Born in 70 BCE, at the height of the Roman Empire, epic poet Publius Vergilius Maro, or Virgil, as he is now known, was the son of a farmer in Northern Italy. He was educated in Cremona, Milan and finally Rome before returning to the North to begin work on Eclogues which was published in 37BCE. When a civil war forced him south into Naples, he completed the farming poem Georgics. Soon after, Virgil began working on his masterwork, The Aeneid, a story that derived from the existing tradition of the Greek hero Aeneas. Virgil worked on The Aeneid for eleven years but was never satisfied enough to call it complete. After returning from Greece, Virgil fell ill, and before his death he ordered the incomplete manuscript be burned. He died in 19 BCE, and shortly after The Aeneid was published against his wishes.
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