Virgil was born on October 15, 70 B.C.E., in Northern Italy in a small village near Mantua. He attended school at Cremona and Mediolanum (Milan), then went to Rome, where he studied mathematics, medicine and rhetoric, and finally completed his studies in Naples. He entered literary circles as an "Alexandrian," the name given to a group of poets who sought inspiration in the sophisticated work of third-century Greek poets, also known as Alexandrians. In 49 BC Virgil became a Roman citizen. After his studies in Rome, Vergil is believed to have lived with his father for about 10 years, engaged in farm work, study, and writing poetry. After the battle of Philippi in 42 B.C.E. Virgils property in Cisalpine Gaul, was confiscated for veterans. In the following years Virgil spent most of his time in Campania and Sicily, but he also had a house in Rome. During the reign of emperor Augustus, Virgil became a member of his court circle and was advanced by a minister, Maecenas, patron of the arts and close friend to the poet Horace. He gave Virgil a house near Naples. Between 42 and 37 B.C.E. Virgil composed pastoral poems known as Bucolic or Eclogues and spent years on the Georgics. The rest of his life, from 30 to 19 B.C., Virgil devoted to The Aeneid, the national epic of Rome, and the glory of the Empire. Although ambitious, Virgil was never really happy about the task. Virgil died in 19 B. C.
Cecil Day Lewis was an Irish lyric poet and critic who also wrote bestselling detective stories under the name of Nicholas Blake. Born in 1904 to a clergyman father, he attended Oxford University. After college, he was a schoolmaster and director of a publishing firm. The grandfather of Cecil Day Lewis changed the family name of Day to Day-Lewis. However, the poet dropped the hyphen, to the confusion of librarians and bibliographers ever since. Day Lewis became interested in and joined the Communist Party, only to renounce it in 1939. He worked in the Ministry of Information during World War II. He later taught at Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard universities. His works include Transitional Poems, A Hope for Poetry, and The Poetic Impulse. He is also widely recognized for his translation of The Aeneid. His later honors include a year as Charles Eliot Norton professor of poetry at Harvard University and as Clark lecturer at Cambridge University, and a term as professor of poetry at Oxford University from 1951 to 1956. He served as director of the publishing house of Chatto & Windus from 1954 until his death in 1972, and was named poet laureate in 1968. Cecil Day Lewis's autobiography The Buried Day was published in 1960. He died in 1972.