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Vergil the necromancer[edit]

"There are some indications that Vergil was adept in the magic arts, and may have practised necromancy." I think we need to see some of these indications of Vergil's special abilities before we can include this. --StoneColdCrazy

He reappears in Celtic myth as the hero-magician Feargal, rescuer of Fiona from her enchantment by the druid Amerach.
Nuttyskin 21:37, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
He was regarded in the Middle Ages as a sorceror; Avram Davidson wrote three historical fantasy novels based on the medieval legends about Vergil. Should we mention them (probably in the same section that talks about Dante's use of him in the Divine Comedy)? --Jim Henry 23:45, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Fantasy novels are not quite at the same stature as Dante. They are also not a good source for medieval attitudes towards Vergil; the best sources would be primary sources from the middle ages, or contemporary scholars discussing Vergil's reputation as a sorceror. --Akhilleus (talk) 01:23, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
I saw in a book of folklore (I'll try to get the title tomorrow) that he created a magical bronze snake which was, I think, a test of chastity. Vultur (talk) 23:17, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
More on the medieval legends would be good. Also, fantasy novels are not good source for medieval attitudes, but they are an instance of cultural influence. Goldfritha 00:55, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Nupedia importation[edit]

Why don't you just import the Nupedia article on Virgil to this page?  :-)

I thought I would do this myself, but then I found that Nupedia's page formatting is not very 'Cut and paste friendly'. Can Nupedia have a feature (I think others have requested this) for 'Printer-Friendly Version' which simply prints the article without table-formatting as plain text?

It is already pretty printer-friendly. Anyway, what problems would that solve? Anyone can easily cut and paste it, either from the HTML source or from the web page.

The very idea of cut-and-paste should raise the hair on the neck of any computer nerd. The obvious solution is to put a like to the Nupedia article prominently here (perhaps in the first introductory sentence), and then let Wikipedians add any additional comments they want in more free-form way. --Lee Daniel Crocker

We shouldn't assume that the average Wikipedian is a computer nerd; and why should cut-and-paste raise the hair on their neck anyway? It's a simple and easy way to move the content from there to here. It is open content, so there should be no objection to doing this. Anyway, I've already done it. It took about two minutes to convert unfriendly characters.

Also, Lee, I disagree with your apparent attitude toward the use of Wikipedia. Wikipedia should have content here, on the website, not links pointing elsewhere. Wikipedia is supposed to be an encyclopedia, not a links collection. It's also not a discussion forum first and foremost, but, again, an encyclopedia. An open content encyclopedia, meaning that we can (and should!) make use of public domain and open content stuff. --LS

Very interesting, Larry. For me, in Netscape on Linux, the cut and paste was very unhappy. There were lots of spaces before each line, which would have required me to painstakingly edit each line. Chalk one up for IE, I guess.  :-) Jimbo Wales


Aargh...should we really be using BCE instead of BC? The latter is fair and accurate - the calendar is dated from Christ, whatever religion you are - better known and a full symbol shorter (two if you use periods). Sigh. The other's probably going to end up convention, but I couldn't let that happen without a whine. -- JG

You can do want on Wikipedia... You simply risk someone changing it back.  :-) (I promise I won't, in this case.) In that respect, Wikipedia is not unlike --LS

I'm sure there was some long debate about it (BCE versus BC) when Nupedia adopted it. Nupedia loves a good debate.  :-)

You is not kiddin'. --LS

I believe that at least the Medieval History section explicitly says that they aren't insisting on AD *or* CE.

What's wrong with ab urbe condita?

Firstly, his article is inconsistent with itself, it uses both forms. The form BC/AD is and has been the accepted norm for centuries. Only in the recent past has the voice of secularists attempted to deny the existence of Christ and therefore the designation of the cakendar that bears his name. Happy, Deor?? RtB 10:52, 16 May 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Brich2929 (talkcontribs)

"BC" means "Before Christ." the word "Christ" comes from the greek word for "messiah." Since jews, muslims, buddhists, atheists, etc. don't believe that Jesus was the messiah, using BC is considered biased. It's hard for me to get used to it as well, especially having gone to catholic school, but academics seem to have all made the change.

Regardless of what designator you use, the calendar used by the majority of the world is based on the life of one Jesus Christ, period. Call it what you want, but truth is truth. If you dislike those facts, then all Athesists, non-Christains who are offended should push for a new year-designation TOTALLY independant of semantics AND Jesus. Who's going to start the movement? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:01, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Our calendar is based on the Roman calendar which existed for several hundred years before Jesus was born. Two of the months are named after Roman leaders and at least one of them after a pagan god. I know that it's the calendar that most Christians use but what on earth makes you think it is based on the life of Christ  ? -- Derek Ross | Talk 20:07, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
For further discussion on this topic, here is an excerpt from MSNBC reporting on the Texas School Board'slatest text book adoptions. The excerpt will follow the hyperlink. Texas OKs school textbook changes: "In final edits leading up to the vote, conservatives rejected language to modernize the classification of historic periods to B.C.E. and C.E. from the traditional B.C. and A.D." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Brich2929 (talkcontribs) 23:56, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
So what do a bunch of morons in Texas have to do with this article? WP:ERA is the guideline on Wikipedia, and we don't answer to the Gabler wannabes. Deor (talk) 00:15, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Deor, you aren't following the rules of this discussion page, namely being polite and avoiding personal attacks. Why call the School Board in TX "morons" when you don't know them? They are professionals, and their decisions affect the rest of the country's school texts for the next ten years. In my view, that is very relevant to the issue at hand. As an addition, other notable ancient scholars and philosophers on Wikipedia all use the BC?AD designation, for example, Socrates, Plato, Eusebius, etc. RtB 20:31, 23 May 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Brich2929 (talkcontribs)

