VIRGIL, the greatest Roman poet, was never a favorite of Blake’s. He ranked him, as the writer of an epic, automatically with Homer and Milton (To Trusler, 23 Aug 1799); but twenty years later, he was trying to prove that Greece and Rome “were destroyers of all Art. Homer, Virgil & Ovid confirm this opinion & make us reverence The Word of God, the only light of antiquity that remains unperverted by War. Virgil in the Eneid, Book VI, line 848, says ‘Let others study Art: Rome has somewhat better to do, namely War & Dominion’” (On Virgil, K 778). Also: “Empire against Art—See Virgil’s Eneid, Lib. VI, v. 848” (Laoc, K 777). “Eneas is here shewn a worse man than Achilles in leaving Dido” (On Boyd, K 412). “Ceasar, Virgil’s Only God—see Eclogue 1” (On Thornton, K 789). It is true that Virgil treated his mythological characters merely as persons in his narrative; Ovid was equally superficial.