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Virgilii Vita: Life and Times Publius Vergilius Maro 79 70 69 65 63 60 60-53 58-49 55 55-48 53 49 48 45 44 43 42 41 40 39> 37-35 35 31 30 30-29 29 28-23 27 26 23 Vergilius is probably of Etruscan origin. birth of Gaius Asinius Pollio birth (October 15th) near Mantua (Cisalpine Gaul) consulship of Pompey and Crassus birth of Gallus birth of Horace consulship of Cicero birth of Octavian/Augustus 1st Triumvirate: Crassus, Pompey & Caesar poetry of Catullus proconsulship of Caesar in Gaul publication of Lucretius' De Rerum Natura birth of Tibullus death of Crassus Rubicon: Beginning of Civil War (Caesar & Pompey) Caesar grants citizenship to Cisalpine Gaul Pompey's defeat at Pharsalus Battle of Munda: end of civil war Dictatorship for life of Julius Caesar Caesar given the title of Divus Julius assassination of Casesar = Ides of March Octavian as heir to Caesar arrives in Rome 3rd Triumvirate: Antony, Lepidus & Octavian proscriptions and death of Cicero (December 7th) birth of Ovid Battle of Philippi confiscations of Cisalpine Gaul pact of Brundisium: Pollio & Maecenas consulship of Pollio Pollio builds the first public library in Rome publication of the collection of Eclogues Satires bk. 1 Horace battle of Actium: defeat of Antony and Cleopatra Satires bk. 2 Horace publication of the 4 Georgics Gallus becomes Prefect of Egypt Epodes Horace publication of Propertius' Monobiblos publication of the elegies of Tibullus Octavian becomes Augustus suicide of Gallus Odes Horace Dante: nacqui sub Julio 20 Epistles bk. 1 Horace 20-17 Epistles bk. 2 Horace Ars Poetica Horace 19 journey to Greece to polish Aeneid 19 returned ill from Megara to Brundisium and died (Sept. 20) 19 Varius and Tuca his literary executors were ordered by Augustus not to burn the Aeneid but publish it. 19 death of Tibullus 18 death of Propertius 18-16 postumous publication of Propertius bk. 4 17 Carmen Saeculare Horace 13-8 Odes bk. 4 Horace 8 death of Horace death of Maecenas After the death of Caesar there was also much prose produced: Sallust, Varro and Nepos. Suetonius (early second century biographer) wrote a De Poetis which included a life of Virgil. This vita survives in an expanded form of Donatus, in an abbreviated form of Servius and Phocas (grammarian 5th century: his life is written in hexameters), and another expanded form of "Donatus auctus". Varius, post_mortem Vergili, wrote on his life (see Quintilian10.3.8 and Aullus Gellius NA 17.10.2). Servius was a late 4th century early 5th century grammarian and commentator. The most important commentator on Virgil in antiquity, he wrote a commentary on Aeneid, Eclogues, and Georgics. Much of his material was based on earlier commentators, especially Aelius Donatus. His commentary existed in two forms, a short version and a long version. Until 1600 only the short version was published when an editor called Daniel published the longer version which today we call Servius Danielis. The added parts of this commentary probably come from Aelius Donatus which was not originally incorporated by Servius. Aelius Donatus was a grammarian and commentator who wrote among others a commentary on Terence and Virgil. Only the life of Virgil and the Preface (with the introduction to the Eclogues) survive. (His most famous pupil was St. Jerome). His father belonged to the Equestrian rank and thus was quite able to afford a higher education for Vergil which occurred at Cremona (near Mantua), Milan and later Rome. He studied for a while with the Epicurean Siro. After expropriation of land for Caesar's veterans and for the soldiers of the triumvirate (41) Vergil and his father settled near Naples (see Catalepton 8). For the autobiography of this story see Ecl. 1. Most likely, Pollio, Varus and Gallus whom Servius states to have been the executors of the land distribution in Cisalpine Gaul were not responsible for the redistribution. Appian, Bellum Civile 5.14, indicates that Octavian was in charge and not friends of Antony. Tall, dark, broad; not married, and wealthy. Scholastic tradition states that Virgil worked on the Eclogues from 42-39. But these dates have been extended in both directions and the complete publication may be as