And I could cite many WP articles about ancient poets, philosophers, rulers, etc., that use the BCE/CE convention. What would that prove? According to our express style (WP:ERA), no preference is given to either system, and whichever is established in an article gets to stay unless there is some persuasive reason to change it. (By the way, how do you know that I don't know any members of the Texas State Board of Education? See that world-history textbook shown in the video box in the article you linked? I had something to do with its creation.) Deor (talk) 01:39, 24 May 2010 (UTC)


Is there any reason why despite the fact that the whole text of the article refers to Vergil/Virgil as "Vergil" it has been placed in an article named "Virgil" or is it accidental?

Probably something related to "commonality" or some "the ignorant lead the way" sort of thing. Scottandrewhutchins 01:22, 23 June 2006 (UTC)Scottandrewhutchins

Names and surnames shouldn't be translated. Your James Bond is not translated in Giovanni Bondi, so please leave at Virgilio his name. The same for cities.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:53, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

It should be "Vergilius" in that case.--Scottandrewhutchins (talk) 16:50, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

It's Giacomo Bondi... come on! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:39, 4 May 2010 (UTC)


Was Virgil murdered??? I was not aware of this, and the link which is included in support of it seems dubious.

I also question about the murder situation. i'm a roman history buff and have been for sometime now and i've never heard this. Augustus did have Ovid exiled and then he eventually died, but thats different.

How? By poisoning, fortasse? If so, by whom? What motives(s)? Not a likely scenario. And history doesn't mention anything at all -- the one and only source of evidence we do have.

-- PraetorBrutus

Virgil < virga or Virgil < virgo?[edit]

I learned that the spelling "Virgil" came from the word "virga," a stick or magic wand, and not from "virgo," virgin. Anybody know anything semi-authoritative about it?

My Latin teacher said that it was from "virga", because early Christians, like Dante Alighieri, saw what they considered a prescience of monotheism in Vergil's work, hence some sort of mysticism, thus, "wand", and modified the spelling for that reason, back when spelling was much more malleable than it is today. Scottandrewhutchins 01:24, 23 June 2006 (UTC)Scottandrewhutchins

One should note that Dante is temporally closer to us than to the patres ecclesiae, making him by no means an early Christian. M. Cecil Callidus (talk) 04:31, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Move of page from "Virgil" to "Vergil"?[edit]

I'm wondering why this page was moved from "Virgil" to "Vergil", by User:Derek Ross. In my experience, while both are acceptable spellings "Virgil" is the far more common spelling, and if so then the page should be under that spelling. This is born out by doing Google searches, searching Amazon, Britannica, and so on. Paul August 17:33, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Vergil is the original spelling used in the article. It is also closer to the poet's original name. Over the years since the article was created the Vergil spellings have slowly been changed without any particular plan or agreement to Virgil spellings. While the Virgil spelling is, no doubt, more common than the Vergil spelling, neither is uncommon so the page could appear under either spelling really. All that I am doing is returning the page to its original state and regularising the spelling throughout Wikipedia to avoid redirections but I'll stop while we discuss it. -- Derek Ross | Talk 17:52, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
I agree. Wikipedia uses most familiar English name, which in this case is "Virgil". The fact that "Vergil" is closer to the Latin isn't relevant. --Macrakis 17:48, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
In your opinion, but not in mine. -- Derek Ross | Talk 17:52, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
As Macrakis pointed out the relevant policy is in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English), which says: use the most commonly used English version of the name for the article (as you would find it in other encyclopedias). You seem to agree that that would be "Virgil", yes? Are you disagreeing with the policy then? Paul August 18:08, July 28, 2005 (UTC)
Not particularly. Just its over-zealous application where we have two common alternatives, the less common of which has some points in its favour. To tell you the truth, it makes little difference to me whether we choose Vergil or Virgil. My personal preference is Vergil, so since I was doing the work to regularise things, I chose it. However if you feel strongly enough that it is important to use Virgil instead, I will be delighted to stand aside and let you go through Wikipedia making the changes that I have started. In either case we would end up with a single spelling for Vergil and that was my main aim. -- Derek Ross | Talk 18:25, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Of 11 books that I just pulled off my immediate shelves, ten are for "Virgil" and just one (Harvard Classics from 1909) uses "Vergil". Even were this not true, there is no justification for changing the titles of publications in the bibliography. If a book is published with a specific spelling then that is the spelling by which it should be recorded. Please can we reverse the changes, since they introduce material errors, while we discuss a resolution? —Theo (Talk) 18:16, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

