Publius Vergilius Maro

(70 BC - 19 BC / Rome)

Biography of Publius Vergilius Maro

Publius Vergilius Maro poet

Vergil

or Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) 70 B.C.–19 B.C., Roman poet, born. Andes district near Mantua, in Cisalpine Gaul Vergil turned to rural poetry of a contrasting kind, realistic and didactic. In his Georgics , completed in 30 B.C., he seeks, as had the Greek Hesiod before him, to interpret the charm of real life and work on the farm. His perfect poetic expression gives him the first place among pastoral poets. For the rest of his life Vergil worked on the Aeneid , a national epic honoring Rome and foretelling prosperity to come. The adventures of Aeneas are unquestionably one of the greatest long poems in world literature.

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Georgic 1

What makes the cornfield smile; beneath what star
Maecenas, it is meet to turn the sod
Or marry elm with vine; how tend the steer;
What pains for cattle-keeping, or what proof
Of patient trial serves for thrifty bees;-
Such are my themes.
O universal lights
Most glorious! ye that lead the gliding year
Along the sky, Liber and Ceres mild,

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