Departmental Papers (Classical Studies)

Document Type


Date of this Version


Publication Source

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.

Copyright/Permission Statement

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

Included in

Classics Commons



Date Posted: 23 December 2016