The Eclogues and The Georgics


The Eclogues and The Georgics, by Virgil - click to see full size image

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The Eclogues, also known as the Bucolics, are a collection of ten pastoral poems written by the Roman poet Virgil in the first century BCE. They were his first major work and were written during a time of political unrest in Rome. The poems are set in an idyllic countryside and depict the simple lives of shepherds and their struggles, loves, and losses. They are filled with themes of love, friendship, nature, and the role of poetry in society. The Eclogues are also notable for their use of the golden age motif, which portrays a time in the past when humans lived in harmony with nature and each other, before the corruption of society and the rise of politics.

The Georgics is a long didactic poem divided into four books and which focuses on the art of agriculture and the life of farmers, as well as the natural world more broadly. The poem begins with an invocation to the gods of agriculture, and then proceeds to describe the various tasks involved in farming, including plowing, planting, harvesting, and caring for animals. The Georgics also explores the relationship between humans and the natural world, and the importance of respecting and working with the forces of nature. It celebrates the beauty and wonder of the natural world, while acknowledging the challenges and dangers that come with working the land.

Part of the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Great Books of the Western World set.

This book has 35,597 words, and 105 pages in the PDF version. These translations by John Dryden were originally published in 1709.

Production notes: This ebook of The Eclogues and The Georgics was published by Global Grey on the 3rd March 2023. The artwork used for the cover is 'A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning' by Peter Paul Rubens.

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