I agree with your point with regard to book titles. By all means reverse any that are causing errors. It was not my intention to make that type of change. -- Derek Ross | Talk 18:25, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Paul August asked me to comment, the two books of Latin poetry I coincidentally have in front of me at the moment (from 1948 and 1963) use "Vergil", while my professor's notes from my Palaeography class last year have "Virgil". My old Latin text book (Wheelock) also uses Virgil. I'm not really concerned with what the title is...I imagine "Virgil" would be more recognizable to the average person, even if "Vergil" is more technically correct. Adam Bishop 18:33, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Virgil is clearly more popular in Google (7:1). But that is unfiltered and unedited. US academic Web sites prefer Virgil (4:1); UK academic Web sites prefer Virgil (13:1). But all these Google searches include modern personal names, e.g. Virgil Thomson So let's look at some more authoritative sources. The Harvard University Library catalogue uses Virgil. True, Perseus does prefer Vergil (4:1), perhaps because it is addressed to specialists, not the general public. Both the 1911 and the current Britannica use Virgil. The "author" field in Amazon prefers Virgil (18:1). The "title" field in Amazon prefers Virgil (2:1). The Loeb Classical Library uses Virgil. So as far as I can tell, Virgil is preferred to Vergil except perhaps for specialist audiences; but Wikipedia is not for specialists. --Macrakis 18:34, 28 July 2005 (UTC) PS In Google, "V(e/i)rgil Aeneid" and "Vergil Ovid" give more e's, but i's still predominate. --Macrakis 18:49, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
I also thought to check in my university library catalogues, for Western Ontario and Toronto, and they point Vergil to Virgil (and there are about 600 matches for Virgil). Adam Bishop 19:23, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

I have moved the page back to its original place. Of the 378 references to the poet in Wikipedia, about a third point to the E-spelling, possibly because of Derek's industry. I have bypassed a few of these redirects but I now need to go out into the real world for a few hours. Could somebody else take up the baton? —Theo (Talk) 20:46, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Now that the page has been moved back to Virgil, I hope that those who feel so strongly about it will also fix the double redirects which have now been recreated and change the spelling to Virgil where Vergil has been used in other articles. I was in process of doing that (Virgil to Vergil) when I made the page move one way and it still needs doing (Vergil to Virgil) since both names are spread across many other articles. There may be a third with the E-spelling now but there were probably a quarter with it before I started so you should have an easier job than I undertook.
I'd also like to point out that we are now back to a mixture of BC/BCE and AD/BC dating standards where the article text uses BC/BCE and the article categories use AD/BC. Can we choose just one for consistency's sake ? -- Derek Ross | Talk 20:54, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

I will be glad to help with changing "Vergil" to "Virgil" assuming no one objects. Paul August 21:20, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Hi guys … the real world has released me. The issue of the era notation is a thorny one. Policy says that we should respect the prevailing standard in each article (in this case CE/BCE) but the categories are all based on AD/BC. I think that this is an anomaly with which we must live until era user preferences are implemented. —Theo (Talk) 22:54, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Just 98 links remain to be fixed but I hear Morpheus calling. Back goes that baton … —Theo (Talk) 00:31, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

OK, I've taken the baton and run all the way to the finish line. Paul August 04:27, July 29, 2005 (UTC)
The crowd goes wild! The stadium fills with roars. —Theo (Talk) 08:54, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Well done, guys. -- Derek Ross | Talk 14:46, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

As a Classicist, I prefer "Vergil" to "Virgil" -- I like the former's revisionist historicism instead of the latter's traditional historicism. It is, however, the spelling that has taken hold.

Here's what the Oxford Classical Dictionary has to say about the matter:

"The contemporary spelling of Virgil's name was with an e: the first occurrence with an i is on an honorific inscription to Claudian in Greek.... Virgil is traditional in English, but the slightly historicizing Vergil is preferred by some modern critics. Virgil and his friends in any case punned on virgo, a virgin...."

Given that it's really a matter of preference, we should probably go with the more common Virgil, however irksome it is. —User:Crispinus211

Stuff changes. There has been a general shift in all fields of literary criticism, both in classical and modern studies, towards greater accuracy at the expense of historical conventions, a trend that should be 'encouraged', not delayed. I'm for Vergil. Chick Bowen 21:49, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

I would support any move to Vergil, simply because that's a vastly more accurate name, and any encyclopedia should strive to teach people what they don't know, rather than mindlessly echoing back to them what they already think they know.

