Classical Studies | Virgilís Eclogues and Georgics
L427 | 9532 | Bannon

L427 Virgilís Eclogues and Georgics

Why did Vergil write a long poem about farming?  How does he work the
beauty of nature into his instructions for planting and pruning?
What does it all mean, anyway, when bees are described as heroic
soldiers?  Farming may seem distant from the arenas and lavish
lifestyles we often associate with Rome,  but farming held a central
place in the Roman world, as the mainstay of the economy.  Many
Romans lived closer to nature than we do, both poor families tilling
the earth to survive and elite landowners whose estates produced most
of their income.  Natural forces came alive not only as the spirits
of springs and woods but as storms and floods that could wipe out an
entire crop. Vergilís poems of farming and nature explore the
marvelous powers of nature and their impact on humans as we attempt
to make our way in the world.  L427 Virgilís Eclogues and Georgics
will focus on Vergilís Georgics (his long poem about a farming), with
selections from the Eclogues (pastoral poems about nature).  We will
read the poems in Latin (and some in translation), along with
selections from other writings about farming in translation, with
close attention to Latin expression, poetic traditions, and
historical contexts.