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Publius Vergilius Maro (70 - 19 BC), called Virgil, was a Roman epic poet, born near Mantua. His poetry includes the 'Eclogue's and 'Georgics', which idealise life in the country and provided material for artists who depicted arcadian subjects in the16th and17th centuries and later.

Virgil's best known work is his epic poem the 'Aeneid', in which the travels of Aeneas, one of the few Trojans who survived the destruction of Troy by the Greeks, together with his old father and young son, are described. The many events which occurred on the journey are recounted until his eventual arrival in Italy, where he founded a settlement near to what was to become Rome, thus becoming one of the legendary founders of that city. He brought with him the gods of home and hearth, Lares and Penates.