Misplaced Virgil

Regarding the Home Forum essay "When You're Nine Years Old and You Live on a Farm," Aug. 6: In the last paragraph, the writer refers to Virgil as a "wise Greek philosopher." Actually, he was a Roman poet, sponsored by Augustus to make up an account of the founding of Rome. By coincidence, he was the son of a farmer, which may have given rise to the author's confusion about the heritage. However, the poem Virgil came up with was the Aeneid, which tells of Aeneas's escape from Troy to Carthage, from where he sailed across to Italia and his destiny in Rome, much to the discomfiture of a lady named Dido, who stood on a coastal promontory in Carthage and watched him leave. Virgil's vivid imagination gave Augustus a good story to work with, but it did not give us a Greek philosopher. Marion Stoer, Baltimore

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