Ovid: Metamorphoses
Xenophon: Oeconomicus

Virgil: The Georgics

Mosaïque_des_Saisons_(Louvre)_élevage_de_chèvresThe Georgics (Latin: Georgica) is a didactic poem by Virgil (70-19 BC) on agriculture and rural life, after the manner of Hesiod's Works and Days. Completed in 29 BC, it was his second major poem after the Eclogues.

Book 1 focuses on arable farming and the disruption caused by the murder of Caesar, underlining that Virgil's portrait of rural peace had political undertones. The same could be said of his praise of rural Italy in book 2, which concentrates on the cultivation of trees such as the olive and the vine, while Book 3 covers cattle farming. Book 4 deals with bee-keeping, introducing an influential metaphor for human society.

English translators of the Georgics include John Dryden, who famously accounted it 'the best poem of the best poet.'

The Georgics at online book stores

Amazon | Bookshop.org

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Georgics. English translation. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Georgics of Virgil, translated by William Sotheby (1808). Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: The Georgics. HTML and TXT formats.

Liberty Fund: Georgics, translated by Arthur S. Way. Multiple formats.

LoebulusL063N - Virgil -- Eclogues. Georgics. Aeneid, Books 1-6. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

Perseus: Latin text and English translation by J.B. Greenough. HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: The Georgics, translated by A.S. Kline (2001). Multiple formats.

Sacred Texts: Georgics. Latin text and prose translation by J.W. MacKail. HTML format.

Theoi: Georgics, translated by H.R. Fairclough. HTML format.

Times Literary Supplement: The Bees (Virgil’s Georgics: Book IV), translated by Peter McDonald. 6 September 2016.

University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The Georgics, translated by J.B. Greenough. Multiple formats.

University of Michigan: Virgil's Georgics, translated by John Dryden. HTML format.

Wikisource: Latin text and multiple English translations. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

Ancient-Literature.com: The Georgics - summary and analysis.

BBC History: Virgil.

Independent: Georgics, By Virgil, translated by Kimberly Johnson. Review by Boyd Tonkin. 5 January 2010.

Librivox: Georgica - public domain audiobook.

Literature and History: Ep.53 - Then Came Hard Iron - Virgil's Georgics. Podcast and transcript by Doug Metzger.

Poetry Foundation: Passages from Virgil's First Georgic, by Robert Fitzgerald.

The New Republic: The Farmer as Hero. Review of Ferry and Lembke translations by David Quint. 20 March 2006.

Wikipedia: Georgics

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Homer: The Iliad - The Odyssey

Hesiod: Works and Days

Aratus - Aristotle - Theophrastus: Writers whose scientific ideas influenced Virgil's portrayal of agriculture.

Callimachus - central to the Alexandrian school of Greek poetry which influenced Virgil's highly allusive literary style.

Apollonius of Rhodes: Argonautica.

Varro: Res rusticae


Lucretius: On the Nature of Things

Mandeville: The Fable of the Bees

Addison: Essay on Virgil's Georgics

Latin Resources: Online materials for learning Latin.

Bloom's Western Canon: The Georgics is listed.


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