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 the most excellent of all the ancient Roman poets, was born Oct.

the most excellent of all the ancient Roman poets, was born Oct. 15, U. C. 684, B. C. 70, in the consulship of Pompey and Crassus, at a village called Andes, not far from Mantua. His father was undoubtedly a man of low birth and mean circumstances; but by his industry so much recommended himself to his master, that he gave him his daughter, named Maia, in marriage, as a reward of his fidelity. Our poet, discovering early marks of a very fine genius, was sent at twelve years old to study at Cremona, where he continued till his seventeenth year. He was then removed to Milan, and from thence to Naples, then the residence of several teachers in philosophy and polite learning; and applied himself heartily to the study of the best Greek and Roman writers. But physic and mathematics were his favourite sciences, which he cultivated with much care; and to this early tincture of geometrical learning were owing probably that regularity of thought, propriety of expression, and exactness in conducting all subjects, for which he is so remarkable. He learned the Epicurean philosophy under the celebrated Syro, of whom Cicero speaks twice with the greatest encomiums both of his learning and virtue: his acquaintance with Varus, his first patron, commenced by his being fellow-student with him under this philosopher. After Virgil had completed his studies at Naples, Donatus affirms, that he made a journey to Rome; and relates some marvellous circumstances concerning his being made known to Augustus, which, like many other particulars in his account of this poet, breathe very much the air of fable. The truth is, we have no certain knowledge of the time and occasion of Virgil’s going to Rome, how his connexions with the wits and men of quality began, nor how he was introduced to the court of Augustus.