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RAPE OF HELEN, from a Bas-relief
260 262 264 266 268 269 271 272
275 277 278 281 284 284 284
285 287 289 290 292 292 293 293 294 294 295 295
ÆNEIDOS-LIBER IX. SHIPS CHANGING INTO VIRGINS. Vatican Manuscript .
299 CRESCENT OF TROOPS. Sargent
300 GREEK WARRIOR AND STATUE OF MINERVA. Museum Florentinum Roman SOLDIERS. Montfaucon
304 GREEK WARRIOR SETTING OUT FOR THE WARS. Panof. Bild. Ant. Leben. 307 ROMAN AUGUR, on a Denarius
308 Dacian HORSEMAN, from the Column of Trajan
309 GREEK WARRIOR. Hope's Costumes of the Ancients ANCIENT Crowns, from Ancient Monuments
THE TESTUDO. Sargent .
PAGE 313 315 316 318 319 320 322
325 328 329 331 333
336 338 340 341 345 348
RAISING A TROPHY. Sargent
351 FUNERAL CEREMONIES. Panof. Bild. Antik. Leben.
352 FUNERAL PROCESSION. Bartoli Admiranda
353 FUNERAL PILE. Bardon
356 AMBASSADORS. On a Medal of Augustus
360 VULCAN MAKING THE SHIELD OF ACHILLES. Müll. Denk. der Alt. Kunst. 362 Roman Military LABOURERS. Montfaucon
363 Theseus, HIPPOLYTE, AND DEINOMACHE. Hope's Costumes of the Ancients 368 JUPITER, with Statue of Victory. Hope's Costumes of the Ancients
370 ROMAN MILITARY LABOURERS. Montfaucon
ROMAN TRIUMPH. Real Museo Borbonico
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REV. HENRY THOMPSON, M.A. FORMERLY SCHOLAR OF ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE, VICAR OF CHARD, SOMERSET.
PUBLIUS VIRGILIUS' MARO was born at Andes, near Mantua, on the 15th October, u.c. 684. His father, Virgilius Maro, was an opulent farmer; who, being an intelligent person, gave his son a liberal Greek and Latin education at Cremona and Milan, which was completed under the poet Parthenius, and the Epicurean Syron. From his father, Virgil inherited the family estate at Mantua. But before the Triumvirate undertook their expedition against Brutus and Cassias, they had agreed at Mutina, in order to retain their soldiers in allegiance, to give them, in the event of success, eighteen principal towns of Italy, which had adhered to the opposite faction ; and among these were Venusium and Cre
Thus, in the distribution which followed the consummation of the war, the neighbourhood of Mantua to the devoted Cremona ensured it a fate scarcely less deplorable from the lawless soldiery. The patrimony of Virgil was consequently confiscated. By whose intercession he regained it authors are not agreed. Asinius Pollio and Mæcenas, the celebrated patron of literature, have the best authorities in their favour. Pollio, having charge of that district, probably recommended his case to Mæcenas, who was little likely to have been otherwise acquainted with the son of obscure rustics, as all Virgil's biographers represent his parents to have been. On this event his Ist Eclogue was, most certainly, composed. The character of Tityrus in this poem may not have been intended for Virgil himself, although some of the ancients so understood it, and the poet elsewhere appropriates the name;' it is, however, a lively picture of the surprise and gratitude of an outcast, who finds himself suddenly restored to his domestic comforts, and contrasts strikingly with the desperate melancholy of the houseless wanderer Melibæus, taking his last survey of the desolated hearth, with which all his dearest affections were associated. The removal of Pollio was attended with disastrous consequences to Virgil. His estate was again seized by the rapacious military, and himself compelled to seek his safety by flight to Rome. The story of his second expulsion is treated in the IXth Eclogue. He succeeded in again recovering his patrimony, apparently through the interest of one Varus, of whom he speaks in the highest strain of commendation in the VIth and IXth Eclogues ; who this Varus was cannot now be determined.” Perhaps he was Quinctilius Varus, whose death Horace deplores in the XXIVth Ode of the Ist Book, and of whom he there speaks as the especial friend of Virgil. Donatus and Servius make him Alfenus Varus, who was, according to the latter grammarian, appointed to sacceed Pollio in the government of the country in which Mantua was situate. This opinion is rejected by Heyne, from chronological considerations. Yet it is not necessary to suppose the Varus of the grammarians the same with the eminent jurist; and no person was so likely to have been instrumental in reinstating the poet in his possessions, as he who had them in absolute control.
i Vergilius in the oldest Medicean MSS., and in the Vatican MS.
That Virgil was early acquainted with Augustus, Mæcenas, and many of the most eminent literary persons of his time, and that this acquaintance was not long in ripening into intimacy, is certain ; though of the origin of this intercourse we have no accounts but such as are palpably fabulous. The misfortunes of his youth were probably, as is sometimes the case, the foundation of his subsequent elevation. These brought him into communication with men who would soon appreciate bis elegant and cultivated mind. At an early period of his acquaintance with Mæcenas he accompanied that statesman, together with Horace, Varius, and Plotius, on the celebrated expedition to Brundusium, whither the minister was sent by Augustus to treat with Antony. From the same munificent patron he acquired an ample fortune, and had residences in Rome, Campania, and (according to Donatus) in Sicily. The authority of this writer, which, however, is not always to be implicitly relied on, pronounces the poet to have been kind and generous to his parents ; and the general character of Virgil here confirms the statement of his biographer.
Virgil was studious of the opportunities which his own good fortune had give in him of enriching his country's literature. His local situation, added to his me de of living, had engendered in him a strong perception of the pleasures of r
1 Ecl. vi. 4.
2 Conf. Heyne, Excurs. ii. ad Bucolica.
life. The beauties of Theocritus, therefore, were deeply felt by him; the Ist and IXth Eclogues, in which he attempted to convey their spirit in his native tongue, have been already noticed. Martyn, however, conjectures that the Alexis and Palomon were the earliest in point of composition, from the following passage in the Daphnis :
Hâc nos te fragili donabimus antè cicutâ :
“Formosum Corydon ardebat Alexin :"
He then makes the Daphnis the third in order. His argument is : “ As the poet does not give the least hint here of his having composed any other, it seems probable that these were the three first Eclogues which our author composed." The subject is scarcely of sufficient importance to demand a formal refutation of Martyn's argument, which is certainly defective: suffice it to state that about this time the Bucolics were completed. It will be preferable to take a sketch of the Bucolic Muse, as she appeared attired in the Latian garb by the hand of Virgil.
No department of Greek poetry promised less to the Latin imitator than the pastoral. The poems of Theocritus, Bion, and Moschus, are distinguished by a simplicity equally remote from epic majesty and sordid rusticity. Every charm of the country has been rifled to adorn them, and almost every deformity carefully concealed. If the Romans were unfortunate in possessing no Attic dialect for dramatic expression, the want of a Doric was a still greater obstacle to success in the pastoral. This dialect at once removed the reader from the town, while it afforded the Muse every facility of utterance. The lordly language of
i On the order of the Eclogues, see Bähr. Gesch, d. Röm. Lit. $ 187, and the references