Tao Te Ching

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Virgil

(Publius Vergilius Maro)

70 – 19 BCE

“The most lovable of Romans” and its greatest poet, advocate/inspiration/teacher for small farmers, Dante's guide through hell and purgatory, considered a great magician, seer, and saint as well as the embodiment of human knowledge and experience; Virgil began life as a poor farmer and once had to swim for his life to escape soldiers. Given patronage by Augustus he wrote the Aeneid that became the Roman national epic and standard text for school curricula after Augustus refused Virgil’s dying wish to have it burned. For hundreds of years his poems were opened at random as an oracle for insight into uncertainty and to solve problems.

Eras

Sources

Aeneid

Unlisted Sources

​Eclogues (37 BCE)

Georgics (29 BC)

Suetonius

Quotes by Virgil (26 quotes)

“Do the gods light this fire in our hearts or does each man's mad desire become his god?”

from Aeneid

Themes: God Desire

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“Ah, merciless Love, is there any length to which you cannot force the human heart to go?”

from Aeneid

Themes: Sex

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“What a tale he's told, what a bitter bowl of war he's drunk to the dregs.”

from Aeneid

Themes: War

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“No other evil we know is faster than Rumor, small and timid at first, then borne on a light air, she flits over ground while hiding her head on a cloud-top.”

from Aeneid

Themes: Deception Lies

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“How lucky, if they know their happiness are farmers—more than lucky, they for whom, far from the clash of arms, the earth herself, most fair in dealing, freely lavishes an easy livelihood.”

from Georgics (29 BC)

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“I too must attempt a way by which I can raise myself above the ground, and soar triumphant through the lips of men.”

Themes: Ambition

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“the descent to hell is easy (facilis descensus Averno)”

from Aeneid

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* Trust not too much to that enchanting face;
Beauty's a charm, but soon the charm will pass.

from ​Eclogues (37 BCE)

Themes: Confusion Beauty

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“What madness has seized you?... Everyone is dragged on by their favorite pleasure.

from ​Eclogues (37 BCE)

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Happy the man, who, studying nature's laws,
Thro' known effects can trace the secret cause.

from Georgics (29 BC)

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“Happy the man, who, studying nature's laws,
Thro' known effects can trace the secret cause.”

from Georgics (29 BC)

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“In youth alone, unhappy mortals live;
But, ah! the mighty bliss is fugitive:
Discolored sickness, anxious labor, come,
And age, and death's inexorable doom.”

from Georgics (29 BC)

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“Love is lord of all, and is in all the same.”

from Georgics (29 BC)

Themes: Love

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“So hard and huge a task it was to found the Roman people.”

from Aeneid

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“Endure the hardships of your present statel Live, and reserve yourselves for better fate... Endure the hardships of your present state, live, and reserve yourselves for better fate... Yield not to misfortunes, but advance all the more boldly against them.”

from Aeneid

Themes: Perseverance

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“The gates of hell are open night and day;
Smooth the descent, and easy is the way:
But to return, and view the cheerful skies,
In this the task and mighty labor lies.”

from Aeneid

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“To what extremes won't you compel our hearts, you accursed lust for gold?”

from Aeneid

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“They can because they think they can... Fortune favors the bold.”

from Aeneid

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“The only hope for the doomed is no hope at all”

from Aeneid

Themes: Hope

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“Fear is the proof of a degenerate mind.”

from Aeneid

Themes: Fear

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“Fickle and changeable always is woman.”

from Aeneid

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“Every misfortune can be subdued by patience.”

from Aeneid

Themes: Problems Patience

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“Go no further down the road of hatred.”

from Aeneid

Themes: Aggression Hate

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“No day shall erase you from the memory of time

from Aeneid

Themes: Forget Memory

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“The attempts to heal enflame the fever more.”

from Aeneid

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“It is easier to steal the club of Hercules than a line from Homer.”

from Suetonius

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Quotes about Virgil (10 quotes)

“[Virgil—] That harmonious plagiary and miserable flatterer, whose cursed hexameters were drilled into me at Harrow.

Lord Byron 1788 – 1824 CE
(George Gordon Byron)
The first rock-star style celebrity

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“Virgil seems to have copied Greek models completely, imitating them slavishly and lifelessly, and so they appear as plagiarisms more or less devoid of spirit.”

Georg Hegel 1770 – 1831 CE
(Wilhelm Friedrich)
Dialectical Philosopher

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“This Fire is discerned in Virgil, but discerned as through a glass, reflected from Homer, more shining than fierce, but every where equal and constant.

Alexander Pope 1688 – 1744 CE
Second most quoted English writer

Themes: Confidence

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“Virgil's style is an inimitable mixture of the elaborately ornate, and the majestically plain and touching.

William Wordsworth 1770 – 1850 CE

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“[Virgil] The Delight of all Ages, and the Pattern of all Poets.

Voltaire, François-Marie Arouet 1694 – 1778 CE
from ​An Essay on Epic Poetry (1727)

Themes: Poetry

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“If you take from Virgil his diction and metre, what do you leave him?
Samuel Taylor Coleridge,

Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1772 – 1834 CE
from Table Talk (1824)​

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“O glory of the Latin race... Our divine poet....by whom our language showed forth all its power... of the other poets honor and light... You are my guide, you are my lord and teacher”

Dante 1265 – 1321 CE
(Durante degli Alighieri)
from The Divine Comedy

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“Virgil loved rural ease, and, far from harm,
Maecenas fix'd him in a neat, snug farm,
Where he might free from trouble pass his days
In his own way, and pay his rent in praise.
Charles Churchill,

Winston Churchill 1874 – 1965 CE
from Independence (1764)​

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“in the sense in which a poet is a philosopher... Virgil is the greatest philosopher of ancient Rome... among all authors of classical antiquity, one for whom the world made sense, for whom it had order and dignity, and for whom, as for no one before his time except the Hebrew prophets, history had meaning... he saw clearly both sides of every question—the case for the loser as well as the case for the winner.
T. S. Eliot, "

T. S. Eliot 1888 – 1965 CE
from Virgil and the Christian World (1951)​​

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“Come where thou need not to learn from me,
For thou shalt, by thine own experience,
Be able in a professorial chair to lecture on this subject
Better than Virgil, while he was alive

Geoffrey Chaucer 1343 – 1400 CE via The Friar's Tale
“Father of English literature”
from Canterbury Tales

Themes: Confidence

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