Virgil: The Eclogues (3171 words)

Brian Breed (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
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Virgil’s Eclogues are a collection of ten short poems that represent the beginning of the European tradition of pastoral poetry. Pastoral poetry is, first of all, poetry about herdsmen (pastores in Latin), and the Eclogues feature a cast of characters made up largely of herdsmen, along with other occupants of rural Mediterranean landscapes. The work which in English is most commonly known as the Eclogues was called by Virgil Bucolica, “the bucolic poems”. The term “eclogue” derives from the Greek ek-loge, meaning “selection”, and was conceived in antiquity to describe one poem in a collection of poems. The ten poems that …

Citation: Breed, Brian. "The Eclogues". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 June 2006 [, accessed 02 December 2021.]

994 The Eclogues 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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