The 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.'
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.
Loebulus. L063N - Virgil -- Eclogues. Georgics. Aeneid, Books 1-6. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.
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: The Georgics, translated by J.B. Greenough. Multiple formats.
University of Michigan: Virgil's Georgics, translated by John Dryden. HTML format.