Publius Vergilius Maro (Virgil), 70 - 19 BC

portrait of Virgil
Virgil reading the Aeneid to Octavian, 19th-century steel engraving

Born: 15 October 70 BCE, Andes, Cisalpine Gaul
Died: 21 September 19 BCE, Brundisium, Italia

Virgil's father could afford an extensive education for the man we know simply as Virgil, young Publius studied at Cremona, then Mediolanum (Milano), Roma (mathematics, medicine, and rhetoric)), and finally at Napoli. Virgil was identified as an "Alexandrian", one of the poets inspired by third-century Greek poets. He became a Roman citizen in 49 BCE, in 42 his family property in Gaul was seized after the Roman victory at Philippi. Most of his writing career was spent on rustic poetry, but after Octavian came to power in 31 BCE and had been elevated to "Augustus" in 27 BCE he pressured Virgil to write the Aeneid, the complete epic of Roman history. At this time the emperor may have restored Virgil's family estates to him, Virgil definitely received a house hear Napoli. In 19 BCE Virgil traveled to Athens but contracted a fever and died shortly after returning to the Italian peninsula. His executor was instructed to destroy the Aeneid but Octavian overruled that. There is a "Virgil's tomb" near Napoli which is a minor pilgrimage site, although there is doubt that he was actually interred there.

Biography from Wikipedia and Authors' Calendar

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