I found the reference in class today of Virgil’s “prophecy of Christ” very interesting and decided to research the topic further. As we discussed in class, Virgil did not foresee the birth of Christ, but rather referred to the birth of a redeeming king. The association between Virgil’s quotation from his Fourth Eclogue most likely became associated with Christ’s birth as intellectuals from the medieval period tried to make the non-Christian Virgil seem “pro-Christian.” However, in reality, the quotation just serves as an extremely ironic coincidence.
Below is the actual quotation from the Fourth Eclogue:
“Now comes the last age by the song of the Cumaen sybil; the great order of the ages is born anew; now the Virgin returns, now the reign of Saturn comes again; now a new child is sent down from heaven above.”