Products of the chaos of the Roman civil war years, Virgil's works show alonging for a more peaceful ordering of society. His two major works, theEclogues and the Aeneid, emphasize different aspects of this longing. TheEclogues, written first, is a collection of escapist poems that dwell onthe ideal nature of a peaceful, rural life. The Aeneid, a more completeconsideration of the new world Virgil desired, considers the political formunder which this new order will come. Virgil's importance to world literatureis difficult to underestimate. Later poets and writers have venerated and soughtto imitate him. Among his more famous admirers were Dante (1265-1321) and Milton(1608-1674), who composed epic poems on his model.


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