Vergil's name in English:
In the Middle Ages Vergilius was frequently spelled Virgilius. There are two explanations commonly given for this alteration. One educes a false etymology associated with the word virgo ("maiden" in Latin) due to Virgil's excessively "maiden"-like (parthenias or Ï€Î±ÏÎ¸Î·Î½Î¹Î±Ï‚ in Greek) modesty. Alternatively, some argue that Vergilius was altered to Virgilius by analogy with the Latin virga ("wand") due to the magical or prophetic powers attributed to Virgil in the Middle Ages. In an attempt to reconcile his non-Christian background with the high regard in which medieval scholars held him, it was posited that some of his works metaphorically foretold the coming of Christ, hence making him a prophet of sorts. This view is defended by some scholars today, namely Richard F. Thomas of Harvard.
In Norman schools (following the French practice), the habit was to anglicize Latin names by dropping their Latin endings, hence Virgil.
In the 19th century, some German-trained classicists in the United States suggested modification to Vergil, as it is closer to his original name, and is also the traditional German spelling. Modern usage permits both, though the Oxford guide to style recommends Vergilius to avoid confusion with the 8th-century Irish grammarian Virgilius Maro Grammaticus.
Some post-Renaissance writers liked to affect the sobriquet "The Swan of Mantua".
Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 46 guests