".Virgil was the national poet of Augustan Rome. Under the patronage of rich and powerful Maecenas he was enabled to live the tranquil and secluded life which so well fitted into his own ideals and temperament. In 37 B.C. he finished the Bucolica, which idealizes the...
".Virgil was the national poet of Augustan Rome. Under the patronage of rich and powerful Maecenas he was enabled to live the tranquil and secluded life which so well fitted into his own ideals and temperament. In 37 B.C. he finished the Bucolica, which idealizes the farm life which he knew and loved so well in his youth. His second great work was the Georgica, a didactic, realistic poem. Both were written to make farm life in the country so attractive that a migration would start from the city. In the later period Virgil wrote his epic, the Aeneid, to glorify Rome and its rulers. This work bears a close relationship to the writings of Homer. Virgil in these poems assumes the tone of the prophet: 'Rome has equally a mission to fulfill, which is to establish peace and order, and to rule the world through law. ' Virgil excels, in all his writings, in 'that subtle fusion of the music and the meaning of language which touches the deepest and most secret springs of emotion'. His influence on Dante, Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, Wordsworth and Tennyson is clearly evident. Dante selected Virgil to represent human wisdom and to act his own guide through the Inferno" (Ege, Otto F.) "In the year 1750, John Baskerville decided to print, as an avocation, '?.books of consequences ?.and which the public may be pleased to see in an elegant dress and to purchase at such a price as will pay the extraordinary care and expense that must necessarily be bestowed upon them'. Seven years later his publication, this 'Virgil', appeared. According to Macaulay, it 'went forth to astonish all the librarians of Europe'. The type of the day was modernized, the press improved, the paper 'woven' instead of 'laid' (a radical departure), and the freshly printed sheets were pressed between hot plates to 'glaze', thus giving such 'perfect polish that we could suppose the paper made of silk rather than a linen'." (Ege, Otto F.)