Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Lavinia

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Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2008, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2009, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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Beyond the Book

Vergil
History records that Publius Vergilius Maro, better known as Vergil (or Virgil), was born in 70 BCE. Scholars argue about his place of birth and his early education, but legend has it that he was born the son of a farmer in Northern Italy, which was then known as Cisalpine Gaul ("Gaul, on this side of the Alps"). Despite a relatively lowly birth, he was well-educated, ending his education in Rome where, after dabbling briefly with other studies, he focused on philosophy.

Vergil lived during one of the most turbulent times in history. He was ten years old when the First Triumvirate (Julius Caesar, Pompey and Crassus) was formed, 17 when it collapsed, and 26 when Caesar was assassinated in 44 BCE. He fled south to Naples during the civil war that followed Caesar's assassination. His writings during that time brought him notoriety, resulting in his sponsorship by Octavian (Augustus Caesar), the eventual emperor of Rome.

He wrote The Aeneid during the ...

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