Blog Template Theology of the Body: Virgil's Messianic Eclogue

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Virgil's Messianic Eclogue

I have been preparing like mad for upcoming PhD language examinations, and recently translated this little passage for fun and practice. It is a prophecy of the classical and pagan poet Virgil (author of the Aneid), written about forty years before the birth of Christ. May we take this as pagan prediction of the Lord? The Early Christians certainly did.

From Virgil's Eclogue IV, ca 40 BC (translation all mine):

"Now comes the great new age: from Heaven the young man is sent, he who holds the divine life in himself, who sees God, and is himself seen by God. This young man will rule the world, for whom the strength of the father provides his peace. Moerever, few evils will persist then, those evils which required men to labor and to wage wars. (There were always many wars, waged over and over again, as when the great Achilles returned to Troy). Then the young man in his new age will make it so that there will be no labors and no wars; the sailors and fishermen will depart from their ships, and the farmers will abandon their fields- the earth itself will provide all things for all people.

Come quickly, promised age! Emerge from Heaven, small child to be born, and it shall be enough for my spirit to speak of your acts."