Virgil's Birthplace Revisited

Classical Quarterly 26 (2):65-74 (1932)
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We may now consider this ancient evidence that Andes lay three miles away from Mantua in connection with Conway's remaining arguments and with Virgil's ‘own statement’ in his Bucolics.In the matter of the inscriptions, Conway's ‘impenitence’ does nothing to strengthen his case. All the points that he raises in an apparent refutation had been met by me. I had distinguished between public and private inscriptions, as Conway had not done in his earlier article, where he declared the period of the two monuments to be ‘Virgil's own,’ the inscriptions being ‘cut in the style which marks the best work between 50 B.C. and A.D. 50.’ I had not, as he asserts, failed to notice the point that caps the climax of his recent article, that ‘the P. Magius who wrote the inscription of Casalpoglio … was related to Virgil's mother.’ I was inclined to date both inscriptions, with the approval of Professor Egbert, somewhere in the third quarter of the first century of our era, but ‘even allowing for them both a date as early as the end of the first century B.C.,’ which is apparently as far back as Conway means to stretch their date, I clamored for an inscription of the time of Virgil's birth if it were to serve as evidence for his birthplace. This point is not met by Conway. If Virgil was born at Pietole, his fame and his family could certainly have extended as far north as Casalpoglio and Calvisano at the time of his death in 19 B.C. Supposing that we knew on other evidence that he was born at Calvisano, the presence of an inscription with the name of Magius or Vergilius would corroborate that evidence.



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