Eclogues and Georgics

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Courier Corporation, Sep 21, 2012 - Poetry - 112 pages
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With the Eclogues, Virgil established his reputation as a major poet, and with the Georgics, he created a masterpiece of Latin poetry. Virgil drew upon the tradition of Greek pastoral poetry, importing it into an Italian setting and providing in these two works the model for subsequent European interpretations of the genre.
The Eclogues unfolds in an idyllic landscape, under less-than-tranquil circumstances. Its shepherds tend their flocks amid not only the inner turmoil of unrequited love but also the external pressures of the civil war that followed Julius Caesar's assassination in 44 B.C. Forced from their homes, the dispossessed shepherds voice a heartfelt longing for peace.
Dryden declared the Georgics "the best poem by the best poet," and through the ages, it has been much admired and imitated. A paean to Italy and the country's natural beauty, it rejoices in the values of rustic piety, the pleasures of family life, and the vitality of the Italian people.
 

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About the author (2012)

Virgil was born on October 15, 70 B.C.E., in Northern Italy in a small village near Mantua. He attended school at Cremona and Mediolanum (Milan), then went to Rome, where he studied mathematics, medicine and rhetoric, and finally completed his studies in Naples. He entered literary circles as an "Alexandrian," the name given to a group of poets who sought inspiration in the sophisticated work of third-century Greek poets, also known as Alexandrians. In 49 BC Virgil became a Roman citizen. After his studies in Rome, Vergil is believed to have lived with his father for about 10 years, engaged in farm work, study, and writing poetry. After the battle of Philippi in 42 B.C.E. Virgil¿s property in Cisalpine Gaul, was confiscated for veterans. In the following years Virgil spent most of his time in Campania and Sicily, but he also had a house in Rome. During the reign of emperor Augustus, Virgil became a member of his court circle and was advanced by a minister, Maecenas, patron of the arts and close friend to the poet Horace. He gave Virgil a house near Naples. Between 42 and 37 B.C.E. Virgil composed pastoral poems known as Bucolic or Eclogues and spent years on the Georgics. The rest of his life, from 30 to 19 B.C., Virgil devoted to The Aeneid, the national epic of Rome, and the glory of the Empire. Although ambitious, Virgil was never really happy about the task. Virgil died in 19 B. C.

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