Life and times: the unity of Virgils work

Declan Wiseman
Mind Map by Declan Wiseman, updated more than 1 year ago
Declan Wiseman
Created by Declan Wiseman about 5 years ago


Brief biography of Virgil, times he lived in and why he was so important for Roman literature

Resource summary

Life and times: the unity of Virgils work
  1. Bio
    1. Publius Vergilius Maro
      1. Born small town near Mantua
        1. 15th October 70BC ?
          1. Virgil was 21 when it was granted Roman Citizenship from Caesar
          2. Educated at Cremona and Rome
            1. Became accepted in literary court circle under patronage of Maecenas
              1. Played no part in political or military activities
                1. Died 19BC of fever
                2. The worst time to live in Rome
                  1. Civil war, Caesar vs Pompey 49 to 46BC
                    1. 63BC Catiline fell fighting vs Roman legions
                      1. Riots paralysed processes of gov
                        1. Caesar assassinated Ides of March 44BC
                          1. 2nd civil war
                          2. Proscriptions, murders, exile during first Triumvirate
                            1. 42, 41 proscriptions, 150 senators (1/4 of 600) and 2,000 equites died
                            2. 3rd Civil War
                              1. Octavian vs Antony
                              2. Virgil lives for 51 years, 29 war: 16 civil
                                1. Augustus' victory at the Battle of Actium in 31BC, marks beginning of Pax Romana
                                2. Virgils predecessors
                                  1. Neoteric circle
                                    1. Scurrilous squibs- short rude
                                      1. Exquisite polish on remote mythological subjects- long stylish
                                        1. Cons
                                          1. No political focus
                                            1. No moralists
                                              1. No focus on contemporary life
                                            2. Lucretius
                                              1. On the nature of the universe
                                            3. The need for literature
                                              1. To catch up with Greek culture
                                                1. Augustus encouraged
                                                  1. Virgil would take up the fantastic Roman style, but through it concentrate on contemporary issues
                                                    1. To deal with the awful times he lived in
                                                      1. To not lose the ground already gained by predecessors
                                                    2. Audience reaction
                                                      1. Roman times
                                                        1. Supreme patriotic expression of nation's greatness
                                                        2. Medieval
                                                          1. Appreciate Christian values
                                                          2. Renaissance
                                                            1. Model of form and narrative technique
                                                            2. 19th century critics appreciate pathos and sadness of Virgil's "accents of brooding sorrow"
                                                            3. Works of Virgil
                                                              1. Eclogues/Bucolics
                                                                1. Based on Greek Theocritus
                                                                2. Georgics
                                                                  1. Didactic poem on agriculture
                                                                  2. Aeneid
                                                                    1. Occupied the rest of his life 30-19BC
                                                                      1. Based on two deep desires
                                                                        1. To emulate Homer
                                                                          1. Express achievements and ideals of Rome
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