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Georgics

The Greek title (= Farming) was not an original one. It had been borne by, among others, a didactic poem of Nicander no longer extant, which Virgil doubtless knew and probably used, as he used his Theriaca. But his debt is unlikely to have been great.

Some idea of the meticulous attention to detail shown by Virgil in this, his most finished work, may be gathered from the four references to his patron Maecenas, one in each book: in the first and last the bare vocative of his name is placed in the second verse; in the second and third in the forty-first (perhaps on line 1 of his second page), an unobtrusive and almost perfunctory compliment scarcely on the same plane as his invocation of Octavian in 1.24ff.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.virgil-georgics.1916