In 29 B.C.E. the Roman poet Vergil published a long poem in four books entitled Georgica, or “arm Work”. As a didactic poem ostensibly designed to provide instruction in agriculture, the Georgics may have seemed to its first readers an item of limited interest, especially when compared to Vergil’s previous work, the pastoral Bucolics, with its hapless shepherds in love. Yet within a year Vergil gave a reading of the poem – over the course of four evenings, one for each of its books – which included in its audience Octavian, the future first emperor of Rome. The work won over many other of Vergil’s contemporaries and remained popular after his death, as numerous …

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Thibodeau, Philip. "The Georgics". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 February 2013
[, accessed 07 July 2015.]