This is especially so when that encyclopedia has a function as useful as "redirects" at its disposal - has it ever occurred to y'all that the only reason Britannica and many other authoritative sources use the more common name rather than the more technically accurate one is because they're worried about people looking for "Virgil" and not being able to find it because it's under "Vergil"? This is not even remotely an issue for Wikipedia, where we can safely and easily give an article an accurate and less-known title and simply make the more-known title a redirect to that. This helps dispel old misconceptions and spread public awareness of the true names of these people more than simply mentioning the discrepency within the article ever could, whereas blindly obeying the "most common name" doctrine merely helps propagate and spread incorrect information.

On the other hand: it certainly is Wikipedia policy to pick the most common name, so the place to take up disputes like this is at the policy articles themselves, not at individual unrelated pages like this. The most important thing by far in Wikipedia in situations like this is consistency, regardless of which way Wikipedia ends up going on the issue, so this battle should be fought in the halls of Wikipedia policy-making, not on random, scattered articles on all types of topics. Additionally, there is certainly a precedent for using the most common even when it's completely inaccurate and misleading: Gandhi is at Mahatma Gandhi because he's most commonly known by that name in English-speaking countries, even though the name is fundamentally arbitrary and random among all the possible titles he could be called.

On the other hand again, there is also some precedent for giving some articles accurate names even when they're much more obscure than the more common, inaccurate ones. For example, Augustus' page is at Caesar Augustus rather than at the much more common but somewhat misleading "Augustus Caesar" (or even at a compromise page like Augustus (which is currently a redirect)!).

So, this could go either way, but our first priority should be to ensure consistency in the article titles throughout Wikipedia. We should only break the mold here if we break it everywhere. --Silence 05:19, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

You make some good points, Silence. Its nice to see that other people think the same way I do on these matters. -- Derek Ross | Talk 06:06, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, and likewise! Anyone else have any feedback on anything I said? -Silence 06:25, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

I would just like to point out that the only truly accurate way to refer to Virgil is to use his Latin name Publius Vergilius Maro. In fact, in Germany it is the convention to refer to him as Vergilius. The i spelling arose due to a false etymology with 'virgo' during the Middle Ages. Virgilius became Virgil in English, and then in the United States German immigrant classicists suggested emendations to Vergil. I use Virgil because it is the original anglicized version of the name (via French), just like Ulysses for the Latin Ulixes. However, in terms of correctness, neither Virgil nor Vergil are actually the poet's name. -- Hpc

This is true: neither one is the name the poet himself or his contemporaries used. However, that neither name is completely accurate (in regards to the original name) does not indicate that both names are equally accurate (or equally inaccurate, if you prefer). The difference between "Vergil" and "Virgil" is that "Vergil" is simply the normal, typical way of Anglicizing Latin names ("Mark Antony" rather than "Marcus Antonius," etc.), whereas "Virgil" is truly, undeniably the result of a mistake. So, I understand where you're coming from, but I think we should distinguish between a name that is different from the original because of a deliberate, universal trend of removing "us" or "ius" (and otherwise Anglicizing names - Horatius becomes Horace, etc.), and a name that is different from the original because of an actual spelling error (or pun or somesuch). --Silence 21:57, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

I may be wrong, but this could also be an example of vowel weakening which occurred over a long period of time in Latin - it may be that the vowel quality in either case was confused at that period. --Nema Fakei 12:40, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

The German Wikipedia doesn't call him Vergilius, it calls him Vergil. Have a look- — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:54, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Virgil is by far the more common spelling, and we should not be pendants for the sake of literal accuracy which is in fact obfuscatory in practice; otherwise, we ought to list Hitler under Schiklgrueber, Napoleon under Buonaparte, and Noah under Utnapishtim.
Nuttyskin 21:47, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Date of eclogues[edit]

My sources of the eclogues say it was written in 37 BC, the wikipedia article of eclogues also says so. But this page says 42 BC?

The Eclogues is a collection of short poems written over a span of several years; the individual poem referred to was probably written around 42. The collection was published around 37. Akhilleus 00:58, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Possible copyright violation in image[edit]

One of the images on this page is the cover of an edition of Wheelock's Latin. This seems like a possible copyright violation; even if it's not, it seems silly to reproduce the cover of a book. Can we find an image of the mosaic and just use that? Akhilleus 00:58, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

It is a misuse of Wikipedia's "free-use" policy. Now if the image illustrated an article about Latin grammars (or Wheelock's grammar which I believe has been around forever), then the image would be defensible. If no one objects in the next 48 hours, I'll list it on IfD. -- llywrch 00:04, 21 December 2005 (UTC)


"Dante mentioned him twice." - what sort of joker would write that? Just hypothesizing, but I believe that Dante mentioned Virgil a good deal more than twice. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

That's gone now. --Akhilleus (talk) 08:12, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Virgil/ Vergil[edit]

If I'd known this would have caused so much trouble I wouldn't have put it in. As I did, and it is being removed without any discussion, I would like to justify it. I'm not attempting historical revisionism; I tend to think that the correct Anglicised form is Virgil and the correct Latin form is Vergilius and I'm not trying to replace the latter with the former. However Virgilius is not a Latinisation of an Anglicised form but an alternative Latin form. It was used during Virgil's lifetime and became increasingly common after his death. I didn't think this fact was "little known" (and I still don't) although the exact time and circumstances are admittedly controversial. As for a source, G. P. Goold, the editor of the most recent (1999) Loeb, justifies the use of the name as follows:

Whether because of a local pronunciation or for some other circumstance his name was early punned with virgo and virga, and before the end of the Roman Empire, his name was spelled and pronounced Virgilius.