late as 35. It seems his literary patron for the Eclogues, at least the earliest of them, was Asinius Pollio, but soon he was taken over by Maecenas for his circle of poets who wrote on behalf of the future Augustus. The scholastic tradition indicates that Virgil worked for 7 years on the Georgics for which is suggested 37-30. Earliest date is 37 (Portus Iulius) and the latest is the battle of Actium (31). The scholastic tradition states that Virgil worked 11 years on the Aeneid from 29-19. Traditional epitaph: Mantua me genuit, Calabri rapuere, tenet nunc Parthenope; cecini pascua rura duces. Early poetry: Culex, Ciris, Copa, Moretum and Aetna. Generally rejected by modern students of Virgil. Traditional works: Eclogues, Georgics, and Aeneid. Eclogues = aiglog- (?) = goat song. Bucolics = boukolika = songs of cowherds. Theocritus (Alexandrian = mid 3rd century BC. Idylls. Servius informs us that Virgil had before him a collection of 10 bucolic poems by Theocritus, and it is not unreasonable to suppose that this is why Virgil wrote neither more nor less than 10 eclogues. The poems concerned were pretty certainly Idylls 1 and 3-11. It is quite likely that this is the edition alluded to in tthe extant epigram by Artemidorus, an approximate contemporary of Virgil; but the evidence is inconclusive. To the source of Suidas' life of Theocritus, there were the only Theocritean poems of undisputed authenticity. Georgics = Georgika = poem on the working of the earth. 1 = cultivation of crops, 2 = cultivation of fruit trees, 3 = rearing of animals, 4 = bees. Hesiod, Works and Days (. Didactic. Aeneid 12 books (1-6 odyssean and 7-12 iliadic). Homer, Iliad and Odyssey. Dante: "My master and my authority." Vergil, Eclogue 6 Georgics 3.41-51 My Muse first deigned to sport in Sicilian strains, and blushed not to dwell in the woods. When I was fain to sing of kings and battles, the Cynthian plucked my ear and warned me: “A shepherd, Tityrus, should feed sheep that are fat, but sing a lay fine-spun.” And now – bards in plenty will you find eager to sing your praises. Varus, and build the story of grim war – now will I woo the rustic Muse on slender reed. Unbidden strains I sing not; still if any there be to read even these my lays – any whom love of the theme has won – ‘tis of you, Varus, our tamarisks shall sing, of you all our groves. To Phoebus no page is more welcome than that which bears on its front the name of Varus. You, Maecenas, only spur my mind to high ambitions. Up, then and break the bonds of sluggishness! Cithaeron calls me with its mighty clamor, Taygetus’ baying hounds and Epidaurus Tamer of horses, and the roaring forests reverberate to reinforce the cry. Yet soon I will gird myself to celebrate the fiery fights of Caesar, make his name live in the future for as many years as stretch from old Tithonus down to Caesar. Propertius bk. 2 Georgics Gods of our fathers, Heroes of our land, And Romulus, and mother Vesta, guardian Of Tuscan Tiber and Roman Palatine, Do not prevent at least this youthful prince From saving a world in ruins: long ago Our blood has paid enough for the perjury of Troy’s Laomedon. The courts of heaven, Caesar, have long begrudged your presence here, Complaining that you care for mortal triumphs; For right and wrong change places; everywhere So many wars, so many shapes of crime Confront us; no due honor attends the plough, The fields, bereft of tillers, are all unkempt, And in the forge the curving pruning-hook Is made a straight hard sword. Euphrates here, There Germany is in arms, and neighbor cities Break covenants and fight; throughout the world Impious War is raging. As on a racecourse, The barriers down, out pour the chariots, Gathering speed from lap to lap, and a driver tugging in vain at the reins is swept along By his horses and heedless uncontrollable car. I leave to Vergil such fields as Actium’s coast Watched over by the sun and that big fleet Of Caesar’s—Vergil, who lifts up the Trojan Sword again and recasts walls on the Lavinian Coasts. Make way, you Roman writers, and you Greek writers, for the Iliad lies forgotten And a greater work sees the light of day. Horace, Odes 4.15.31-2 ….we will sing of Troy and Anchises and the offspring of mother Venus.