Virgil lived through the fall of the Roman Republic and the establishment of the Empire. In his poems we see a series of attempts, increasingly ambitious in scale and conception, to combine technical brilliance and beauty with profound meditation on the nature of imperialism and the relation of the individual to the State. From short pastoral poems on love and song he progressed to the heroic myth of the founding of Rome. "The Aeneid", immediately recognised as the greatest masterpiece of Latin literature, has had incalculable influence on European literature in the two thousand years since it was first published.
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Theocritus , a Greek from Syracuse who spent much of his life in the Eastern Mediterranean , in the great city of Alexandria and on the Aegean island of Cos , was writing poetry about 280-260 BC . He was a literary man , whose varied ...
But Theocritus makes his rustics sing in a style very different from that of anything which might have been heard on the lips of real Sicilian herdsmen . The poems are in hexameters , the stately measure and long line ( thirteen to ...
The First Eclogue combines the idyllic with elements alien to Theocritus , giving the whole a more complex and problematic atmosphere . Virgil follows it in the Second with something rather simpler : an unhappy lover sits and bewails ...
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Rome and Arcadia
the Muse in hobnails
The Aeneid and the myth of Rome
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