The form is not strictly correct because it is not the name the poet would have used himself but its use ("Virgilius" rather than "Virgil") for almost all but the most recent editions of texts (the notable exception being the Teubner) justifies its inclusion. There is a modern tendency to try to obliterate the form from history or to deny that its use is anything but a mistake of English but this is itself mistaken and constitutes revisionism. Choose your own wording if you don't like mine - I'll tone down "or" to "sometimes called" or "known in the later Empire as" or something to that effect - I'd like to find a form we can agree on, but please don't just remove it.--Lo2u 09:34, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I should add that looking at my first two edit comments again, they do read like I was suggesting Virgil had replaced Vergil as the standard in Virgil's lifetime which is not what I meant but result of my wish to be brief and to emphasise that Virgil is not an English invention; I suppose I overstated a bit. But again read the above and please don't simply revert. --Lo2u 09:34, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I won't revert because you have now given a satisfactory explanation. The fact is that if you had put a short note on the talk page explaining this in the first place no one would have reverted your first edit on the matter. Cheers. Derek Ross | Talk 16:31, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanaion. It did look like you were saying that our poet was called Virgilius in his own lifetime. The current intro seems like the right way of saying things. Should we also change the "Virgil's name in English" section to "The name of Virgil" or similar, and add your/Goold's explanation of "Virgilius"? --Akhilleus (talk) 17:25, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
It might be an idea - the current section needs to be improved. Actually, looking at the introduction it's not that clear whether it's written by Goold (editor) or H. R. Fairclough (translator), although I assumed it was Goold, so it's probably best to quote the book rather than the writer. I won't have chance to do it for a couple of days but if anyone wants to do it before me... sorry this wasn't exactly the most amicable dispute.--Lo2u 18:10, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Doesn't the Virgil spring from that Vergil was Homosexual and therefor, in some sense, a virgin (Virga/Virgus= Virgil)..? That is at least what I have heard. --Harabanar

I thought that, originally, virgilius/vergilius was a latinization of the name fergal/feargal and that the other name definitions were either puns or a later attempt to figure out the etymology of what was not originally a latin name. The celts liked to pun for sure and I sort of half remember the romans being good at is as well. I think that vir/viri (manly), virga (wand), virgo (maiden) and ver, veris (springlike) all come from vireo/virere any way. 06:30, 11 October 2008 (UTC)06:30, 11 October 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)


Can anyone here help with the discussion at Talk:As You Like It#Homoerotic overtones? AndyJones 15:28, 13 May 2006 (UTC)


What's up with the addition of Opera (?!?!) at the bottom of the list of Virgil's List of Works? Can anyone add info, or delete if inappropriate?

Zidel333 23:05, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

OK I think this is a mistake, Opera being a reference to the original, called P. Vergili Maronis Opera. I'm going to take it off from the article as it is just another name for the Aeneid.
Zidel333 03:09, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
"Opera" is Latin for "works". In England, the U.S., and any other English-speaking country, the standard scholarly edition of Virgil's poery is the Oxford Classical Text of Vergil, entitled Opera (includes the Eclogues, Georgics, and Aeneid). That's what P. Vergili Maronis Opera means--"the works of Publius Vergilius Maro". As the article is currently written, the Oxford Classical Text doesn't belong--but to be truly useful, the article should include a list of modern scholarly editions--and there, P. Vergili Maronis Opera will belong. --Akhilleus (talk) 07:07, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Later (Christianized?) Views of Virgil[edit]

Hey folks, I just read this article for the first time. I noticed the "Later Views of Virgil" section begins with the statement, "Even as the Roman world collapsed, literate men acknowledged that the Christianized Virgil was a master poet, even when they ceased to read him." Is this a leftover from some earlier editing or something? Where (and how) in the article's narrative did Virgil become "the Christianized Virgil"? I looked back over it several times, and found nothing preceding this statement to explain this sudden assertion. Of course, it does discuss it, somewhat, a little farther down under "Middle Ages," but that doesn't really cover the time period of the collapse of the Roman world. Also, I am not sure how it ought to be rephrased, but when I read the term, "Christianized Virgil" that said to me that Virgil had become a christian, thus prompting me to do an immediated double check of the dates in question, as this seemed somewhat unlikely... Darentig 11:20, 31 August 2006 (UTC)


The name of this article should be changed, Vergil's name is recognized as Vergil, not Virgil. 18:22, 28 September 2006 (UTC)Jon Armor Mode

Cultural depictions of Virgil[edit]

I've started an approach that may apply to Wikipedia's Core Biography articles: creating a branching list page based on in popular culture information. I started that last year while I raised Joan of Arc to featured article when I created Cultural depictions of Joan of Arc, which has become a featured list. Recently I also created Cultural depictions of Alexander the Great out of material that had been deleted from the biography article. Since cultural references sometimes get deleted without discussion, I'd like to suggest this as a model for the editors here. Regards, Durova 16:04, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Non Roman Celtic & Italian[edit]

Then, what was he? German? Greek? Illyrian? Out of Space? I dont get it. -- (said someone who didn't bother signing.)

