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The Year of ROME 714, of VIRGIL 31.
CN. DOMITIUS CALVINUS. C. ASINIUS POLLIO
In this Year Virgil wrote his fourth Eclogue, occafioned by the Birth of a Son born to Pollio in the fame Year.
The Year of ROME 715, of VIRGIL 32.
L. MARTIUS CENSORINUS,
Pollio this Year commanded with Succefs in the War against the Parthians; for which he had a Triumph in the Month of November. In his Return to Rome after his Victory, he coafted along the Illyrian and Venetian Shore. ThisYear Virgil wrote his eighth Eclogue.
Not long after, the third Eclogue, fays la Rue, seems to have been writ. What induced that learned Critick to think fo is, because Virgil makes his Shepherd prepare a Sacrifice for Pollio; which looks as if it was about the Time of his Triumph. DAMOETAS.
Pollio amat noftram, quamvis fit ruftica musam:
Pollia et ipfe facit nova Carmina, pascite Taurum,
This is but a Conjecture; and indeed la Rue with great Modesty offers it as fuch only; and adds, that he does not defire to impofe it upon any one.
The Year of ROME 716, of VIRGIL 33.
APPIUS CLAUDIUS PULCHER.
Virgil wrote his laft Eclogue this Year; at what Times he wrote his other Eclogues, not hitherto mentioned, we have no Traces by which we can judge.
The Year of ROME 717, of VIRGIL 34.
M. VIPSANIUS AGRIPPA, I.. L. CANINIUS
This Year Virgil, by the Perfuafion of Mecenas, laid the Foundation for his Georgics, which he finished in seven Years following; the greater Part of which he wrote at Naples.
The Year of ROME 724, of VIRGIL 41.
C. CÆSAR OCTAVIUS, 4. M. VALERIUS MESSALA.
Father de la Rue contradicts the Report of Virgil reading his Georgics to Octavius Cæfar at Atella, a City in Campania, where Cafar is faid to have stopped for Refreshment in his Return from his Victory over Anthony at Aftium. It is likewife faid, that Virgil's Voice failing him before he finifhed the Poem, Mecenas took it and read it through for him. Towards the End of this Year he began his Eneis; which, by the unanimous Confent of his Biographers, he was eleven Years upon; which were the laft eleven Years of his Life.
The Year of ROME 725, of VIRGIL 42.
Cafar triumphs three times for his Victories in Dalmatia, Macedon and Egypt; and, having eftablifhed profound Peace in all the vast Roman Em pire, he fhut the Temple of Janus. Cæfar then began a Reformation of Manners among the People; to which the following Paffage in the firft Book of the Eneis alludes: Jupiter relates to Venus the future Glories of the Race of her Son Eneas:
Afpera tum pofitis mitefcent Sæcula bellis :
The Year of ROME 726, of VIRGIL 43.
Confuls.. C. OCTAVIUS, 6. M. VIPSANIUS AGRIPPA, 2.
Cæfar this Year inftituted Games which were called Ludi Actiaci, in Remembrance of his Victory over Anthony and Cleopatra at Altium; which were celebrated by the young Noblemen of Rome in HorfeRaces and gymnaftic Exercifes, which doubtlefs gave Birth to the following Verfes in the third Book of the Eneis:
Luftramurque Jovi, Votifque incendimus Aras ;
The Year of ROME 727, of VIRGIL 44.
C. CESAR AUGUSTUS, 7. M. VIPSANIUS AGRIPPA, 3.
In the Month of January, this Year, Cafar Octavius had the Name of Auguftus bestowed on him by the Senate at the Motion of Minutius Plancus.
The Year of ROME 730, of VIRGIL 47.
C. CAESAR AUGUSTUS, 10. C. NORBANUS FLACCUS, 2.
Marcellus, the Son of Octavia, the Sifter of Auguftus, was made Edile, being at that time eighteen Years old.
The Year of ROME 731, of VIRGIL 48.
C. CÆSAR AUGUSTUS, II.
This Year died Marcellus, to the great Grief of Auguftus and Octavia, and of all the People of Rome: His Body was buried with great Pomp and Solemnity in Campus Martius. The Verfes in the fixth Book of the Eneis concerning Marcellus are as ftrong an Inftance of the Power of Poetry as can be given: They are extremely beautiful and moving, and fo far above the Reach of Commendation, that it is an Indication of a Weakness in me to attempt their Praife: They can be felt by
none but by Perfons of Tafte; and fuch will feel them without having their Beauties pointed out to them; and perhaps they may affect Perfons of no Tafte, no more than the hundredth Pfalm would. When Virgil read this Paffage to Octavia and Auguftus, they both fhed Tears, and Octavia fainted away, when he came to the Name of Marcellus ; but the ordered that a Sum might be paid to Virgil for thofe few Verfes, equal to a little more than two thousand one hundred Pounds Englif Money.
The fame Year Tiridates King of Armenia, who was in a State of Enmity with Phraates King of Parthia, was well received at Rome by Auguftus, who demanded and obtained the Roman Captives and Enfigns which were taken by the Parthians in former Wars, when Craffus and Anthony commanded the Roman Armies; which Circumftance, without difpute, induced our Poet to add, in the feventh Book of the Eneis,
Parthofque repofcere Signa,
to his Description of opening the Gates of the Temple of Mars.
La Rue here obferves, that Virgil was lefs than four Years on the laft fix Books of the Eneis, and judiciously adds, that there does not appear fo much Correctness in them as in the firft fix.
The Year of ROME 732, af VIRGIL 49.
M. CLAUDIUS MARCELLUS. L. ARUNTIUS.
At the End of this Year, before the next Confuls entered into their Office, Augustus set out on a Journey to Greece.