Born in 70 BC, in a small village near Mantua, Publius Vergilius Maro—Virgil—grew up to be hailed as the greatest Roman poet. And although his work has influenced Western literature for two millennia, little is known about the man himself. Who was the man who created the Aeneid—one of the most important poems in Western literature—and such universal phrases as “love conquers all” and “fortune favors the bold?” Peter Levi here reconstructs the poet's life, from a childhood largely shrouded in mystery to his work as a great literary genius and revolutionary poet, by examining archaeological and historical evidence from Augustan Rome, as well as through close readings of the poet's own work. “Virgil is an intensely personal poet, yet he is anonymous . . . My aim is not so ambitious as to try and restore his prestige single-handed. It has simply been to try to understand him in his original context.” In this highly acclaimed, nowclassic biography, Peter Levi discards the myths and brilliantly reveals the life of Virgil and the extraordinary times during which he lived.
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About the Author
Peter Levi, FSA, FRSL, (1931—2000) was a poet, archaeologist, Jesuit priest, travel writer, scholar, biographer, and critic. Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 1984—89, Levi also worked for The Times (London), traveled with Bruce Chatwin in Afghanistan, and Leigh Fermor in Greece, and wrote over 60 highly acclaimed biographies and works of travel, including The Light Garden of the Angel King.
Table of Contents
Preface * Introduction * The Youth of Virgil * Country Singing * Virgil’s Italy * Transformation Scene * The March of Time * Happy landings * Sand * Italian Earth * Ashes * Notes * Index