Roman Mythology

Aeneus and Virgil’s Aeneid

Who was Virgil?

Publius Vergilius Maro (70 B.C.E.–19 B.C.E.) was born near Mantua in the Roman province of Gaul. After being educated in various places, including Rome, he decided on poetry as a career and became associated with the circle of the Emperor Augustus. Famous for defeating Marc Antony and thereby ending a long civil war, Augustus was also known as Octavian. Virgil’s first major work was a series known as the Eclogues. The most famous is the fourth Eclogue, called the “Messianic Eclogue” by later Christian commentators because it seemed to them to predict the birth of Jesus. In fact, Christians in the Middle Ages would consider Virgil a prophet of sorts because of this eclogue. Virgil’s next important work was the Georgics, a series of poems on farming and husbandry that was clearly influenced by Hesiod’s Works and Days and which retells the myth of Orpheus in the Underworld.

But Virgil’s poetic reputation rests firmly on his greatest work, the Aeneid, which the poet was still editing at the time of his death of fever in Brundisium.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Mythology Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App