes Virgilianae or Sortes Vergilianae is a form of divination by bibliomancy in which advice or predictions of the future are sought by randomly selecting a passage from Virgil's Aeneid. It was most widely practiced in the later Roman Empire and in medieval times...

 (Virgilian lottery), in which a line would be selected at random and interpreted in the context of a current situation (Compare the ancient Chinese I Ching
I Ching
The I Ching or "Yì Jīng" , also known as the Classic of Changes, Book of Changes and Zhouyi, is one of the oldest of the Chinese classic texts...

). The Old Testament was sometimes used for similar arcane purposes.

Virgil's tomb


The structure known as "Virgil's tomb
Virgil's tomb
Virgil's tomb is a Roman burial vault dating back to the Augustan age, located in Naples, southern Italy. It is found at the entrance to the old Roman tunnel known as the grotta vecchia or cripta napoletana in the Parco Virgiliano in the Piedigrotta district of the city.Virgil's tomb is located on...

" is found at the entrance of an ancient Roman tunnel
Tunnel
A tunnel is an underground passageway, completely enclosed except for openings for egress, commonly at each end.A tunnel may be for foot or vehicular road traffic, for rail traffic, or for a canal. Some tunnels are aqueducts to supply water for consumption or for hydroelectric stations or are sewers...

 (also known as "grotta vecchia") in the Parco di Virgilio in Piedigrotta
Piedigrotta
Piedigrotta Literally, "at the foot of the grotto". A section of the Mergellina quarter of Naples, Italy, so-called for the presence of the Church of the Madonna of Piedigrotta near the entrance to an ancient Roman tunnel...

, a district two miles from old Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

, near the Mergellina
Mergellina
.Mergellina is a section of the city of Naples in the Campania region of Italy. It is at the west end of the seaside road, via Caracciolo, one mile away from the main port of Naples.-Overview:...

 harbor, on the road heading north along the coast to Pozzuoli
Pozzuoli
Pozzuoli is a city and comune of the province of Naples, in the Italian region of Campania. It is the main city of the Phlegrean peninsula.-History:Pozzuoli began as the Greek colony of Dicaearchia...

. (The site called Parco Virgiliano is some distance further west along the coast.) While Virgil was already the object of literary admiration and veneration before his death, in the following centuries his name became associated with miraculous powers, his tomb the destination of pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

s and veneration. The poet himself was said to have created the cave with the fierce power of his intense gaze.

It is said that the Chiesa della Santa Maria di Piedigrotta was erected by Church authorities to neutralize this adoration and "Christianize
Christianization
The historical phenomenon of Christianization is the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire peoples at once...

" the site. The tomb, however, is a tourist attraction, and still sports a tripod burner originally dedicated to Apollo
Apollo
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in Greek and Roman mythology...

, although the tripod is not original to the site.

Virgil's name in English


In the Late Empire and Middle Ages Vergilius was spelled Virgilius. Two explanations are commonly given for this alteration. One deduces a false etymology associated with the word virgo ("maiden" in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

) due to Virgil's excessive, "maiden"-like (parthenías or παρθενίας in Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

), modesty. Alternatively, some argue that Vergilius was altered to Virgilius by analogy with the Latin virga ("wand") due to the magical or prophetic powers attributed to Virgil in the Middle Ages (this explanation is found in only a handful of manuscripts, however, and was probably not widespread). In Norman
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 schools (following the French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 practice), the habit was to anglicize Latin names by dropping their Latin endings, hence Virgil. In the 19th century, some German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

-trained classicists
Classics
Classics is the branch of the Humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and other culture of the ancient Mediterranean world ; especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity Classics (sometimes encompassing Classical Studies or...

 in the United States suggested modification to Vergil, as it is closer to his original name, and is also the traditional German spelling. Modern usage permits both, though the Oxford guide to style recommends Vergilius to avoid confusion with the 8th-century grammarian Virgilius Maro Grammaticus
Virgilius Maro Grammaticus
Virgilius Maro Grammaticus is one of the most enigmatic of all medieval writers, author of two pseudo-grammatical texts known as the Epitomae and the Epistolae.-Biographical:...

. Some post-Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 writers liked to affect the sobriquet
Sobriquet
A sobriquet is a nickname, sometimes assumed, but often given by another. It is usually a familiar name, distinct from a pseudonym assumed as a disguise, but a nickname which is familiar enough such that it can be used in place of a real name without the need of explanation...

 "The Swan of Mantua".

Further reading


External links


  • Collected Works
    • Works of Virgil at the Perseus Digital Library
      • Latin texts, translations and commentaries
      • Aeneid
        Aeneid
        The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. It is composed of roughly 10,000 lines in dactylic hexameter...

         translated by T. C. Williams, 1910
      • Aeneid translated by John Dryden, 1697
      • Aeneid, Eclogues and Georgics
        Georgics
        The Georgics is a poem in four books, likely published in 29 BC. It is the second major work by the Latin poet Virgil, following his Eclogues and preceding the Aeneid. It is a poem that draws on many prior sources and influenced many later authors from antiquity to the present...

         translated by J. C. Greenough, 1900
    • Works of Virgil at Theoi Project
      • Aeneid, Eclogues and Georgics translated by H. R. Fairclough, 1916
    • Works of Virgil at Sacred Texts
      • Aeneid translated by John Dryden, 1697
      • Eclogues and Georgics translated by J.W. MacKail, 1934
    • P. Vergilius Maro at The Latin Library
      The Latin Library
      The Latin Library is a website that collects public domain Latin texts. The texts have been drawn from different sources. Many were originally scanned and formatted from texts in the Public Domain. Others have been downloaded from various sites on the Internet . Most of the recent texts have been...

      • Latin texts

}
      • Latin texts
      • Aeneid translated by E. Fairfax Taylor, 1907
      • Aeneid, Georgics and Eclogues translated by (unnamed)
      • Moretum ("The Salad") Scanned from Joseph J. Mooney (tr.), The Minor Poems of Vergil: Comprising the Culex, Dirae, Lydia, Moretum, Copa, Priapeia, and Catalepton (Birmingham: Cornish Brothers, 1916).
    • Virgil's works: text, concordances and frequency list.

}



The article above was originally sourced from Nupedia and is open content
Open content
Open content or OpenContent is a neologism coined by David Wiley in 1998 which describes a creative work that others can copy or modify. The term evokes open source, which is a related concept in software....

.