Problem sentence[edit]

I refer you to this: Dido and Turnus, who are both casualties of Rome's destiny, are more attractive figures than Aeneas, whose single-minded devotion to his goal may seem almost repellent to the modern reader.

I disagree: Aeneas is a more attractive figure than Turnus, who seems vain and power-hungry. In any case, it is not for an encyclopedia to make such pronouncements, and so I propose the sentence be deleted. RedRabbit1983 10:41, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Good point. The NPOV policy requires us to report who believes that "Dido and Turnus are more attractive figures" rather than to claim it as truth ourselves. In other words this statement needs to be cited and reworded to attribute the claim. If it can't be, it should be removed. -- Derek Ross | Talk 15:04, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Bucolics [book of, i.e. Liber Bucolicon] vs Eclogues[edit]

Bucolics [book of, i.e. Liber Bucolicon] vs Eclogues as title for Virgil's first major work: Apropos of different tags for Virgil's book of ten eclogues, the following deserves notice IF the present medium has any claim to authority as opposed to mechanical repetition of common notions:

Since the title Bucolics, clearly credits his debt to The­o­cri­tus, use of Eclogues as a name for Virgil’s book has been rightly called “unfortun­ate” by Don & Peta Fowler [Oxford Classical Dictionary (19993) 1604a; Virgil’s use of The­o­cri­tus’ title also recognized by Richard Hunter, Theocritus A Selection (Cambridge University Press, 1999), 5]

While tradition both in its scholastic & its literary dimensions has often committed a kind of metonymy, using the label of the several separate parts —— ecloga —— to stand for the whole book, this metonymy has been especially pernicious because it occludes the fact that Virgil did construct a single book (unus liber as an ancient commentator calls it). In this regard, the Virgilian Encyclopedia does a better job of reporting. Sicelidas 02:57, 31 July 2007 (UTC) Sicelidas 15:26, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Please clarify what you're trying to say (e.g. in English please). Zidel333 15:43, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

e.g., has for a few centuries at least been naturalized into English from Latin exempli gratia that means 'for the sake of an example, by way of illustration'. Similarly, i.e, from Latin id est, which means 'that is'. Less common but useful, scilicet, scil, sc., 'it is permitted to know, you are allowed to infer'. Also, viz from Latin videlicet, which means 'it is permitted to see' used to introduce a set of examples. Permit a little surprise that anyone even mildly interested in the niceties of Virgilian biblionomastics should balk at the use of such useful cognitive signposts as these abbreviations long part of the conceptual tool kits of essayists & scholars. But then this WP is a brave new world. Maybe I should be wasting my time with NUpedia or a better medium.Sicelidas 16:00, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Once again, I'm trying to follow your argument, please clarify it. Your response was unacceptable, and rude. Please review Wikipedia:Civility, Wikipedia:Etiquette, and Wikipedia:Explain jargon. Zidel333 16:06, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

The elusive 'argument' of this entry got elucidated in the first sentence, i.e., that difference & even dispute have emerged in two millennia over how Virgil's first work was & should be entitled, the two most prominent options being Bucolics & Eclogues: the former borrows from the Greek of Theocritus who wrote short epic poems in which herdsmen are the main characters & called them Bucolica. which may be translated roughly 'that pertain to care of cattle'; while the latter looks to the form & textual status of the short pieces, which were called eclogae, also Greek, a term that can mean variously in various semantic domains 'draft' or 'selection' or 'accounting' or 'part of a book'.
Both titles entail metonymy, whether from formal status or content, but Bucolica has the advantage of specific reference to a generic thread & to the Greek model against which Virgil worked, hence the preference for it by distinguished scholars, as mentioned above. Sicelidas 20:34, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Sicelidas, please do not delete my comments. Please assume good faith, as I do. Zidel333 02:51, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

"Virgil" origin[edit]

My profs in college and grad school both related the "virga" etymology. What's the ancient source? Is it Donatus? Also, I've never heard of the "virgo" origin. What is its source? The "virga" theory is less obvious, I think, and therefore probably more likely (we call that a lectio difficilior). Ifnkovhg (talk) 07:28, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Virgilian homoerotics and Oxford dons[edit]

