Though his literary works are highly acclaimed, little is known about Virgil's (or Vergil's) life. He was born Publius Vergilius Maro on October 15, 70 BC in Cisalpine, Gaul, in the village of Andes south of the Alps. His father was a farmer and landowner, and Virgil attended school in Rome with the intent to study science and rhetoric. Instead he turned his attention to philosophy and began writing poetry. Living during the Augustan period, a time of upheaval in Rome's civil war, including the murder of Julius Caesar, Virgil eventually found himself in the company of the emperor himself, Augustus, who wanted writers to glorify Rome and his empire. Virgil had penned epic poems in the past (the Eclogues and Georgics), and for the remaining decade of his life, he wrote Aeneid. In fact, Virgil's death came while he was fact checking his work while traveling with Augustus. Catching a fever in 19 BC, he died on September 21 in a harbor in Brindisi, Italy with the Aeneid incomplete. Augustus ordered the work published nonetheless, and today the world has Virgil's epic poem that many consider a literary masterpiece.
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