Fun Facts Friday: Virgil

October 15, 2021

Virgil (15 October, 70 – 21 September, 19 BC) was a Roman poet from the Augustan period. He is known for his wide influence on western literature works such as Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Fun Facts Friday: VirgilBooks by, or about, Virgil*

Fun Facts about Virgil:

  1. Not much is known about Publius Vergilius Maro, more commonly known as Virgil. Much of his biographical information is lost, or based on tradition.
  2. Virgil is almost always ranked as one of Rome’s greatest poets.
  3. His poem Aeneid has been considered in ancient Rome a national epic since it was composed. Aeneid follows a Trojan refugee’s trials as he attempts to reach Italy, where his destiny lies.
  4. In Dante’s Divine Comedy, Virgil appears as Dante’s guide through Hell and Purgatory.
  5. Even though Virgil is said to be of a humble background, historians believe he was from a landowning family that had enough funds to educate him.
  6. It seems that Virgil had bad breath his whole life.
  7. During, and after, the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, Virgil was acknowledged as a master poet.
  8. Christians from the third century (at least), and alter interpreted Eclogues 4, describing the birth of a boy ushering a golden age, as predicting the birth of Jesus. In fact, at some point Virgil was held in the same regard as the biblical Hebrew prophets who foresaw Christianity.
  9. Legends of Virgil’s magical powers, attributed to him by those who saw his work having magical properties, took a life of their own, separate from his writings. In fact, the medieval Wales version of his name, Fferyllt/Pheryllt, became a generic term for magicians and is the modern Welsh word for a pharmacist – fferyllydd.
  10. Traditionally, it is believed that Virgil died after catching a disease and crossing Italy by ship. Emperor Augustus prevented his poems from being burned, as was his wish.

Books by, or about, Virgil*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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Fun Facts Friday: Virgil
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Fun Facts Friday: Virgil
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Virgil (15 October, 70 – 21 September, 19 BC) was a Roman poet from the Augustan period. He is known for his wide influence on western literature works such as Dante’s Divine Comedy.
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Man of la Book - A Bookish Blog
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