What is the general feeling here about devoting a few lines in the article to a discussion of Virgil's alleged love interests (both gynerastic and pederastic) as intimated in Suetonius, as well as of modern views thereof - ranging from bland acceptance to vigorous refutal? Haiduc (talk) 22:52, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

About his possible 'Celtic' origins and his 'Celtic' strain? References?[edit]

Just curious about this line. I'm pretty familiar with Virgil. I've never read anything like that. wrote someone who didn't remember to sign with ~~~~

We can get a reference. I'm pretty sure that my copy of Journey to Hesperia (excerpts from the Aeneid) mentions that in the intro. -- Derek Ross | Talk 15:12, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

The author of epics in three modes?[edit]

Are we really able to call Vergil's earlier works epics? Surely the Eclogues are bucolic poems and the Georgics didactic works. This is my first time editing a page so I thought I'd post this question before going ahead and rewriting the introduction to this article. Olørin (talk) 19:52, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

That material was added a while back by an academic with the user name Sicelidas and may reflect a personal theory of his. I, for one, won't squawk if you rewrite it. Deor (talk) 20:07, 20 October 2008 (UTC)


I have rewritten the first paragraph, removing the rather redundant information about the number of books in the Aeneid and the over linking. I feel this simpler paragraph is more in keeping with those on other Roman writers. Olørin (talk) 19:34, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Proposed revision[edit]

Firstly let me say I am not going to rewrite this article. I do however feel it needs reorganising. Compare the articles on Cicero and Ovid with that on Virgil. A bit sad isn't it? My main aim is to improve the referencing and inline citations so that the box at the top of the page can be removed. I also want to reorganise sections such as the life and early works section which overlap considerably.

I would like people's opinion on how much information should be given on Virgil's works, or should we trust people to read the articles on the Eclogues for themselves. This page seems to contain too much summary information of the books.

I think the section on Later views of Virgil is important, although it is an area I do not know very much about.

Also I am not familiar with Nupedia, but do feel that Wikipedia should contain independently researched material, rather than direct copies from other sites.Olørin (talk) 20:47, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Sounds fair enough, it does need more citations, and if you're not removing any info then there's nothing to loose —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:02, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Nupedia was the precursor to Wikipedia. It had tighter rules on who could contribute, but probably lower standards of citation. - Jmabel | Talk 21:05, 22 October 2008 (UTC)


Could someone please add a proper pronunciation for “Publius Vergilius Maro” to the article? TNX. —SlamDiego←T 08:46, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

That could lead to some argument between the Vergilius and the Wergilius proponents! -- Derek Ross | Talk 21:47, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, how about a brief discussion of the conflicting theories? —SlamDiego←T 05:40, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
It's actually a general feature of Latin pronunciation, so it's not really appropriate for this article. However there is a good discussion of modern "best guess" on how Latin should be pronounced in the Latin spelling and pronunciation article. -- Derek Ross | Talk 05:04, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
The brief discussion could merely indicate the championed pronunciations of “Publius Vergilius Maro” and direct the reader thence to “Latin spelling and pronunciation”. At present, the reader wondering about the pronunciation of his name isn't being served at all by this article. —SlamDiego←T 06:56, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough. -- Derek Ross | Talk 04:51, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

wikisource link: la or en?[edit]

I expected to find a complete, unmodified version of his work in digital format at wikisource. It's not there, it's an incomplete translation of his work. Should we not link to wikisource:la:Scriptor:Publius Vergilius Maro instead, given that it's more complete and identical to his actual work? -- (talk) 07:12, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Some romantic phrasing[edit]

I took out "legend has it." The phrase is far too romantic. We know that ancient biographies and commentators say this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:18, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Alright, this page has a lot of problems, it is unclear, garbled, is interpretive where it shouldn't be, and doesn't cite appropriate sources. I am going to try and edit this to make sense.- John F —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:54, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Well I edited the page a bit. Wrote new sections on Birth and Bio Trad, Early Works, The Eclogues, The Georgics, worked a little on the death paragraph, added the section on views In Antiquity, and included some Famous Quotes. I hope that you all like it. I unfortunately felt compelled to remove the analysis on the eclogues. In my discussion of them I tried to avoid any major issues and just stick to some general summaries of them. I did like what was there about the development of Virgil's poetic mythos and epic consciousness, but I really thought that would be better on the Eclogues page, where we could have interpretations rather than on the Virgil page where just the Oxford Classical Dictionary facts are found. Hope you all enjoy it. I will try and work up a fitting Aeneid section sometime soon. John F —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:49, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Major Edit with new sections[edit]

Well I edited the page a bit. Wrote new sections on Birth and Bio Trad, Early Works, The Eclogues, The Georgics, worked a little on the death paragraph, added the section on views In Antiquity, and included some Famous Quotes. I hope that you all like it. I unfortunately felt compelled to remove the analysis on the eclogues. In my discussion of them I tried to avoid any major issues and just stick to some general summaries of them. I did like what was there about the development of Virgil's poetic mythos and epic consciousness, but I really thought that would be better on the Eclogues page, where we could have interpretations rather than on the Virgil page where just the Oxford Classical Dictionary facts are found. Hope you all enjoy it. I will try and work up a fitting Aeneid section sometime soon. 11/03/09 (talk) 03:51, 4 November 2009 (UTC)John F

