“Virgil.... who?” you say? Just Virgil. Virgil Virgil, if you must have two names, but we're talking about the ancient Roman poet who was born October 15 in 70 BC.
[To see what I'm up to here, read this introduction]
Most likely destined for a life of poverty, Virgil's prospects changed before he was born. The hard work and intelligence of his poor father were noticed by his employer, and appreciated so much that the man allowed Virgil's Dad to marry his daughter. This made it possible for Virgil (after he was born) to receive the education normally given only to those in the higher echelons of Roman civilization.
Virgil worked through the available schools and ended up in Rome where he was exposed to rhetoric, medicine and mathematics. Under Siro the Epicurean, Virgil began to focus on the study of philosophy. After school he returned to the family farm to write and study near his parents. His father died, and his mother remarried, later giving Virgil a half-brother named Valerius.
So attuned to the studious life, Virgil was considered a recluse. He was generally a shy man, and his health was never very good. The original geek, one might say.
Virgil's famous works of poetry are divided into three groups: The eclogues, the Georgics, and his ultimate work, the epic poem of 10,000 lines known as The Aeneid. The Aeneid was commissioned after a victorious battle, to commemorate the military accomplishments of Augustus by giving his victories their “proper literary enhancement”. The battle was done in 31 BC. The Aeneid apparently took a much greater effort; it was not completed until 14 years later, and actually had to be edited by friends of Virgil after he died.
While Virgil was not the first poet to be asked to write the Aeneid, after two others declined he was eager to apply an imaginative approach to the work. He planned to tell the tale of Augustus' victory through the mythological character inspired by Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. It was an incredible mission. When pressed to finish the manuscript and “submit it already!”, Virgil said what perhaps many writers have said in the face of a looming deadline: “I have undertaken a task so difficult that I think I must have been mentally ill to have begun it." Even after spending 11 years on the project, and being terribly overwrought about it, Virgil decided to spend 3 more years on The Aeneid. Unfortunately, he died of a fever he caught on a research trip to Greece.
What QUALITIES OF GOD are evident in Virgil?
So many people honor God by SEEKING KNOWLEDGE. To understand a subject, is to know the truth, is to know Jesus Christ who said, “I am the truth”. When the Bible speaks of the most intimate encounters we have, it uses the metaphor of knowledge: “Adam knew Eve, his wife, and she conceived...” To study under a mentor a teacher or even a parent, is to show a Godly HUMILITY, and A VOLUNTARY, RESPECTFUL SUBMISSION. To the degree that what we learn is actually true, we come that much closer to knowing, and developing a fellowship with, God.
Virgil was in tune with the fifth commandment (the law is written on our hearts) for when he returned home he was HONORING HIS PARENTS. In taking on The Aeneid, and devoting his life to it, Virgil not only demonstrated God's CREATIVE image in himself, but also God's DILIGENT and PATIENT nature. Virgil left half of his fortune to Valerius, thus showing a KIND HEARTED, GENEROUS love for his half-brother.