Date of this Version
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome
Roman poet. The biographical tradition for Virgil is extensive, including a few fantastic elements and stories probably invented to explain specific aspects of the poet's work. But there is no reason to doubt the attested dates of the poet's birth (15 October 70 bce) or death (21 September 19 bce). He was born near Mantua in a village called Andes. His father must have had money if he had his son educated at Cremona and then at Milan, as is attested. It is possible that the family, like many Transpadani (those who lived north of the River Po), had recently acquired equestrian rank from Julius Caesar; Caesarian politics is a theme throughout Virgil's oeuvre.
This material was originally published in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome edited by Michael Gagarin, and has been reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press. For permission to reuse this material, please visit http://global.oup.com/academic/rights.
“Virgil.” In Michael Gagarin, Elaine Fantham, et. al (Eds), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2010).
Date Posted: 23 December 2016