Haunting and enigmatic, Virgil's Eclogues combined a Greek literary form with scenes from contemporary Roman life to create a work that inspired a whole European tradition of pastoral poetry. For despite their rustic setting and the beauty of their phrasing, the poems in Virgil's first collection are also grounded in reality. Shepherds are overwhelmed by the torments of poetic love - but they must also endure such real-life events as the tragic consequences of Julius Caesar's murder in 44 bc and a civil war. In giving unforgettable expression to the disasters of the day through poetry, the Eclogues paved the way for the Georgics and the Aeneid, the two greatest works of Latin literature, and are also a major masterpiece in their own right.
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Alexis Amaryllis amor Amyntas Apollo Arcadians atque back from town begin Maenalian verses canibus capellae Corydon Damoetas deus diaeresis draw Daphnis home ducite ab urbe ducite Daphnin Eclogue erit etiam Eurotas flock flumina Gaius Asinius Pollio Galatea Gallus Gallus’s goats Greek haec heifer herba hexameter hinc Hylas Idyll ille illis incipe Maenalios mecum inter Iollas ipsa ipse Latin Literally Lycidas Lycoris Maenalus Mantua mea carmina mea tibia Meliboeus Menalcas mihi milk Moeris montibus Mopsus Mount Helicon mountain Muses namque neque nobis note on Eclogue nunc Nymphs Octavian omnia Orpheus pan-pipe pastoral pecori Phoebus Phyllis Pierides pipe poem poet poetry Pollio puer quae quamuis quid quod quoque saepe semper Servius she-goats shepherds siluae siluis sing singing-match song spells tamen tantum Tereus Theocritean Theocritus Thyrsis tibi tibia Tiphys Tityrus translation uenit uersus uiridi ulmo umbra urbe domum Varus Virgil Virgilian