“Our Vergil” (noster Vergilius), as Seneca claims him with more than a touch of nationalistic pride, was universally acclaimed in the Roman world as the greatest of their poets and a worthy rival of the Greek epic poet, Homer. Virgil's influence on the literature of medieval, renaissance and modern Europe has likewise been incalculable. Virgil's reputation rests on three works: the Eclogues a highly crafted collection of pastoral poems modelled on the Idyls of the Sicilian Greek poet Theocritus; the Georgics (“On husbandry”), a practical handbook on farming matters that is nevertheless deeply informed by larger and more philosophical concerns in the didactic tradition of the early Greek poet Hesiod (
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