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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Here are all the pastoral ingredients , the delightful spot in the shade ( this is a Mediterranean country ) , the music , love . a But another note is also sounded . Why is Meliboeus , the first speaker , being driven into exile ?
( The First Pastoral , 69-76 ) Virgil was not content to stay on this level , however . In the Fourth Eclogue he begins by calling on his Sicilian Muses for ' a slightly grander song ' , to greet the consulship of his patron Pollio .
Greeks and Romans constantly speak of poetry in terms which for us belong only to music : poets ' sing ' ; the pastoral poet plays on the Pan - pipes ; the rhythms of verse are intimately connected with dancing .
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Rome and Arcadia
the Muse in hobnails
The Aeneid and the myth of Rome
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