The Aeneid

Virgil's death and editing of the Aeneid

According to tradition, Virgil traveled to Greece around 19 BC to revise the Aeneid. After meeting Augustus in Athens and deciding to return home, Virgil caught a fever while visiting a town near Megara. Virgil crossed to Italy by ship, weakened with disease, and died in Brundisium harbour on 21 September 19 BC, leaving a wish that the manuscript of the Aeneid was to be burned. Augustus ordered Virgil's literary executors, Lucius Varius Rufus and Plotius Tucca, to disregard that wish, instead ordering the Aeneid to be published with as few editorial changes as possible.[7] As a result, the existing text of the Aeneid may contain faults which Virgil was planning to correct before publication. However, the only obvious imperfections are a few lines of verse that are metrically unfinished (i.e., not a complete line of dactylic hexameter). Other alleged "imperfections" are subject to scholarly debate.


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