Virgil Biography & Facts
Publius Vergilius Maro (Classical Latin: [ˈpuːbliʊs wɛrˈɡɪliʊs ˈmaroː]; traditional dates 15 October 70 – 21 September 19 BC), usually called Virgil or Vergil ( VUR-jil) in English, was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He composed three of the most famous poems in Latin literature: the Eclogues (or Bucolics), the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid. A number of minor poems, collected in the Appendix Vergiliana, were attributed to him in ancient times, but modern scholars consider his authorship of these poems as dubious.Virgil's work has had wide and deep influence on Western literature, most notably Dante's Divine Comedy, in which Virgil appears as the author's guide through Hell and Purgatory.Virgil has been traditionally ranked as one of Rome's greatest poets. His Aeneid is also considered a national epic of ancient Rome, a title held since composition.
Life and works
Birth and biographical tradition
Virgil's biographical tradition is thought to depend on a lost biography by the Roman poet Varius. This biography was incorporated into an account by the historian Suetonius, as well as the later commentaries of Servius and Donatus (the two great commentators on Virgil's poetry). Although the commentaries record much factual information about Virgil, some of their evidence can be shown to rely on allegorizing and on inferences drawn from his poetry. For this reason, details regarding Virgil's life story are considered somewhat problematic.: 1602 According to these accounts, Publius Vergilius Maro was born in the village of Andes, near Mantua in Cisalpine Gaul (northern Italy, added to Italy proper during his lifetime). Analysis of his name has led some to believe that he descended from earlier Roman colonists. Modern speculation, however, ultimately is not supported by narrative evidence from either his own writings or his later biographers. Macrobius says that Virgil's father was of a humble background, though scholars generally believe that Virgil was from an equestrian landowning family who could afford to give him an education. He attended schools in Cremona, Mediolanum, Rome, and Naples. After briefly considering a career in rhetoric and law, the young Virgil turned his talents to poetry.According to Robert Seymour Conway, the only ancient source which reports the actual distance between Andes and Mantua is a surviving fragment from the works of Marcus Valerius Probus. Probus flourished during the reign of Nero (AD 54–68). Probus reports that Andes was located 30 Roman miles from Mantua. Conway translated this to a distance of about 45 kilometres or 28 miles.Relatively little is known about the family of Virgil. His father reportedly belonged to gens Vergilia, and his mother belonged to gens Magia. According to Conway, gens Vergilia is poorly attested in inscriptions from the entire Northern Italy, where Mantua is located. Among thousands of surviving ancient inscriptions from this region, there are only 8 or 9 mentions of individuals called "Vergilius" (masculine) or "Vergilia" (feminine). Out of these mentions, three appear in inscriptions from Verona, and one in an inscription from Calvisano.Conway theorized that the inscription from Calvisano had to do with a kinswoman of Virgil. Calvisano is located 30 Roman miles from Mantua, and would fit with Probus's description of Andes. The inscription, in this case, is a votive offering to the Matronae (a group of deities) by a woman called Vergilia, asking the goddesses to deliver from danger another woman, called Munatia. Conway notes that the offering belongs to a common type for this era, where women made requests for deities to preserve the lives of female loved ones who were pregnant and were about to give birth. In most cases, the woman making the request was the mother of a woman who was pregnant or otherwise in danger. Though there is another inscription from Calvisano, where a woman asks the deities to preserve the life of her sister. Munatia, the woman whom Vergilia wished to protect, was likely a close relative of Vergilia, possibly her daughter. The name "Munatia" indicates that this woman was a member of gens Munatia, and makes it likely that Vergilia married into this family.Other studies claim that today's consideration for ancient Andes should be sought in the area (Casalpoglio) of Castel Goffredo.
According to the commentators, Virgil received his first education when he was five years old and later went to Cremona, Milan, and finally Rome to study rhetoric, medicine, and astronomy, which he would abandon for philosophy. From Virgil's admiring references to the neoteric writers Pollio and Cinna, it has been inferred that he was, for a time, associated with Catullus's neoteric circle. According to Servius, schoolmates considered Virgil extremely shy and reserved, and he was nicknamed "Parthenias" ("virgin") because of his social aloofness. Virgil also seems to have suffered bad health throughout his life and in some ways lived the life of an invalid. According to the Catalepton, he began to write poetry while in the Epicurean school of Siro in Naples. A group of small works attributed to the youthful Virgil by the commentators survive collected under the title Appendix Vergiliana, but are largely considered spurious by scholars. One, the Catalepton, consists of fourteen short poems,: 1602 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 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.: 1602 The Eclogues (from the Greek for "selections") are a group of ten poems roughly modeled on the bucolic (that is, "pastoral" or "rural") poetry of the Hellenistic poet Theocritus, which were written in dactylic hexameter. After defeating the army led by the assassins of Julius Caesar in the Battle of Philippi (42 BC), Octavian tried to pay off his veterans with land expropriated from towns in northern Italy, which—according to tradition—included an estate near Mantua belonging to Virgil. The loss of Virgil's family farm and the attempt through poetic petitions to regain his property have traditionally been seen as his 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. While some readers have identified 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.... Discover the Virgil popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Virgil books.