Finished the Aeneid section.[edit]

I have written a new Aeneid section providing in the briefest terms a summary of the poem, a discussion of sources, and a very short discussion of critical themes. I also smoothed out some of the writing in the other sections. I hope people enjoy this! (talk) 03:38, 6 November 2009 (UTC) John F

  • Do you have any references for that? What I can find, quickly, is doubt about the claims of his homosexuality, such as here (in the footnote is the reference to current scholarship) and here. Drmies (talk) 03:38, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, John. Good job. The new text is easy to read. -- Derek Ross | Talk 15:39, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Virgil's sexual orientation[edit]

I know this is a contentious subject, but the biographical tradition is pretty strongly in favor of Virgil's homosexuality, regardless of whether this is true or not (of course we can't know the "truth" outside the biographies), still that should be reflected in the article.Jdf8 (talk) 03:34, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

As for references, see for example "Roman Homosexuality: Ideologies of Masculinity in Classical Antiquity" by Craig Williams pg.33,275 Suetonius Vergil, 9 "libidinis in pueros pronioris" (he was of the desire especially for boys); this same passage also says that he loved the slave-boys Cebetes and Alexandrus, on whom Alexis in Ecl. 2 is modelled. I don't mean to say of course that this was definitively Virgil's orientation, but I am just quoting the biographical tradition, and when it comes to Vergil, all we have to go on is the tradition. Plus, it's not for us here on wikipedia to try and prove that Vergil was one or the other, just that the biographies say that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jdf8 (talkcontribs) 05:06, 14 December 2009 (UTC) Jdf8 (talk) 05:10, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

history report[edit]

Does anyone know what his real name is? I need to know what his real name is? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:21, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

His real name was Publius Vergilius Maro, as given in the first words of the article. If you're trying to decide between the Anglicized names "Virgil" and "Vergil", see the section Virgil's name in English. Deor (talk) 19:27, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Virgil's Personality[edit]

Does anyone think this section is unecessary? First, the information it presents is already given in the biographical section. Second, such statements as he was "olive skinned" and "of rustic appearance" are a tad romantic, and pretty much conjectural since the only portraits we have lack much detail. Third, the Catalepton cited is not securely by Virgil. Fourth, the citation is from an Italian book, not a major source like Servius, who might be a creditable source for expansion on the information presented in the biographical section. I propose this section be deleted as it is pretty much superfluous. Jdf8 (talk) 03:39, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

I agree that the section is unnecessary. I didn't revert it when it was added because (1) I'm becoming less inclined to get into potential edit wars about such matters and (2) I didn't (and still don't) have access to the Italian edition cited, to see what the editor actually says and what sort of reader he's addressing. Deor (talk) 13:37, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Death of Anchises[edit]

In the section on the Aeneid it says that Aeneas' father Anchises dies in book 5. This is not correct. If you read the poem, his death is recounted by Aeneas at the end of book 3. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:07, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Deletion of Personality and Physical Appearance[edit]

I have decided to delete this section. First of all, it is unnecessary, as all the information contained in it is already stated above where it is referenced with ancient sources whose problematics are discussed. Of course we cannot implicitly trust Sevius, writing hundreds of years after the Aeneid on the physical appearance of Vergil, and the tradition of vita (biographical) writing about authors is a seriously problematic genre, not to be taken as truth. Similarly, although we have the famous portrait mosaic, we cannot be sure that the image is not simply an idealized representation of the poet. In fact it is likely that it is, so we will never know with any scholarly certainty whether Vergil had rich olive skin and dark hair. Secondly, I had a chance to look at the Italian work which was cited in this section and it proves to be a mere introduction to a translation of the Aeneid. This is not particularly scholarly, takes a wholly credulous view toward Servius, and does not seem particularly trustworthy for me as it is a simplified description written for lay readers without a critical eye. Thus, this section has been deleted as being unnecessary, unscholarly, and written too credulously. Jdf8 (talk) 14:43, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Might it be possible to possibly rephrase some of the information into parts of the article, while acknowledging the faults of the sources, but still restating the info we have? I can understand why you believe it shouldn't be written in a way that implies it is certain, but I would like to see it still included in a way which also shows that the information we have today should not be taken wholly as stated. EryZ (talk) 07:16, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Later views of Virgil and reception[edit]

This section could usefully be expanded to include more modern appreciations, for example that of Graves. BTW why is the subsection "Virgil's tomb" incuded in this section? The reference to association with "miraculous powers" seems a little tenuous to be relevant. (talk) 10:32, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Check here. ~ DanielTom (talk) 14:03, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Virgil/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

needs sources plange 01:59, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Last edited at 01:59, 30 July 2006 (UTC). Substituted at 10:01, 30 April 2016 (UTC)