In 19 B.C., the Roman poet Vergil (Virgil) died, during the reign of the first Roman emperor, Augustus.
Vergil's influence on the world's literature has been immeasurable. Not only was his writing, along with Seneca's, Cicero's, Ovid's, Aristotle's, and Plato's, continuously read throughout the Middle Ages, but even today he exerts an influence on poets and the college-bound.
Despite, or possibly because of Vergil's immense popularity, his life is surrounded with legend. Some have called his father a magician and it is suggested that one reason his name is often spelled Virgil is because a virga meant a magic wand. He has been referred to as a pre-Christian saint because his so-called prophecy about the birth of Augustus was taken to be a prophecy about the birth of Christ.