Now the virgin is returning...
A new human race is descending from the heights of heaven...
The birth of a child, with whom
the iron age of humanity will
end and the golden age begin...

Virgil, Fourth Eclogue

Few works of literature, few philosophical discourses could have afforded the Church a more explicit premonition of the life of Jesus than the Roman poet Virgil’s Fourth Eclogue, commonly called the Messiah Eclogue. In this remarkable work (ironically written to celebrate the emperor Augustus), Virgil wrote of the birth of the "offspring of Jove" and the restoration of the world. The coming of this child would end the iron age of humanity and commence a golden age, an age in which "all footprints of our guilt/ Shall perish" and "all the earth/ Shall be all-fruitful." There were also references to the coming of a Virgin, the crushing of a serpent, and the abolition of the ancient blight of wickedness so firmly rooted in the human heart. It is perhaps unsurprising that Dante, more than a millennium later, would state of his literary and spiritual father, Virgil: "Through you I became a poet, through you, a Christian."
Canadian Heritage Information Network, The Provincial Museum of Alberta,

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