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Please enter the message. Please verify that you are not a robot. Would you also like to submit a review for this item? You already recently rated this item. Your rating has been recorded. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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 , 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 from Greek, "On Working the Earth" which he dedicated to Maecenas. The apparent 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 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.
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Book 4 concludes with a long mythological narrative, in the form of an epyllion which describes vividly the discovery of beekeeping by Aristaeus and the story of Orpheus ' journey to the underworld. Ancient scholars 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. 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 in 31 BC.
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 BC , commissioned, according to Propertius , by Augustus. The epic poem consists of 12 books in hexameter verse which describe the journey of Aeneas , 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 Aeneid' s 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 the preeminent classical epicist is everywhere present, but Virgil also makes especial use of the Latin poet Ennius and the Hellenistic poet Apollonius of Rhodes 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 as a model while the last six were connected to the Iliad.
Book 1  at the head of the Odyssean section opens with a storm which Juno , Aeneas' enemy throughout the poem, stirs up against the fleet. The storm drives the hero to the coast of Carthage , which historically was Rome's deadliest foe.
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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 , cursing Aeneas and calling down revenge in a symbolic anticipation of the fierce wars between Carthage and Rome.
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In Book 5, Aeneas' father Anchises dies and funeral games are celebrated for him. On reaching Cumae , in Italy in Book 6, Aeneas consults the Cumaean Sibyl , who conducts him through the Underworld 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 , daughter of King Latinus. Lavinia had already been promised to Turnus , the king of the Rutulians, who is roused to war by the Fury Allecto and Amata Lavinia's mother.
In Book 8, Aeneas allies with King Evander , 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 and Euryalus on the Rutulians, 10, the death of Evander's young son Pallas , and 11 the death of the Volscian warrior princess Camilla 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.
Critics of the Aeneid focus on a variety of issues see Fowler for an excellent bibliography and summary. 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 , or drive towards a climax, has been detected in the poem. 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 to faint. Unfortunately, the poem was unfinished at Virgil's death in 19 BC.
After meeting Augustus in Athens and deciding to return home, Virgil caught a fever while visiting a town near Megara. Augustus ordered Virgil's literary executors, Lucius Varius Rufus and Plotius Tucca , to disregard Virgil's own wish that the poem be burned, instead ordering it published with as few editorial changes as possible.
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